"In the war on terror, University of South Florida engineering professor Robin Murphy finds herself a pioneer on the front line with a new kind of soldier: the search-and-rescue robot.... Her father was a mechanical engineer, and growing up in Mobile, Ala., Murphy took notice: 'That's what I always wanted to be.' She immersed herself in science fiction, a passion that one day would lead her to name her robots after female science-fiction writers. 'I never really identified with the heroes, the ones who fought all the space wars,' she says. 'I always thought the scientists who built things for these guys to go and do great things were far more interesting.'... 'I just want to be of use,' she says, as her bustling robot seminar winded down last week. 'You look at what these guys in fire and rescue service have to do. The technology is there to help them. And it's up to my community of scientists to get to where we can give the right technology to the right people at the right time.'"