Firefighting Robot from the Naval Research Laboratory Just Doesn’t Seem to Have That Firefighter Finesse


Using two infrared cameras, a US Navy Research Laboratory prototype robot named ‘Octavia’ is able to localize the fire, allowing “her” to target the fire with a compressed air/water backpack.

#1. Why does the narrator sound like he’s the sports announcer at a golf match? Is it so he doesn’t distract the robot?

#2. What’s with the weird gestures by the human?

#3. This is Octavia: Where is the fire? Maybe if you jammed a smoke detector up my robot nose, I would be able to find the fire myself and not waste all this time with you waving at me with that ridiculous wave.

No offense meant to the excellent work at the Naval Research Laboratory, including the hard work and complexity of designing a robot. We realize this is a prototype., but there is something very weird about this whole shoulder-to-shoulder human-robot interaction style.

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