Demining – making it safe for communities to move on
Improving safety is one of the many benefits of robotics. Ensuring mine fields have been cleared to allow civilian populations to safely use a previously no-go area is certainly a huge one.
The project aims to deliver an autonomous vehicle that can navigate fields that contain hidden landmines, detect them, destroy them safely, before removing the debris, enabling local populations to safely use that field.
While landmines cause significant civilian and clearance worker deaths, they also have non-lethal effects such as denying locals access to their own fields or paths – effectively expelling those people from those lands, or denying paths to schools and markets. These non-lethal effects cause people to become refugees or to miss out on schooling or other economic opportunities.
According to Dr Paulo Borges from CSIRO Data61, “the key benefits of the project are removing the fear that a misstep can cost these local populations their lives by delivering increased safety and also speeding-up the laborious process of land mine detection and demining”.
The project follows the UN convention for clearance of mine fields and is critical in areas like Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa.
The project is expected to run for a number of years and it is set to continue ensuring robots assist humans, especially in situations where humans themselves would not be able to perform a task.
For more information, contact Dr Paulo Borges.