Firefighter robot

Hello All,
As part of my Senior Design project at my local University, I'm building a small BS2 controlled mobile robot with several capabilities in which it
reacts to its environment. Aside from the usual light following and line following capabilities that it already has, I want to endow it with a candle extinguishing capability similiar to the robots used in the Trinity College contest.
I have been researching this and for the moment, I'm thinking of using a Hammatsu UVTron to detect the prescence of the flame and an Eltec Pyro sensor for directional information as the robot pivots and scans. It seems to be a workable solution but I'm very interested in hearing from others who have dabbled in this particular task and what your solutions were/are. I have not yet even considered how to navigate toward the flame, stop and then activate a fan or can of compressed air to extinguish it, although I'm hoping this can be done by coordinating the output of the Eltec alone with movement commands issued to the servo motors. Thanks much, I really appreciate it.
-Dave
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If you do a Google search for something like "trinity fire-fighting" (no quotes) you'll get scads of links to folks who have written about their approach and experiences.
For example, Acroname.com (who sells all this stuffy) provides a tips/tricks page for entering the contest. They do mention the Eltec. You may be better off getting additional non-biased opinions (again, just look through Google) of people not selling them. Personally, I feel the Eltec is way over-priced, and is only offered for sale because it's part of the Rug Warrior described in Mobile Robots (it is, however, very easy to use).
You can get decent PIR detectors for a fifth of the price, even less. Try http://www.glolab.com for starters. Try Us Digital (http://www.usdigital.com/) for a handy specialty amplifier IC -- saves you from having to build a driver board. They hide this stuff, though: look under http://www.usdigital.com/products/lsi/.
-- Gordon Author: Robot Builder's Sourcebook & Robot Builder's Bonanza
Dave wrote:

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Thanks Gordon for all the help. I'll check out the additional sources.
-Dave

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