South Korean portable hydrogen fuel cell manufacturer Doosan Mobility Innovation (DMI) signed a memorandum of understanding with a Chinese robot developer. Under the MOU, DMI and CITIC HIC Kaicheng Intelligence Equipment Co. will develop hydrogen fuel cell-powered robots. CITIC HIC Kaicheng Intelligence Equipment is a subsidiary of mining and cement equipment manufacturer CITIC-Heavy Industries.
Based on the agreement, the two companies would design a hydrogen robot that executes fire suppression and extinguishing duties. According to the developers, the firefighter robots would feature an industrial and disaster site monitoring function. By supplying a longer operational power compared to traditional batteries, hydrogen fuel cells would considerably improve the firefighter robot’s performance. In addition to the longer battery life, the hydrogen fuel cell would lighten the robot’s weight. Along with releasing the hydrogen robot’s prototype this year, the partners also plan to commercialize the product.
Aside from the firefighter robot’s development and mass-production, both companies would organize sales networks in China and other countries. Amounting to 70% of the firefighter robot market share in China, Kaicheng Intelligence Equipment has self-manufactured around 50 robot solutions. Last year, the Chinese firefighter robot market increased to KRW 600 billion (USD $543 million), inflating the demand to 5000 units per year. As stated by DMI, they expect the collaboration to enhance their business relations within the Chinese hydrogen fuel cell market.
“If you use a hydrogen fuel cell, you can not only reduce the body weight and increase the operating time more than the existing battery-type firefighting robots but also have the advantage of being eco-friendly,” said Lee Doo-soon, DMI’s CEO. “We will strive to expand DMI’s strength by securing stable customers in the market and diversifying the field of hydrogen fuel cell applications.”
DMI’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell-Powered Drone Expansion
Moreover, DMI has been expanding its fuel cell technology throughout different industries. DMI ventured to urban air vehicle operations, becoming the world’s first company to commercialize drones powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Last month, DMI partnered with Korean shipbuilding solution provider Marineworks and developed a smart ship navigation technology using hydrogen drones. In collaboration with Senegal Flying Labs, DMI co-developed autonomous air vehicle solutions for delivering medical aid in Africa. Last year, DMI and KEPCO collaborated for the ‘Hydrogen Drone Transmission Line Inspection Project.’
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