Firefighting Startup Secures $20 Million Funding Ahead of Wildfire SeasonFirefighting Startup Secures $20 Million Funding Ahead of Wildfire Season

BurnBot’s Remote-Controlled Vehicles Clear Fire Risks by “Eating” Dry Vegetation and Performing Controlled Burns.

Amidst escalating global temperatures and a surge in drought incidents, recent wildfires have emerged as some of the most devastating in history.

As anticipation for this year’s wildfire season grows, BurnBot, headquartered in San Francisco, is gearing up to introduce its innovative vegetation-eating fire-management vehicles to combat potential disasters.

The startup recently secured a substantial $20 million in funding, spearheaded by ReGen Ventures and backed by prominent investors including Toyota Ventures, AmFam Ventures, and Convective Capital. This financial boost will facilitate the expansion and refinement of BurnBot’s flagship product, the RX BurnBot. Engineered to devour dry vegetation – a common fuel for forest fires – the RX BurnBot also conducts controlled burns to clear hazardous areas.

With the newfound resources, BurnBot plans to upscale initiatives aimed at forest restoration and controlled burning, marking a concerted effort to curb wildfire occurrences.

Equipped with cutting-edge technology, the RX methodically traverses targeted zones, administering controlled fires before swiftly dousing them with water to prevent any potential spread.

Waleed Haddad, BurnBot’s Chief Technology Officer, emphasized the efficiency of their solution, enabling smaller crews to treat areas tenfold faster. He emphasized the RX’s safety features, ensuring minimal smoke emission and escape risk, rendering it suitable for year-round operation, even in close proximity to communities and critical infrastructure.

The efficacy of BurnBot’s technology was underscored by its successful deployment by organizations like the Central Coast Prescribed Burn Association and CAL FIRE. Jared Childress, burn boss for the former, lauded the RX for streamlining operations and facilitating safe, timely controlled burns.

BurnBot’s mechanized vegetation management solutions have found application in various projects across California and Oregon. Notable endeavors include assisting the Pacific Gas and Electric Company with controlled burns under high-voltage transmission lines and clearing hazardous brush around evacuation routes for the Hoopa Valley Tribe.

Looking ahead, BurnBot aims to expand its operations nationwide, leveraging the recent investment to bolster firefighting efforts across states.

Chris Anthony, former Chief Deputy Director of CAL FIRE, hailed the investment as a pivotal step towards deploying advanced technologies to enhance workforce capacity. He emphasized the significance of BurnBot’s contributions in advancing California’s wildfire mitigation goals and the US Forest Service’s ambitious targets for treating vast swathes of land to mitigate wildfire risks and safeguard communities and vital watersheds.
Credits: iotworldtoday.com

By Tom Brokaw

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