U.S. Navy Developing Robot Firefighter

Posted on February 7, 2015

U.S. Navy firefighter robot named SAFFiR

The U.S. Navy is developing a robot firefighter. A robot prototype named the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) was unveiled at the Naval Future Force Science & Technology EXPO on February 4, 2015. The robot is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 143 pounds.

The robot was developed by Virginia Tech researchers. The bipedal robot is capable of walking across uneven floors and unstable terrain. It uses thermal imaging to identify overheating equipment and fires. The robot also has sensors for detecting infrared stereovision and a rotating laser for light detection and ranging (LIDAR).

Dr. Thomas McKenna, ONR program manager for human-robot interaction and cognitive neuroscience, says in a statement, "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."

The robot can be seen slowly making its way to the fire in this raw footage. When it spots the fire the robot aims the hose and fires a blast of water. The robot continues pouring water on the fire until the fire is out. Take a look:

Photo: U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams

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