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US navy's human-like robot to snuff out fires at sea


The robot named Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot or SAFFiR. A US Navy photo by John F. Williams

NEW YORK (PTI): The US Navy has developed a new robot, about the weight and height of an adult male, to fight fires at sea.

The robot named Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot or SAFFiR has the ability to detect dangerous environments and put out blazes.

"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," said Dr Thomas McKenna, the human-robot interaction and cognitive neuroscience manager for the US Office of Naval Research.

"The long-term goal is to keep sailors from the danger of direct exposure to fire," McKenna said.

"So far we've demonstrated the fact that SAFFiR is capable of walking down a hallway and manipulating a fire hose to actually extinguish a fire," said John Seminatore, a graduate research assistant at Virginia Tech's Terrestrial Robotics Engineering and Controls Lab.

Having a SAFFiR robot on a Navy ship will reduce ship's vulnerability to damage and decrease the recovery time while significantly reducing life cycle costs, size and weight of future damage control systems and reducing the risks that would otherwise have to be handled by humans.

The prototype is equipped with state-of-the-art sensors to help it detect gasses and developing fires, according to 'rt.com'.

Advanced human-robot interaction technologies, including gesture and natural language dialogue, can allow the robot to work alongside human firefighters.

The bot was unveiled recently at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo in Washington, DC.

Tags:

SAFFiR  US  Navy  Robot  Fire  Sea  Military  

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