Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ingenious Self-Driving Vehicle Saves Lives by Detecting Roadside Bombs

Wired - Improvised explosive devices, mines, and other kinds of roadside bombs are a major threat to U.S. troops serving overseas. That may be about to change, and not just because we’re pulling out of Afghanistan.

U.S. defense contractor Oshkosh Defense already keeps soldiers away from harm with the M-ATV, an armored vehicle specially designed to resist blasts from IEDs and mines. Even better, it detects explosives using special ground penetrating radar and a 12-wheeled mineroller which attaches to the front of the M-ATV.

But that’s not quite good enough: Oshkosh wants to move soldiers even further from the danger zone by putting them in another vehicle entirely and making the minesweeping truck drive itself.

Minesweeping is a “very dangerous job where unmanned ground vehicle technology could have a big payoff in saving lives,” says John Beck, head engineer for Oshkosh’s Unmanned Systems group.   Read More