Researchers have developed a humanoid robot that can carry heavy equipment, interact with officers and head straight into a face-melting fire without hesitation.
The US Naval Research Laboratory’s Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot, SAFFiR for short, has been in the works for several years as a safety tool for Navy ships.
Recently the advanced bot was brought out for a collaborative demonstration with researchers from Virginia Tech and the University of Pennsylvania, according to the lab.
The bot is designed to learn a ship’s layout, move around autonomously below deck and stay upright even when a vessel is pitching and rolling. Built-in sensors allow it to see through smoke.
Students from the university teams demonstrated complex algorithms that got the robot walking over both manmade and natural terrain, the lab said in a press release.
The teams worked on tech to steer the robot to an open flame while avoiding obstacles.
They also demoed an artificial muscle that would help it lift equipment, walk with a fire hose and activate a nozzle.