Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Comet III

While fashionable bipedal entertainment robots grab all the headlines and certainly will change our lives in the future, some robot researchers are trying to make a real difference in the most needy places in the world right now. One such researcher is Kenzo Nonami at Chiba University. His group are building the "Comet" series of robots. The latest of which, Comet III is shown above. These robots are designed to detect land mines. In particular they will first be used in Afghanistan, a country which has 10 million mines that kill up to 300 people a month. Detecting the mines is a dangerous and slow job that is just crying out to be automated. Comet III is a big 900 kg robot that can move around on caterpillar tracks for speed and on 6 insect-like legs when it needs to pick its way through a minefield. It can negotiate terrain autonomously using advanced stereo-vision. It detects mines using metal detectors and ground piercing radar, marking the area for mine clearance machines. Some of the technology in Comet III will be used next year in another prototype that the team will take to Afghanistan for field testing. Comet IV is already being built. You can check out the labs homepage here.


Anonymous used metal detectors said...

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If you have a moment, why not hop over and take a look at my report on metal detectors.

11:22 PM  

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