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Firefighting Robots Could Help US Navy Snuff Out Fires during Sea

SAFFIR Firefighting Robot
The SAFFiR (short for Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot) humanoid bot was grown to one day assistance put out fires aboard U.S. Navy ships.
CREDIT: Virginia Tech

Hose-wielding humanoid robots could one day keep Navy firefighters out of harm’s way.

A antecedent of an adult-size firefighting bot was denounced this week during a Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo in Washington, D.C. Sponsored by a U.S. Office of Naval Research, a carnival was a ideal place to uncover off a unconventional drudge versed to quarrel fires during sea.

The bot’s name is SAFFiR — brief for Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot. Standing on dual “legs,” SAFFiR is about a stretch of an adult man, measuring 5 feet 10 inches (1.8 meters) high and weighing about 140 lbs. (64 kilograms). [The 6 Strangest Robots Ever Created]

The drudge has 3 ways of saying a world: a stereo camera with dual lenses that concede it to see with binocular prophesy (like a human), a thermal imaging camera that enables it to detect feverishness and see by smoke, and a laser operation finder that allows it to map out a stretch between itself and an object. Dexterous adequate to reason a glow hose, SAFFiR can both detect and put out a blaze.

Engineering students from a Terrestrial Robotics Engineering and Controls Lab and a Extreme Environments, Robotics Materials Laboratory during Virginia Tech combined a firefighting bot as partial of a Navy beginning directed during assisting sailors quarrel fires during sea. The bot could one day be used to lift out reserve inspections aboard a ship, unit for fires and control glow repairs if it detects a blaze.

In a future, each Navy boat that leaves pier could have one of these firefighting robots on board, a researchers said.

“It’s not going to reinstate Navy firefighters; it’s going to support Navy firefighters,” Viktor Orekhov, a former Virginia Tech doctoral tyro who helped pattern and build a bot, said in a statement.

SAFFiR was tested several times before being denounced to a universe this week. In Nov 2014, a life-size drudge carried out a three-day proof aboard a USS Shadwell, a decommissioned Navy warship now anchored off a seashore of Mobile, Alabama.

During a demo, SAFFiR was tasked with maneuvering along a slim, low-ceilinged mezzanine to locate a source of a fire. Without descending or stopping, a drudge afterwards had to grasp a glow hose and blast a abandon with water. The bot, that was tranquil from a stretch by a group from Virginia Tech, successfully put out a blaze.

“We have demonstrated a real-world focus for humanoid robots that no one has finished before,” pronounced John Seminatore, a master’s tyro in automatic engineering during Virginia Tech who helped emanate SAFFiR. “Manipulating an dull hose or walking down a mezzanine is really opposite than handling in a heat-warped, soot-filled corridor, boring a hose filled with water.”

Prior to a Nov demo, a engineering students who worked on SAFFiR spent hours aboard a USS Shadwell, scheming a boat for a robot’s test. Hundreds some-more hours were spent contrast a bot in a lab.

Eventually, a Virginia Tech group hopes to get a humanoid bot to act autonomously, though for now, it will continue to be tested as a user-operated machine. Even if a bot does one day turn autonomous, it will still be required for SAFFiR to take remote instruction from sailors and firefighters, a researchers said.

“These robots can work closely with tellurian firefighters but firefighters being directly unprotected to steam or heat, glow and smoke,” Thomas McKenna, a module manager with a Office of Naval Research, pronounced during a demo in November. Robots might one day unit ships, scanning for assumed heat, fume or other issues, and providing a “constant watch” for onboard dangers that sailors might not be means to detect, he said.

Follow Elizabeth Palermo @techEpalermo. Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook  Google+. Original essay on Live Science.

Article source: http://www.livescience.com/49719-humanoid-robot-fights-fires.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A Livesciencecom (LiveScience.com Science Headline Feed)

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