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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