WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Smokey the Bear could soon be getting a robotic ally in his fight against fires, reports WTKR-TV.

The Navy has unveiled a prototype of a two-legged machine that can go where humans can’t in order to extinguish a blaze.

“We set out to build and demonstrate a humanoid capable of mobility aboard a ship, manipulating doors and fire hoses, and equipped with sensors to see and navigate through smoke,” said Dr. Thomas McKenna with the Office of Naval Research.

In a demonstration, Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) walked across uneven floors, used thermal imaging to identify an overheated compartment and finally employed a hose to put out the fire.

The robot was developed in collaboration with Virginia Tech.

“This robot, you’ll be able to send it into dangerous situations without having to send a sailor in there first,” explained Virginia Tech graduate assistant John Seminatore.

The Navy hopes SAFFiR will make putting out shipboard fires safer and easier.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


Leave a Reply