Robots conquer fires, jungle, sandstorms in new Navy training scenarios.

Image: dailymail.co.uk This is Octavia. A disturbingly lifelike robot, she’s…

Image: dailymail.co.uk

This is Octavia. A disturbingly lifelike robot, she’s stationed in the Navy’s brand-new Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research (or, yes, LASR) to teach human sailors how to work with robots and to learn, in turn, how to work with human sailors. Oh, and she fights fires — like the one a Navy scientist lights in a cavernous hangar bay.

While the fire starts burning inside a series of partitions, the scientist — playing the role of a fireman — silently gesticulates at Octavia. The robot’s sensors and algorithms are meant to process the incomplete, contradictory or incorrect information that we humans spew every day. Octavia quickly processes and wheels herself through the entrance way. Once she’s in front of the fire, she sprays her nozzle full of flame-retardant fluid at the blaze. Octavia uses a bit too much, though: Her infrared cameras triangulate a position to the fire, but she lacks heat sensors, so she tends to overdo it.

Source: Spencer Ackerman for Wired.

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