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GovTV: The Navy's new robot firefighter

The Office of Naval Research's latest humanoid prototype, a Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot, is capable of navigating shifting terrain and equipped with both infrared stereovision as well as a rotating laser for light detection.

ONR put the prototype on display Feb. 4 at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology EXPO this week in Washington, D.C.

It was developed by researchers at Virginia Tech to protect sailors from the danger of direct exposure to fire, said Thomas McKenna, ONR's program manager for human-robot interaction and cognitive neuroscience.

The robot, shown in an ONR video below, is capable of operating autonomously, but both developers and ONR officials anticipate a human operator, or "fire boss," will remotely monitor the robot's actions throughout its operations to intervene when necessary.

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Jonathan Lutton is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him at [email protected]

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