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Step aside Siri, firefighting robot Octavia saves the day

The US Navy is developing a robot that can put out a fire, with a little help from voice and gesture inputs.

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Sure, Siri may be able to help you find a nearby coffee shop or plan your daily meetings, but can it put out a very real fire? We thought not. Enter Octavia, a robot developed by the US Navy that can help extinguish blazes.

Octavia is part of a research project at the US Navy's recently formed Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research (LASR). The bot borrows certain technologies from an earlier MIT project dubbed Nexi, including its...uh...somewhat disturbing face (anybody else think it looks similar to this?).

The fire-fighting bot will respond to a series of voice commands and gesture inputs, which it then translates so it can set off on its fire-fighting mission.

Although the robot is still in development, we can't help but think that, in a real-world scenario, the current bot move a little too slowly, and might not be able to respond appropriately to a panicked human. However, as the video suggests, the researchers hope that Octavia will eventually be able to move "shoulder-to-shoulder" with humans.



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