University of Coimbra modifies robot to detect landmines

I suppose when you send a robot out to clear mines, it is a whole lot less stressful than being out there in the open field by yourself, taking very special care not to disturb anything untoward under the ground. Better have a robot blow up than me, right? The University of Coimbra in Portugal decided to make good use of their donated Husky UGV by Clearpath Robotics in transforming it to function as an autonomous mobile mine detector.

In 2012, Clearpath Robotics decided to give away a customized Husky UGV to a worthy cause, and what could be more worthy than keeping us humans from getting blown up. The University of Coimbra in Portugal has taken its free Husky and turned it into an clever little autonomous mobile mine detector. Huskies don’t come stock with the ability to detect mines. Or rather, they may be able to detect one single mine once. By accident. Catastrophically. To get the robot all set to not blow itself (or anyone else) into tiny little chunks, the team at Coimbra added sensors for navigation and localization (GPS, stereo vision, and a laser), as well as (more importantly) a customized two-degrees-of-freedom arm equipped with both a metal detector and a ground penetrating radar system.

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