UAS & Robotics

Army to spend $23 million on landmine-hunting robots

Finding and neutralizing landmines is a tedious but very dangerous job, so the Army is planning to turn it over to robots.

The service’s Contracting Command at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., has awarded a nearly $23 million contract to Carnegie Robotics for an Autonomous Mine Detection System (AMDS) being developed to detect, mark and neutralize landmines in support of warfighters in the field, the Defense Department announced.

The Army issued a solicitation in October 2013 for a three-sensor system that could detect buried mines and other scattered explosives, Military and Aerospace Electronics reported at the time. The payloads will be mounted on a small, portable unmanned ground vehicle.

The system will consist of three modules, according to the Army’s project manager for Close Combat Systems:

  • A mine detection and marking payload module that remotely detects and marks surface-laid and buried metallic and low-metallic landmines and scatterable munitions.
  • An explosive hazards detection and marking payload module that remotely detects and marks surface-laid, partially buried and camouflaged explosives.
  • A neutralization payload module that remotely neutralizes surface laid, buried and camouflaged explosives.
Carnegie Robotics, a spin-out of Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center that makes robotics components and custom robotics products, was one of three bidders for the project. Work on AMDS is expected to be completed by March 1, 2018, the Army said.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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