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Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Firefighting Robots Onboard 2013
Credit: Virginia Tech
Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, NRL, Virginia Tech and University of Pennsylvania have formed an interdisciplinary team to develop a humanoid robot that could fight fires on the next generation of combatants. They plan to test the firefighting robot in a realistic firefighting environment onboard the ex-USS Shadwell in late September 2013. A humanoid-type robot was chosen because it was deemed best suited to operate within the confines of an environment that was designed for human mobility and offered opportunity for other potential warfighting applications within the Navy and Marine Corps. The firefighting robot, called the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR), is being designed to move autonomously throughout the ship, interact with people, and fight fires, handling many of the dangerous firefighting tasks that are normally performed by humans. The humanoid robot should be able to maneuver well in the narrow passages and ladderways that are unique to a ship and challenging for most older, simpler robots to navigate.