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Robot Firefighter Created By The Navy May Be Next Generation Firefighter

saffir robot

The Office of Naval Research has unveiled a robot prototype that may soon be put to use fighting fires on Navy vessels.

The prototype is dubbed SAFFiR, which stands for Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot. The robot was tested on the decommissioned USS Shadwell, where it put out a small fire with a hose and completed safety tasks, Business Standard reported. SAFFiR was introduced last week at the Naval Future Force Science & Technology EXPO.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Thomas McKenna” author_title=”ONR researcher”]

We set out to build and demonstrate a humanoid capable of mobility aboard a ship, manipulating doors and fire hoses, and equipped with sensors to see and navigate through smoke. The long-term goal is to keep sailors from the danger of direct exposure to fire.

[/quote]

The Navy is now working to create teams of humans and firefighting robots, allowing sailors to work remotely by guiding the robots. The SAFFiR has sensors to see through smoke and it’s capable of performing tasks that include handling hoses, although it requires a human operator. The 5’10” robot, which weighs about 143 pounds, has a greater-than-human range of motion to maneuver in difficult spaces, according to Military Times.

The SAFFiR has been in development for nearly five years, although researchers hope to add new features, such as a bipedal robot that is configured to take shipboard measurements or scan for leaks and corrosion, for example. Efforts will also be made to focus on artificial intelligence, including the ability to respond to gestures and voice command, and provide sensory feedback, according to KSL.

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