Nope, this firefighting robot is not from a science fiction film, this one will actually be working for the US navy and is now on its way up to performing what it can actually do.
This robot stands at 5’10’ high and weighs 140 pounds. It had successfully executed its mission efficiently while programmers at Virginia Tech and two handlers were standing by in case the towering machine falls.
It has perfectly extinguished the burning chair on the decommissioned USS Shadwell last November 2014. The firefighting robot or SAFFiR (Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot) is a project of Virginia Tech and that U.S. Office of Naval Research.
The robot which is also named THOR could actually walk by itself and can go through the narrow corridors of the USS Shadwell without a problem. The ship had docked in Mobile Bay, Alabama. The robot’s abilities were then tested when it detected heat behind a closed door of a shipmate that when the door was opened it automatically did its job of extinguishing the fire. It also has a three vision systems that has stereo cameras, and infrared camera and laser radar.
“Manipulating an empty hose or walking down a hallway is very different than operating in a heat-warped soot-filled corridor dragging a hose filled with water,” John Seminatore, a Virginia Tech master’s student in mechanical engineering who worked on SAFFiR, said in a news release about the robot, adding, “It was a tense month leading up to the demo, we had never seen where we were testing, never used a real hose, never actually sprayed water… The team did great and the robot performed like a champ.”
The robot has been a successful project which took the makers four years to complete and finally was presented but it is still considered a prototype since according to the Virginia Tech, it would still take years before it can actually operate in the US Navy.
According to a program manager Tom Mckenna, one firefighting robot could at least cost $ 1 million.
“These robots can work closely with human firefighters without firefighters being directly exposed to steam or heat, fire and smoke,” said McKenna.