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.