When we posted about SAFFiR last week (the firefighting robot being developed by Virginia Tech's Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory), the best we could offer you in terms of imagery was a picture of CHARLI, a diagram, and a gratis screenshot of a flaming Terminator robot. Now Dr. Dennis Hong, the director of RoMeLa, wrote in to share these pics of what SAFFiR actually looks like right now.
I dunno about you, but my first reaction to these pics was something along the lines of "whoa, beefy." By comparison, CHARLI looks positively skeletal. Here's another pic of SAFFiR:
To recap, some of the distinguishing features of SAFFiR include those big, serious parallel linear actuators on the hip and ankle joints, titanium springs in the knees, and a central aluminum structure to allow to robot to carry a bunch of grenades and fire extinguishers and stuff. I'm still waiting to see how SAFFiR will manage to climb up ladders on a ship busy doing barrel rolls in a hurricane while on fire, but I think we can all be fairly confident that if RoMeLa can figure that out, more RoboCup wins should be no problem at all.
Via [ RoMeLa ]
Images: Virginia Tech's Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory (RoMeLa)
Evan Ackerman is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Since 2007, he has written over 6,000 articles on robotics and technology. He has a degree in Martian geology and is excellent at playing bagpipes.