Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is a less risky way to fight fires.

Paris' fire brigade used a 1,100-pound "tank-like robot" to help fight the flames at Notre Dame cathedral, said Peter Holley at The Washington Post. The robot, called Colossus, entered Notre Dame's main chamber and sprayed the walls with "a motorized water cannon capable of firing more than 660 gallons per minute." Colossus can also be operated via joystick from almost 1,000 feet away, withstand intense temperatures, and even crawl up stairs.

(Courtesy image)

At this point, it works best in open environments — like a spacious cathedral. But its creator, Shark Robotics, expects that artificial intelligence will make future models "more agile" and let them operate with greater autonomy. Colossus is not the only firefighting bot: The U.S. Navy has been experimenting with a machine "designed to throw propelled extinguishing agent grenades and handle a firehose."