Kelsey D. Atherton
at 12:16 PM Feb 16 2016
Robots // 

Where there's smoke, there should be firefighting robots. At least ,that's the aim of the humanoid Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR, yes, pronounced “safer”) in development by the Office of Naval Research. The Navy demonstrated the robot last winter, and it was one of the competitors at DARPA's robotics grand challenge last summer. To help SAFFiR walk a little better, the Navy just awarded a $600,000 grant to Worcester Polytechnic Institute to teach the robots how to walk better.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 07:34 AM Feb 10 2015

The US Navy has a brand new robot designed to make ships safer by fighting fires. The “Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot,” or SAFFiR, is a project by the Office of Naval Research that aims to prevent shipboard fires from sending sailors to a watery grave. In the works for years, the Navy unveiled a working prototype of the project this week.

at 09:05 AM Dec 11 2014
Drones // 

With a flick of a videogame-like controller, the sailor locks the laser onto the drone in mid-air. Within seconds, there's a flash of light and sparks, and the drone nosedives straight into the ocean, the latest victim of the U.S. Navy's new Laser Weapon System (or LaWS). The laser, mounted on the USS Ponce, has been stationed in the Persian Gulf for months, and today the Office of Naval Research released video of the first successful, live-fire tests there.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 15:29 PM Oct 7 2014
Drones // 

Call them sea drones, dronaughts, or roboats, the Navy demonstrated a swarm of remotely-controlled boats on the James River in Virginia this August. As if animated by the same mind, the 13 patrol boats all moved in unison, their crewless decks painting a picture of what warfare may soon become. The project, by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), wants to save both lives and costs, keeping sailors out of harms way while still keeping boats in the water.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 07:03 AM Jul 3 2014

The Office of Naval Research works to make sure sailors, admirals, and Marine commandants of the future have as many tools available for winning the wars of the future. At times, this translates into more accurate or more powerful killing tools. A recent contract solicitation reveals that ONR is also looking in the other direction: they want weapons that don't kill, and they want a variety of them. If developed, together these technologies would constitute a range of weapons that could make the next war of counter insurgency a somewhat less bloody affair.

Clay Dillow
at 06:03 AM Aug 3 2012

The U.S. military has been looking for ways to smarten up its dumb projectiles for years - look no further than this GPS guided mortar round recently fielded by the army - hoping to increase lethality while reducing collateral damage. The Navy is no exception to this trend, and the seaborne branch is looking for precision beyond its current arsenal. The Office of Naval Research wants a guided munition for its experimental electromagnetic rail gun that can alter the course of a 9000 kilometer per hour projectile in flight.

Clay Dillow
at 03:21 AM Apr 10 2012

It's tough being a pirate these days. Facing off with foreign navies and missile cruisers on their home turf of the high seas is tough enough for small-arms wielding pirates in diminutive watercraft. Now, the US Navy is bringing in the robots. The Office of Naval Research has plans to imbue its Fire Scout unmanned, ship-launched helicopters with electronic brains capable of identifying the small boats generally used by pirates.

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