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Drones Used to Find Toy-Like “Butterfly” Land Mines #drone #droneday

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Via Scientific American:

“This drone with this tech may allow you to determine in a much more rapid fashion where the minefield footprint is,” says van Roy, who was not involved in the Binghamton team’s research. “You find the perimeters of the footprint so that you can focus your manual, expensive clearance team in as small an area as possible.”

The idea of using thermal imagery to detect land mines has been explored before but has only recently become more practical, as both drones and thermal imaging cameras get smaller and less expensive. A next step could use computer software to automatically detect land mine signatures in the thermal imagery, Nikulin says. His team hopes to recruit coders to develop a machine-learning algorithm capable of handling image recognition patterns. The goal is to eventually offer a $10,000 boxed set—which would include the off-the-shelf drone, infrared camera and a laptop loaded with custom software—to humanitarian demining organizations.

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