Case Study: Robot aids fire department’s investigation

Donan’s Packbot, Scio Surveyor 7, aided the Louisville Fire Department in their investigation of a massive fire that broke out on historic West Main Street in downtown Louisville.  Named “Whiskey Row,” these buildings are the second largest collection of cast-iron facades in the U.S.—second only to New York City’s Soho district. This case study provides a look at how the technology was used to determine the cause of the fire and quickly conclude the investigation so restoration efforts could commence.


Case Study

What Is Scio Surveyor 7?

Scio Surveyor 7 is a military-grade Packbot created by iRobot, a company specializing in robotic technology.

How did Donan get involved in the Whiskey Row fire investigation?

When local news outlets reported the buildings were in danger of collapse after the fire, Donan volunteered the use of Scio to aid the fire department in their investigation.

What was the scope of work for the robot?

Because portions of the building collapsed, it was unsafe for anyone to enter. The robot was able to access the building and record and stream real-time HD video from four cameras. The robot also captured images from the area of origin, helping investigators confirm the suspected cause of loss.

What other ways did Scio’s involvement benefit the investigation?

The robot saved the city time and expense by offering an alternative to building demolition and enabled the investigation to be completed quickly, safely, and conclusively. This also allowed preservation of the historic facades to begin more quickly.

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Where can I find out more information?

Local News Coverage:

The Courier-Journal


Meet Scio
Downloadable pdf


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