GUMRI, Armenia (Guardian) — The little robot makes odd beeps as it spins around the room, detecting fires with its thermal sensors and extinguishing flames with a strong blast of air.
Its mission accomplished, the beeps die down and the machine comes to an abrupt halt.
Rather than being the brainchild of experienced engineers in a hi-tech lab, the firefighter robot was designed by Armenian schoolboys Rafael and Sahak Sahakyan — brothers aged 18 and 14.
It is one of several inventions to come out of Armenia’s youth robotics program, which aims to establish engineering groups in every school by 2019. Already there are 121 after-school clubs, catering for pupils between 12 and 18.
The government hopes the scheme will improve the quality of engineering education and encourage inventors of the future.
At the brothers’ school in Gumri, one of the poorest cities in Armenia, more than 20 pupils gather after lessons every week to design and create robots.