The article gets right that visibility is limited. Let me be more clear. Visibility is often zero -- as in you may as well close your eyes. If you get there before the engine crew is actually putting water on the fire and the smoke layering is still undisturbed, you may have visibility at floor level, but often not. The minute water gets to the fire -- or a heating pipe solder joint melts and the pipe sprays water -- the building fills with steam and the layering is disturbed and conditions are zero visibility. It's also very loud, between the sounds of the fire and the sound of your breathing through the respirator mask.
Now, imagine what's on your living room floor, or your kids rooms, or blocking your hallways. Imagine you don't know the layout of your house and you're blindfolded. Try searching under those conditions, keeping in mind that seconds count as your knees are sticking to melted plastic toys and you're feeling ahead of you to make sure there's no open hole in the floor, stairway, or other hazard, and you're checking to make sure that the engineered joists holding the floor you're crawling across haven't become weakened by the heat to the point where you'll fall through into a burning basement. While doing all that, you've got one hand on the person's gear leg ahead of you (or perhaps a hose line being led by someone ahead you can't see) and your other hand is trying to sweep the floor around you with your tool, and a third hand may be trying to look around with a thermal imaging camera to find a patient on the floor, under a bed, or in a closet. You've got 20 minutes to find what you need before your low-air alarm starts going off and you've got to head out with your crew while another comes in. Meanwhile other crews are banging around trying to put the fire out before the house comes down around you.
Call me skeptical, but I don't see any current robot technology that can do all those things -- let alone do it in several hundred degree heat.