SAFFiR (Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot) stands 5 feet 10 inches and weighs 143 pounds. The unique mechanism design on the robot equips it with super-human range of motion to maneuver in complex spaces.
Its upper body has been designed to manipulate fire suppressing equipment and even to throw propelled extinguishing agent (PEAT) grenades.
The US Navy is looking at technology to help it battle shipboard fires, using fire-resistant robots to enter the smoky holds of its fire-stricken warships.
The team equipped the robot with a suite of sensors that include a camera, a gas sensor and a stereo infrared camera that will allow it to find its way through the choking black smoke that would deter human firefighters.
With enough battery power for 30 minutes of firefighting, SAFFiR is capable of walking in all directions, balancing in rough seas, and stepping around obstacles.
While the next generation of the robot will be designed with enhanced intelligence, communications capabilities and extended battery life, the robot would likely always take its orders from a human in a console.
The SAFFiR prototype was tested aboard the decommissioned warship USS Shadwell last year and unveiled at the Naval Future Force Science & Technology EXPO this month.