Humanoid(ish) Fire Fighting Robot
IEEE writer Evan Ackerman, reporting from the IROS 2012 conference, shares a story and video about a U.S. Navy experiment using a robot called Octavia to help fight fires.
What’s interesting in this project isn’t the fire extinguishing, but rather the human/robot interaction. The video below illustrates both verbal and gestural interaction, and shows a lot of interesting detail from the robot’s point of view.
I do think this shows where things are headed — robots need to be able to understand humans in real-world situations, and redundant communication channels (visual and auditory, for example) will be important.
(But man… that Octavia is one homely robot!)