09 Mar 2012

The military has another robotic device to add to its resume.  In this case its a mechanical firefighter.  It can climb ladders and interact with humans.  This robot was developed by the Naval Research Laboratory and is called the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR).  Its primary purpose is to extinguish fires on ships and subs.

SAFFiR is to be tested in 18 months.  SAFFiR can walk through cramped areas and climb ladders just like a human.  It uses sensors that provide real time feedback with titanium springs that behave like "joints".  SAFFiR can respond to human gestures, to such a point that robot and human can work together as a team.  SAFFiR is programmed to track a person's line of sight, so in the event of a fire to one direction, the robot will see both the human and the fire at the same time.  The robot's batteries run out after 30 minutes.

Source:  io9.com

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