Virginia Tech's Robots Will Save You From Disasters

THOR fights fires on ships, while ESCHER will take on disaster areas


At Virginia Tech, robotics researchers have spent the last several years developing sophisticated robots to help humans through a variety of disaster scenarios. The Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) is part of a Navy program to advance autonomous systems that can handle shipboard firefighting duties. THOR, Virginia Tech's DARPA Robotics Challenge robot, was able to successfully put out a fire on a ship last November.

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech is working on a new robot called ESCHER, which is an upgraded version of THOR designed to compete in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Finals in June.

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