Remember Inferno, the trusty Autobot who, for some reason, transformed from a giant mechanoid into a fire engine? Well, he's finally been fielded by the London Fire Brigade (albeit without the mechanoid form, pity). Defence technology company QinetiQ have developed a range of fire fighting robots, which recently completed trials with LFB. The roving vehicles are particularly suited to fires involving acetylene gas cylinders, which can explode with fatal consequences even after a blaze has been extinguished. An early test came last week, when one of the robots was rushed out to a fire at Membury Airfield near Hungerford. The unit was able to enter an aviation factory to assess the condition of unexploded cylinders, greatly speeding up the operation to safeguard the building. LFB's robot helpers are partly funded by TfL, who hope to reduce delays to transport caused by fires of this nature, where 200m diameter cordons are the standard procedure. Wonder if you can train them to slide down poles?