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News Link • Robots and Artificial Intelligence

U.S. Navy sends fire fighting robots to boot camp

•, Colin Druce-McFadden
 Normally, fires aboard ships aren't something that sailors have to worry too much about nowadays — but then, the U.S. Navy isn't your average yachting club, being that its nominal purpose is to be well prepared for getting shot at.

When a fire breaks out aboard a massive naval vessel, a lot of lives are on the line, and stamping out those flames as quickly as possible becomes very, very important. But if the fire was the result of enemy action or exploding munitions or fuel, getting close enough to the blaze to put it out could kill anyone tasked with saving the ship. That's why the U.S. Navy has recently held a series of tests for a new robotic fire fighter. The robot, being developed in cooperation with researchers from both Virginia Tech and the University of Pennsylvania, is called the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot, or SAFFiR for short.

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