News

College Students Fight Fire with Sound Waves

| 26 Mar 2015 19:09

Fire has met its match in dubstep.

Finally, there's a legitimate reason to turn your music up, thanks to two engineering students at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Seth Robertson and Viet Tran have created a device that turns low-frequency sounds like the "thump-thump bass in hip-hop" into a tool to fight fires. Watch the incredible feat in the video below.

Robertson and Tran stumbled upon the idea after discovering that DARPA was working on a similar, if larger-scale, project. They used around $600 dollars of their own money to create the device, which works by utilizing low-frequency sounds to separate oxygen from fuel and keep flames from reigniting.

"Eventually I'd like to see this [device] applied to swarm robotics where it could be attached to a drone and that would be applied to forest fires or even building fires where you wouldn't want to sacrifice a human life," said Tran.

While this isn't the first time sound waves have been used in this capacity, Tran and Robertson's machine was created to be a more practical alternative to the large-scale devices already in works. There's a possibility that this technology could be adapted for professional or consumer use in the future, but for now Robertson and Tran have been showcasing the device's capabilities on small, contained fires in which rubbing alcohol serves as the fuel.

With so many use cases for this kind of device, what are your thoughts on the technology?

Source: The Huffington Post, via George Mason University

RELATED CONTENT
Comments on