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University of Coimbra Developing Minesweeping Robot #robotics

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There is more and more technology coming out involving humanitarian tasks using robotics. The latest comes from University of Coimbra in Portugal, where they are developing a robot to sweep for land mines. Via gizmag.

A team from the Institute of Systems and Robotics at Portugal’s University of Coimbra is developing a minesweeping robot to assist in the monumental task of clearing the millions of active land mines around the globe. Currently putting it through a series of field testings, the team is working to optimize the robot to automate the manual, and exceedingly dangerous humanitarian, de-mining effort.

After receiving the robot base, the research team fitted it with navigation and localization sensors, a ground penetration radar and a custom robotic arm with an attached metal detector. These were installed to enable the robot to perform three key tasks: perceive terrain characteristics, navigate across the terrain and to detect and localize land mines.

“Minesweeping is an extremely dangerous and time-intensive process,” said Lino Marques, Senior Lecturer at the University of Coimbra and academic liaison for the project. “Robots do not get tired; they can be extremely thorough performing their jobs, and their cost is infinitely smaller than that of a human life. For these reasons, robots are a perfect solution for the minesweeping problem.”

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