The US Navy will soon be getting firefighting humanoid robots aboard military vessels in an effort to help increase safety and reduce costly repairs in the event of a fire.
The SAFFiR, or Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot, developed by scientists at the University of Virginia Tech, University of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory will be able to seek out and suppress fires using a range of equipment.
SAFFiR Fire Fighting Robot
SAFFiR, which was based on its predecessor Charli-L1, is still missing its arms but when it’s complete will be able to control fire hoses, throw propelled extinguishing agent technology (PEAT) grenades, climb ladders, steps, and interact directly with humans.
The humanoid can balance perfectly in rough waters, and comes equipped with advanced sensors, built-in IR camera, and a gas sensor to help it navigate through smoke, water vapor and fire. The on-board battery provides enough juice to fight fires for up to 30 minutes.
The Navy hopes to have SAFFiR ready for testing on board the ex-USS Shadwell – a fire test ship – sometime during 2013.