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15:42, 02 April 2014 Wednesday

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US Navy develops robot firefighters
US Navy develops robot firefighters

The robot firefighters will be tested on how they deal with mock fires this summer.

World Bulletin / News Desk

The US Navy is due to start testing its newly designed crew of robot firefighters, after engineers at Virginia Tech and other US universities finally completed putting the Shipboard Autonomous Fire-fighting Robots (SAFFiR) together.

According to the BBC, testing will begin in the summer to check their abilities to perform simple tasks like balancing, turning valves, picking up and dragging a fire hose and jetting water on the fire as well as searching for survivors.

"The human-sized autonomous robot is capable of finding and suppressing shipboard fires and working seamlessly with human fire-fighters," the Office of Naval Research's said on its website.

Controlled fires will be ignited on the decommissioned USS Shadwell, which is often used for such drills, to see how two types of robots will perform and withstand the heat.

The US military are increasingly working to incorporate robots into their army, with the Pentagon's Darpa (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) testing prototypes of battlefield robots. They have also developed exoskeletal uniforms to help enhance soldiers' abilities.

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