Robots are about to become a lot more commonplace in our daily lives. If that much wasn't clear when Boston Dynamics' Spot rebot took an "evening stroll" last month, the Los Angeles Fire Department makes an even better case. This week, it became the first fire department in the US to deploy a "robotic firefighting vehicle."
The LAFD's Thermite RS3 is a 3,500-pound robot that is about the size of Smart car. It's small enough that it can fit through a double set of doors, but, in true Robocop fashion, it can also plow or blast its way through a wall. It features a cannon that can discharge 2,500 gallons of water or foam per minute and align itself vertically to function as a sprinkler. It's operated remotely and can go for 20 hours without refueling. Those imposing treads you see on its side allow it to ascend 70-degree slopes.
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