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The firefighting robot, called the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR), is being designed to move autonomously throughout the ship, interact with people, and fight fires, handling many of the dangerous firefighting tasks that are normally performed by humans. The humanoid robot should be able to maneuver well in the narrow passages and ladderways that are unique to a ship and challenging for most older, simpler robots to navigate
Algorithms are being developed to allow autonomous mobility and decision making by the robot as a team member. To enable natural interaction with a human team leader,
the U.S. military also has set its sights on "other potential warfighting applications"
But a military robot designed to follow commands, point fire hoses at targets and toss grenades could very well evolve down the road into a "Terminator" soldier.
The Navy's planned robot builds upon the design of a humanoid CHARLI-L1 robot already created by Virginia Tech. Researchers from Virginia Tech and the University of Pennsylvania continue to work with the Naval Research Laboratory on its more ambitious goals.
Its mere presence attests to some of the ingenuity of rebel fighters who have cobbled together many improvised weapons in their makeshift weapons shops with the help of former bus drivers, technicians and engineering students.