April 3, 2012

Robot Firefighters To The Rescue

Meet Octavia, a new firefighting robot from the Navy's Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research (LASR) in Washington, D.C.

Octavia and her brother Lucas are the the latest in firefighting technology. 

These robots can hear commands, see through infrared cameras, identify patterns, and algorithmically make decisions on diverse information sets.

While the current prototypes move around like a Segway, future versions will be able to climb ladders and get around naval vessels.
It is pretty cool seeing this robot spray flame retardant to douse the fire, and you can imagine similar type robots shooting guns on the front line at our enemies.

Robots are going to play an increasingly important role in all sorts of jobs, and not only the repetitive ones where we put automatons, but also the dangerous situations (like the bomb disposal robots), where robots can get out in front and safeguard human lives.

While the technology is still not there yet--and the robot seems to need quite a bit of instruction and hand waving--you can still get a decent glimpse of what is to come.

Robots with artificial intelligence and natural language processing will be putting out those fires all by themselves...and then some. 

Imagine a robot revolution is coming, and what we now call mobile computing is going to take on a whole new meaning with robots on the go--autonomously capturing data, processing it, and acting on it.

I never did see an iPhone or iPad put out a fire, but Octavia and brother Lucas will--and in the not too distant future!


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