Presenting TOAD (Tactical Operative Amphibious Drive), a new rescue vehicle that can be used in land and water. This proudly Philippine-made amphibian vehicle was developed by engineers of the Batangas State University (BSU), and was launched and demonstrated early this month by the university and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
According to the press release at dost.gov.ph, TOAD was designed by a dedicated research team of BSU led by its president, Dr. Tirso A. Ronquillo. The launch was made in Taal Lake in Talisay, Batangas on February 4, 2016, with the presence of DOST PCIEERD Chief Science Research Specialist Engr. Albert Mariño, who delivered a short but inspiring speech on stage.
“DOST-PCIEERD will continue to support research projects like TOAD to capacitate emerging research progress of SUCs in the region.” Mariño said, noting that the agency intends to accelerate regional development by collaborating with its member institutions from academe such as the BSU. He spoke on behalf of DOST-PCIEERD Executive Director Carlos Primo David.
The rust-proof amphibian vehicle was developed through the support of DOST-PCIEERD Regional Consortia Program, with the guidance of DOST Regional Office 4. The total cost was P1.4 million, with the DOST spending P500,000 and the rest by the university. Nevertheless, it is said to be much cheaper than other amphibian vehicles which usually cost around P3 million.
As revealed by Dr. Ronquillo, TOAD has accommodate six people, and is being powered by two four-stroke gasoline engines – a 22-hp engine for land navigation and a 15-hp unit for water navigation. The development of this first-of-its kind rescue vehicle was in August 2014 and ended in December 2015. Its main purpose is to rescue victims of flooded areas.
TOAD has an average speed of 60 kilometers per hour (kph) on land and 60 knots on water, with its body made of stainless steel and aluminum. To easily track the vehicle, it is equipped with a global positioning system (GPS) which is very vital during rescue and emergency operations. Meanwhile, the DOST is preparing for its mass production and further improvements.