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Building a robot firefighter

Atlas, a six-foot-tall, 330-pound robot engineered for use as a first-responder robot, picks up a piece of wood during a demonstration Monday at MIT.
Atlas, a six-foot-tall, 330-pound robot engineered for use as a first-responder robot, picks up a piece of wood during a demonstration Monday at MIT.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

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Even as Boston mourns the loss of two firefighters trapped in a deadly blaze in March, engineers in Massachusetts and around the world are working to develop robots that may one day take the place of humans in dangerous environments--from burning buildings to damaged nuclear power plants.

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