The “Dragon firefighter” can extinguish fires by moving through the air and spraying water from its tip and middle of the hose. (Video footage by Shotaro Hamada and Tohoku University’s Tadokoro research group)

Killer robot fears can be put aside with the latest innovation from a Tohoku University research team, whose “Dragon firefighter” is more concerned with saving lives than extinguishing them.

The long-hosed, remote-controlled robot can target fires and reach key danger spots with jets of water propelling the device while extinguishing fires.

The team, headed by Satoshi Tadokoro, a professor of the university specializing in robot engineering, announced its invention on May 30.

The machine, which the team says is the world’s first “flying” robot fire extinguisher, is inspired by the dragon dance seen in Chinese New Year celebrations.

Its purpose is to help firefighters extinguish hard-to-reach blazes, such as those up high, and it can also locate the origin of a fire using a thermal camera.

Special devices with four holes each are attached to the tip and middle of the hose, ejecting water to propel the robot through the air.

The concept model unveiled by the team is three meters long, but it plans to extend it up to 20 meters and make it attachable to the tops of firetrucks.

The researchers are also aiming to team with a manufacturer to put the device into practical use.

“If it is put into practical use, firefighters could work safely in many fire sites,” Tadokoro said.