HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog

Humanoid Robot Fights Fires on Ships

Page 1 / 2 Next >
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/3  >  >>
Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Balancing act
Beth Stackpole   6/1/2012 7:38:00 AM
NO RATINGS
I imagine the balance piece is one of the more critical design points for this humanoid fire fighter given that many of this ships could be way out at sea and subject to all kinds of weather. Great idea, though, and a welcome set of hands on deck if such a disaster were to take place.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Balancing act
naperlou   6/1/2012 9:47:12 AM
NO RATINGS
Beth, I expect that a well trained human could do fairly well, but a robot can be programmed to react much faster.  With appropriate sensors the robot could also have some advance notice of events and plan accordingly.  This could be an interesting evolution.

G Cabrera
User Rank
Iron
Re: Balancing act
G Cabrera   6/1/2012 1:13:00 PM
NO RATINGS
These things would be awsome! Anyone who has been on ships know the risks of getting caught in the confined areas of the engine rooms in the event of fires. And usually it would be poisonous smokes resulting from the fires that are more of a danger to human firefighters in these cases.

This is a good step toward ship fire prevention...only...if they did not make it look like the homocidal robot Hector from that 1980 movie 'Saturn 3'. I would be totally on board with this. That robot kinda creeps me out.

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Fighting Fires
apresher   6/1/2012 4:02:33 PM
NO RATINGS
Deb, Very interesting application and use of motion technology. I would think the biggest challenge would be the software algorithms to control movement of the robot, especially to handle challenges like balancing. Thanks.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Balancing act
Rob Spiegel   6/1/2012 4:51:29 PM
NO RATINGS

I agree it is creepy looking. But more and more, we're seeing robots developed to go into dangerous places for surveillance, as well as search and rescue. These developments could save countless human lives.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Balancing act
Charles Murray   6/1/2012 5:47:28 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, Rob. Here, we have a great application for robots -- doing tasks that are just plain dangerous or that humans don't want to do. It's amazing to see how much "muscle" the new breed of robots is providing.  

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Balancing act
Beth Stackpole   6/4/2012 8:30:44 AM
NO RATINGS
@ G Cabrera: I have to admit, I feel the same way, but I held back from saying so. Seeing that robot come lumbering (or tearing) across the ship, depending on how the sensors program it to respond based on environmental conditions, might be enough to send ship mates overboard, retreating in fright--and not just from an onboard fire!

GlennA
User Rank
Gold
Re: Balancing act
GlennA   6/4/2012 9:17:18 AM
NO RATINGS
Rob Spiegel;  Saving lives is probably the driving justification for this.  There would be little concern about sending a robot into a situation that would be deadly for a human because the robot could be repaired, or replaced.  There are certainly more efficient mobile platforms, but a companionway or hatch could be too difficult for a non-humanoid design to navigate.  The tether may be necessary for power, and to send back video to an operator.

I don't recall the article stating if these were supposed to be autonomous or tele-robotic (remotely operated).

roddalitz
User Rank
Gold
Re: Balancing act
roddalitz   6/4/2012 9:50:44 AM
NO RATINGS
With respect I must ask whether humanoid is the most effective design? Certainly Hughey from Silent Running was far more convincing than the Star Wars robots R2D2 and C3PIO. Two legs seems like a biological accident, whereas ants and spiders work fine in most environments without issues of balance.

G Cabrera
User Rank
Iron
Re: Balancing act
G Cabrera   6/4/2012 10:09:45 AM
NO RATINGS
@roddalitz. I would tend to agree with your argument but in this case it was necessary to give the robot humanoid feet. Ships engine compartments have hatch doors that are raised from the ground. To step through would require bipedal action. In this case the design may not have been based on human hubris.  Though...if the robot is tethered how far can it go crossing that threshold. Hmm.

Page 1/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
It's been two years since the Mac Mini's last appearance on iFixit's teardown table, but a newly revised version joins Apple's lineup this week.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service