ITRI won Silver in the Applied Technology/Commercial Safety category at 2018 Edison Awards™ with its Fluid-Driven Emergency Rescuer (FDER) technology. ITRI representatives accepted the award in New York, NY on April 11, 2018. The Edison Awards™ have been honoring and fostering innovation and innovators to create a positive impact in the world in the spirit of Thomas Edison since 1987. Being recognized with an Edison Award™ is one of the highest accolades a company can receive in the name of innovation and business success. Other winners this year include Adobe Systems, GE Healthcare, NVIDIA, and 3M.
FDER technology is an innovation of micro-hydropower harvesting which can provide thermal images, LED lighting, and laser indication of evacuation routes in the dark. It was developed to address the safety issue of fire sites, with an attempt to enhance visibility to protect firefighters and save lives. FDER is applied to form two unique devices, Fluid-Driven Tactical Nozzle (FDTN) and Fluid-Driven Sprinkler Light (FDSL). The lightweight FDTN mounted on a fire nozzle ensures sufficient illumination without external electricity supply, while the FDSL installed in buildings is designed to shine laser beams to guide people to escape routes in thick smoke. FDER, with 30 granted patents, also won the 2015 R&D 100 Award and 2016 NASA Tech Briefs Award.
"The application that you’ve created in Taiwan for ITRI can be applied throughout the world. It really makes firefighters’ lives much safer and I hope that you make the connections here in the United States to actually grow this technology, making people’s lives much safer,” commented Frank Bonafilia, Executive Director of Edison Awards™.
“FDER is a technological breakthrough to the evolution of firefighting equipment and can be used to improve the safety of fire sites and elevate the efficiency of fire rescue,” said Dr. Robert Yie-Zu Hu, ITRI’s Vice President and General Director of Green Energy and Environment Research Laboratories. He stressed that the FDTN device, with its thermal image camera and LED lamp, is superior to conventional firefighting equipment in reliability, illumination and duration. The design eliminates the need of battery supply, reduces the weight of firefighters’ gear, and can identify fire spots and victim location. For its part, FDSL is expected to improve fire safety in buildings by projecting laser indication for evacuation.
“We’re thrilled that FDER has been recognized by the Edison Awards™,” said Dr. Jung-Huang Liao, Manager of ITRI’s Green Energy and Environment Research Laboratories. “We will continue to refine its design based on user demands and expand its commercialization efforts, making it applicable in practical apparatuses that can save more lives in the world.”
FDTN has been licensed in 2016 and adopted by several firefighting squads in Taiwan to help them see better and move faster during rescue missions. In addition to firefighting, the FDER technology may also extend its applications to environmental sensing or indicators.