a human face to autonomous machines

mine victims

“Minesweeper” to Aid Soldiers

Cornell Daily Sun

By Nathan Sermonis

Students hope unmanned vehicle will identify landmines

“Recognizing the deadly humanitarian crisis posed by landmines throughout the world — indiscriminately killing upwards of 20,000 people every year, according to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) — Cornell engineering students are developing a new machine to aid in mine removal projects around the globe.

“Starting last fall, a team of students in the College of Engineering began designing an autonomous robotic vehicle — the Cornell Mines­weeper — that can detect and mark underground landmines. Their vision for the vehicle is to create an inexpensive, entirely unmanned detector that can independently scour dangerous areas, identifying mines that often kill mine removal personnel. This would effectively reduce unnecessary casualties in the removal process.

“’The concept of removing the man from the mine is good … the deminer is frequently, unfortunately, the subject of an accident,’ said Noel Mulliner, technology coordinator for the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

“The team, led by project leader Vikas Reddy ’08, came together to undertake the design challenge because of shared interests in finding a solution to the tragic landmine dilemma.

“’These were laid years ago to kill soldiers; now they’re killing innocent civilians,’” Reddy said.” . . .
(full article)

Source: Cornell Daily Sun

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