The US Navy has begun to test the firefighting abilities of a humanoid robot it has been developing for several years. The Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) walks on two legs, operates a fire hose, and even wears a track suit. The Navy is hoping SAFFiR can one day supplement its traditional human firefighting teams.
“This is a program that’s been going on for about five years basically to develop a humanoid capable of fire suppression,” Thomas McKenna said in an Office of Naval Research (ONR) video about the project. “There’s substantial losses incurred when you have a major fire and you can’t suppress it at an early stage.”
John Farley of the Naval Research Laboratory said that he sees the robot’s quick learning curve as a likely lifesaver.