Robots Helping Fire Fighting in Water
Numerous incidences take place in which the fire disasters happen in water, especially to the naval fleets and the victims could be naval or merchant ships in the process. Various methods are adopted for fighting the fire and the most effective among them as has been found out by the scientists in United States is fighting fire with the use of robots. Not only are these robots very helpful in fighting fire but they can keep the naval firefighters against possible harm by fire.
Adult Size Firefighting Robot Prototype
The scientists have invented a prototype of fire fighting robots and the report has also come out in the Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo that was staged in Washington D.C. The program was sponsored by the United States Office of Naval Research and the exposition was found to be one of the most perfect venues to show off the futuristic robot that is equipped to appropriately fight the fires at the sea.
Name that is given to the robot is SAFFIR which is the short form for Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot. Till date many automatic robots were invented and many of them were working in various sectors that helped people to get the best services and these robots that are named as SAFFIR is specifically designed to fight fire. Human capability and resistance is always limited and that is why there were several instances where the firefighters suffered casualties, injuries and even death. But the induction of robots to perform these duties will substantially reduce the risks to human beings.
It would be interesting to learn about the features of SAFFIR that stands on a couple of legs like the human beings. It has many resemblances with human being and their anatomies. They look like adult human species and the height comes to around 5 feet and 10 inches or 1.8 meters to be precise. The robot comes with the weight of around 140 lbs or 64 kilograms. It is without doubt one of the most effective and human like robots that was ever created by engineers and scientists.
How it Works
SAFFIR has its own specific way of working as it sees the world around in three different ways. It has a stereo camera that contains a couple of lenses that helps the robot to have a binocular vision like their human counterparts. But the robot also has some additional features apart from these. The thermal imaging camera can detect heat and the robot has the ability to see through smoke that was hitherto a big hindrance for human firefighters. Last but not the least; it also contains laser based range finder that will help the robot to perfectly measure the distance between it and the target object. SAFFIR can hold the fire hose and has the rare ability of detecting as well as putting out any blaze.
The Designers of Robot
SAFFIR was designed by the engineering students who hail from the Terrestrial Robotics Engineering & Controls, a famous lab in the field. Some of them also come from the Extreme Environments, Robotics & Materials Laboratory in the Virginia Tech. The firefighting robot was created as their joint efforts and it was part of the initiative taken by the US Naval forces. One of the unique features of the robot is that it can be also used to carry out routine inspections relating to safety and security on the vessels floating in the sea. They can also patrol for fires and at the same time can put off blazes and thus minimize damages if any in the process.
Looking at the Future
The futuristic robot can easily become the part of regular U.S naval fleets having one on board. Of course the objective is not to replace the existing naval firefighters but the sole aim is that the robot will complement effectively the activities and performances of their human counterparts.
All said and done the invention and designing of the firefighting robot is a huge stride forward in the world of technology in United States and the world. One can foresee the days when robots will be fighting with fire and such other natural disasters in place of human beings in a more efficient albeit less vulnerable manner.