Fighting a fire at sea is dangerous business. Flames can race rapidly through narrow passages, sucking up oxygen, turning compartments into ovens and leaving firefighters battling heat and gasping for air.
The ideal firefighter wouldn’t feel heat or pain or need to breathe.
That’s where the Naval Research Laboratory’s Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) comes in. The idea is to have these robots constantly wandering around ships, interacting with the crew and looking for fires.
The NRL is working with the University of Pennsylvania and Virginia Tech to build a next generation prototype based on Virginia Tech’s CHARLI (Cognitive Humanoid Autonomous Robot with Learning Intelligence). You can see a video of CHARLI-L1 here.