Classified as a Mobile Dextrous Social Robot, or MDS, the wheeled Segway-like robot called Octavia was introduced by the US Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence (NCARAI). This firefighting wheeled robot was designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Personal Robotics Group and is being marketed by Xitome Design.
Since the US Navy wanted a robot on board ship in order to help humans deal with fires and other emergencies, Octavia seemed to be an ideal choice, although the Navy is still teaching this humanoid to work jointly with humans to locate and deal with actual fires.
Despite being an MDS, this humanoid robot is surprisingly not that advanced or equipped with the latest technology. The robot can, however, locate its position and track complex objects thanks to its operating system, the Fast Linear Optical Appearance Tracker (FLOAT). With this system, Octavia is able to track faces and its position from up to ten feet. It can likewise nod its head and shake it, which is made possible by its Head Gesture Recognizer.
The Set Theoretic Anatomical Tracker, or STAT, tracks the robot’s head, arm, and hand positions. Moreover, Octavia is designed with a moving mouth, eyes, eyelids, and even movable eyebrows. Though these features are somewhat unimportant, they help the navy know that the robot knows or comprehends what is being instructed.
With the designs embedded in Octavia, the Navy is assured of a safer ship, allowing its sailors to focus on other important matters.