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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.
In the past few weeks the United States military launched action against ISIS in the middle east. Part of the strategy in killing the Jihadist group was launching Tomahawk cruise missiles on them. The fully burdened cost of a new Tomahawk cruise missile is roughly $1.6 million.