A robot firefighter could help and not replace navy firefighter sooner than expected. The robot firefighter is a humanoid robot and it is named SAFFiR or Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting. The machine was created by the scientists from the Virginia Institute of Technology, the Terrestrial Robotics Engineering and Controls Labs and Extreme Environments, Robotics & Materials Laboratory.
Viktor Orekhov helped design and create the robot. The former Virginia Tech doctoral student said that the robot firefighter is not going to completely replace firefighters in the future, but that it is going to help them.
The robot firefighter is about the size of an adult male; it is around 5’10’’ (177 cm), weighs around 141 pounds (64 kilos) and is capable of standing on two legs. The researchers that helped build SAFFiR believe that every navy ship that leaves the port is going to have a robot firefighter on board in the near future.
The robot can be controlled from a distance and the demonstration showed that the robot firefighter can indeed assist sailors in fighting fire, perform inspections on ships and control damage.
John Seminatore, student in mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech who also helped with building the robot, said that the team of scientists has demonstrated a real-world application of robots that nobody has ne before.
According to the scientists who created the robot, the machine someday will be used to carry out safety inspections, patrol for fires and manage fire if fire is detected. Right now the robot firefighter is a user-operated machine, but soon scientists are hoping it to work autonomously as soon as possible.
A prototype of this high-tech machine was revealed on February 4 at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo in Washington, DC.
The idea behind the SAFFiR firefighting humanoid robot is brilliant, as robots have limitless tolerance for radiation, it has infrared eyes that allow it to see through smoke and naturally, it does not breathe, so it will not be affected by smoke.
Aside from infrared eye, SAFFiR also has a spinning sensor on its face that allows it to judge distances to and from objects, such as potential victims. The sensor uses light detection and ranging.
Image Source: Discover Magazine