This cool little Segway-esque machine could one day save your life.

Working alongside human firefighters its makers hope that it could be a crucial tool in helping to locate people in fires and other disaster situations.

Inside its little frame it contains a sophisticated set of cameras - one infra-red and two RGB - that create a 3D scene which can be viewed by rescuers.

firefighting robot

The robot is self-righting

The little blighter can even climb stairs (watch the video for a demonstration of its pretty ingenious technique).

Thomas Bewley, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego who designed it said: "These robot scouts will be small, inexpensive, agile, and autonomous.

"Firefighters arriving at the scene of a fire have 1000 things to do.

"To be useful, the robotic scouts need to work like well-trained hunting dogs, dispatching quickly and working together to achieve complex goals while making all necessary low-level decisions themselves along the way to get the job done."

Very neat, but hopefully you'll never have to see one...

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