Robots deployed during train derailment clean-up operations

“Our company was started to provide first responders with the situational awareness to keep themselves and the public they serve safe,” said Squishy Robotics COO Deniz Dogruer, “so it was gratifying to learn that the HazMat team members at our long-time partner Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue (SMFR) were using our 4-GasPLUS sensor robots to perform air monitoring during the department’s recent activities related to a train derailment in their county.”

Six cars—including two propane tanker cars—of a Seminole Gulf Railroad train derailed in Florida’s Manatee County on February 28. Luckily, no one was injured.

“No leaks were reported when the derailment occurred,” Dogruer explained. “SMFR deployed our robots during the final day of the salvage and restoration operation to provide air quality monitoring while the railcars were being transported.” 

Dogruer said that the United States has an average of 1,704 train derailments per year. More than a dozen reported rail accidents—including the disastrous derailment and hazardous material leak and burning in East Palestine, Ohio—have taken place in the U.S. since the start of 2023.