Two years ago, the Navy wanted shipboard autonomous firefighting robots, or SAFFiR, aboard its vessels.
Fast forward to today, and that wish is nearly a reality, as engineers from Virginia Tech, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California have completed the SAFFiR project.
According to the BBC:
The robots are expected to perform a variety of tasks – balancing, turning valves, picking up and dragging a fire hose and jetting water on the fire.
They also have a vision system to search for survivors.
The synthetic makeup of the robots would allow for them to handle higher temperatures than humans.
The robots will be made with “Advanced human-robot interaction technologies, including gesture and natural language dialog, to enable teaming with human firefighters,” according to the Office of Naval Research’s website.
The BBC also reported that two different versions of the robot will soon be tested aboard the USS Shadwell, a decommissioned Navy ship that has been used to test new firefighting equipment in the past.