SAFFiR, the US Navy’s robot conducted its first tests

SaffirThe approach is still hesitant, agonizingly slow movements, but the firefighter robot of the US Navy project continues. His robot SAFFiR, for Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot has passed its first tests high clip in November last on USS Shadwell, a decommissioned ship. Sufficiently conclusive tests for the Navy presents “publicly” its humanoid its admirals during the Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo.

A research project long term on a firefighter robot

It is in 2011 that US Navy fighter fire robot project was unveiled for the first time. The SAFFiR is designed to assist the teams of fire in case of fire on one of the ships of the Navy. Disaster, the danger is extreme for firefighters: corridors are quickly invaded by toxic fumes, the stored ammunition and fuel add to the danger, where the idea of sending robots to the heart of the fire rather than humans.

The robot SAFFiR present at American admirals during the NavyTechEXPO, 2015. (Photo: U.S. Navy/John F. Williams)

The robot SAFFiR present at American admirals during the NavyTechEXPO, 2015. (Photo: U.S. Navy/John F. Williams)

The project is being conducted by the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), the research campus of the United States Navy with researchers from Virginia Tech and the University of Pennsylvania. Researchers have opted for a humanoid for their firefighter form so that it can move as sailors in the corridors, borrow scales, open doors and much obviously hold a spear to fire. One ambitious since the project has already taken more than a year late and that the capacity of the SAFFiR still seem very limited according to the video aired by the NRL on YouTube.
SAFFiR today measure 1 m 78, weighs 53kg only. To accomplish its mission, the robot is covered sensors to be able to move in this environment as difficult as a boat in flames. The robot has infrared binocular vision, and a LIDAR (Laser for lIght Detection And Ranging) in rotation on the face.
This robot SAFFiR is one of the projects of the research DC-21 program (for Damage Control Technologies for the 21st Century) of the Navy. This program also focuses on development of smart sensors to detect gas toxic and beginnings of fire, the “indoor” use of miniature drones for mapping the damage, new ways to extinguish the fires. Finally, researchers are working on ways of interaction between teams of firemen and their robots to intervention by natural language or gestures. It is still a long-term research project and if the robot has conducted its first tests, it will take several more years before the Humanoids are committed ‘ in the Navy!
Translation : Bing Translator


Sources :

“Making Sailors ‘SAFFiR’ – Navy Unveils Firefighting Robot Prototype at Naval Tech EXPO”, America’s Navy, February 4, 2015

“NRL Designs Robot for Shipboard Firefighting”, Communiqué NRL, March 7, 2012

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