Humanoid Robot Firefighter Grabs a Hose and Battles a Test Fire Aboard a Naval Battleship

SAFFiR (Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot), a humanoid robot developed by Virginia Tech to fight fires aboard naval ships, put out its first test blaze on the USS Shadwell in Mobile, Alabama. The robot utilizes thermal cameras to detect the location of the fire, grabs a hose, and navigates to the heart of the blaze.

Sensors, including infrared stereovision and a rotating laser for light detection and ranging (LIDAR), enable the humanoid to see through dense smoke. It is programmed to take measured steps and handle hoses on his own, but for now, takes his instruction from researchers at computer console.