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Professional Level: Fire Rescue

SWE: Society of Women Engineers


On one silent night, while everyone in the neighborhood slept quietly in their beds, one family was asleep in an increasingly warm house. In the downstairs main room a fire was beginning to creep up the wall, billows of smoke rolled into the hallway and down to the parents’ room. All the while the fire climbed up to the second story floor blocking the stair well.

The neighbor’s teenager was getting home late and noticed the fire flickering through the windows and called the fire department.A short timelater, the fire department arrived at the house to put out the fire.

Hearing the sirens the parents woke up to find the fire blazing through the front of the house. Shock and fear hit the parents as they realized their child was asleep upstairs and the stairs were on fire!!!

The parents ran out the back door of the house screaming to the fire department to save their child. Several fire fighters ran into the houseand determined that the stairs were losing strength. It would only be a matter of minutes until the stairs collapsed. The fire department calls in the rescue robot to retrieve the child. You must save the child by moving her out the upstairs window to the mat belowbefore the fire consumes her!!!

Scoring Table:

Robot completely passes through the first door 50 points
Robot completely passes through the second door 50 points
At least 1/2 of robot passes through the third door 50 points
Entire robot passes horizontal line 100 points
Robot backs through the third door 150 points
Robot touches the obttom of the ramp 100 points
Robot is completely on the second level 100 points
Robot moves child off marker 200 points
Robot moves child through window 200 points

Total Possible


Bill of Materials:

Materials Description and Codes Store Price Quantity Subtotal
Black Paint Evermore Flat Black Premium Interior Paint EM 9013 Home Depot 8.48 29 oz. $8.48
Electrical Tape 3M white electrical tape Home Depot 3.93 1 $3.93
Electrical Tape 3M black electrical tape WalMart 0.6 1 $0.60
Wood Screws # 6 x 1-1/4" flat head phillips zinc wood screws Home Depot 4.11 1 $4.11
Plywood Base 19/32" 4x8 plywood Model #:166081 Home Depot 13.95 1 $11.99
Wood Walls 1x8" - 8 No. 2 Whitewood Model #: 914835 (cut in half longways) Home Depot 7.35 2 $14.70
Foam Core Board 20in X 30in Hobby Lobby 1.99 1 $1.99
Battery D cell
Total Price $45.80


Dimensioned Drawing (PDF)
Ramp Drawing (PDF)
Scoring Drawing updated Jan 7, 2008 (PDF)
Recommended Path new Jan 12, 2008 (PDF)

The first drawing shows only the wooden construction of the course. The second drawing shows the complete course with a second level made of foam core placed on top of the wooden supports. The foam core was secured to the wood with Velcro.

The ramp was made by making a 9 inch cut 9 inches from the edge of the foam core. This section was then bent down to the plywood and secured with Velcro. This means the transition from the plywood to foam core is not smooth, but rather includes a 5/16 inch vertical “step” up.

The wooden walls are ¾ inch thick, and as seen in the drawings some have been slightly warped by the fire. The wood has been painted black to show that it was charred by the fire. The lines are ¾ inch wide white electrical tape.

The foam core is white (due to smoke), and the lines on it are ¾ inch wide black electrical tape. Since the smoke becomes more dense as the elevation increases, the black lines are in 2 inch long strips on the ramp with 2 inch gaps between the strips. There are no walls on the second story of the house because they have been completely destroyed.

The child which must be rescued is made of a D cell battery. The battery rests on top of a ¾ inch square piece of black electrical tape. The center of this piece of tape is located 4 inches from each edge of the foam core (see drawing to locate corner).

The foam core is 3/16 inch thick. The Velcro is approx. 3/16 inch thick as well.


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