A firefighting robot is actually not that new of an idea. When you think about the benefits of building a robot, sticking it into places where humans cannot safely traverse is pretty much the first concept. However, creating a robot that can put out fires and actually walks around like a normal human is something that could be revolutionary.
Firefighting robots that exist now are, at their core, basically just like Roombas. They roll around on wheels to perform a function (in this case, dousing flames). The basic functionality and operability of Roomba is actually a pretty common standard seen in military-grade robots. When it comes to humanoid robots, that’s still very much a concept that exists in laboratories.
But on its way out of that laboratory environment is the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot, or SAFFiR as he’s better known. He walks on two legs but is sturdy enough to almost never be knocked over, and he can be remotely controlled to movie just like a normal human. The goal is to implement him in situations where he could walk down parts of Navy vessels that have caught on fire, a concern that is of utmost importance to the military because of the confined nature of Navy ships. He’s still in testing phases and won’t be put into practical applications until next year, but it is interesting to see the advancement of military robotics.