Sunday, March 18, 2007
Japanese use robotic Lassie to pull victims from fires
Ok, so that big hulking autonomous vehicle pictured above looks nothing like little Timmy's bestest bud (except maybe in the later years, when he let the fame get to his head), but Lassie and this yellow Japanese firefighting bot do have one thing in common: no fear of charging into a burning building and pulling out the victims with their jaws or claws, respectively. From the looks of things, these humanitarian-tank-cum-playground-slides are controlled by a remote operator looking through that camera above the headlights -- which is definitely a good thing, because we don't really want robots pinching at us with their hydraulic fingers until machine vision has significantly improved. And of course, team this up with a hosebot, snakebot, or fire-snuffing flower, and you've just obviated the need for millions of firefighters worldwide, as well as crushed the hopes and dreams of countless small, career-minded children.