There aren’t many more worthy professions for robotics than something as hazardous as fire fighting, so the US Navy is putting its new robotic platform to good use. Octavia will seek out fires and put them out, interpreting the jumbled, panicked speech of us puny humans to figure out where it is, and its bloody creepy while it does it too.
Octavia is equipped with infrared sensors so she can spot fires easily, and is even smart enough to understand hand gestures and text messages – particularly handy if you happen to be wearing breathing equipment in the middle of a fire. The US Navy is hoping Octavia can be developed into an automated fire fighting system, as apparently fires are the one of the biggest dangers aboard ship, even in peacetime.
Let’s hope they kit her out with a less haunting face before they send her out into the public. That hideous looking doped-up, child-cyborg-like thing would scare the life out of me if it approached me with arms raised. [Wired]