Millions of landmines are still active around the world, with teams of dedicated humans attempting to clear the threat. Obviously this is a dangerous and time-consuming task, and that’s why a team of researchers at University of Coimbra are attempting to automate this task through the use of a robotic minesweeper.
The team have been working on the project since 2012, as part of the Partnerbot Grant Program, designed to support advancements in the robotics field. The team received a Husky unmanned ground vehicle from Clearpath Robotics which then kit out with all the usual localisation sensors alongside a ground penetration radar and metal detected atop a custom built robotic arm.
The project, while in the robotics sense is fairly simple, but if the testing is successful it will provide a powerful tool in demining unexploded ordnance and could save an uncountable number of humans from serious injury and death. And though the relative simplicity, apart form the cost of the sensors, it could provide a reasonably cheap solution for poorer countries where the impact of unexploded mines are largest.