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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2012

Ioan Doroftei and Yvan Baudoin

At present, more than 100 million undetonated landmines left over from wars remain buried worldwide. These mines kill or injure approximately 3,000 individuals each year…

Abstract

Purpose

At present, more than 100 million undetonated landmines left over from wars remain buried worldwide. These mines kill or injure approximately 3,000 individuals each year (80 persons per day), most of them civilians. They represent a particularly acute problem in developing countries and nations already economically hard hit by war. The problem of unexploded mines has become a serious international issue, with many people striving to find a solution. The purpose of this paper is to examine the requirements of the robotic systems for humanitarian demining purposes. It will discuss a hexapod walking robot developed at the Royal Military Academy of Brussels in collaboration with the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, in the framework of the Humanitarian Demining Project (HUDEM).

Design/methodology/approach

Considerations for the design of the walking robot according to the humanitarian demining requirements are discussed in detail.

Findings

A successful walking robot design for demining purposes must consider functional requirements relevant to this difficult application. The principal requirements are mentioned in this paper.

Originality/value

This paper is the result of the research of the HUDEM project team and it is of value to engineers and researchers developing robotic systems for humanitarian demining purposes.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1997

J.‐D. Nicoud

Outlines sustainable humanitarian demining procedures and some of the breaching and post‐conflict demining equipment currently in use. Explains that several projects have…

Abstract

Outlines sustainable humanitarian demining procedures and some of the breaching and post‐conflict demining equipment currently in use. Explains that several projects have proposed the use of autonomous robots to search for antipersonnel mines. However, none has solved the problem which exists on the sensor side, and it will take several years before a combination of sensors will be available and sufficiently tested in order to give full confidence that all the mines have been discovered. Describes the major problems facing humanitarian deminers, including the need for cost‐effectiveness and the difficulty of defining the precise boundaries of suspected minefields.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 May 2010

Abstract

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2003

Gregory L. Bier

Leaders of the world economy take the infrastructure dimension of the environment for granted. As these leaders attempt to develop trade with third‐world countries they…

Abstract

Leaders of the world economy take the infrastructure dimension of the environment for granted. As these leaders attempt to develop trade with third‐world countries they are naÏve about constraints placed on development by past civil strife. When the international community helps to reconstruct and develop trade with these countries it must acknowledge the damage often caused during the conflict. Often this means dealing with the removal of landmines. Economic leaders often relate rebuilding the infrastructure and ridding the country of landmines to the military even while militaries are ill equipped for this. Concludes that an understanding of the intricate nature of infrastructure issues in the transition from conflict and strife to peace must be built.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Hector Montes, Lisbeth Mena, Roemi Fernández and Manuel Armada

The aim of this paper is to introduce a hexapod walking robot specifically designed for applications in humanitarian demining, intended to operate autonomously for several…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to introduce a hexapod walking robot specifically designed for applications in humanitarian demining, intended to operate autonomously for several hours. To this end, the paper presents an experimental study for the evaluation of its energy efficiency.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the interest of using a walking robot for detection and localization of anti-personnel landmines is described, followed by the description of the mechanical system and the control architecture of the hexapod robot. Second, the energy efficiency of the hexapod robot is assessed to demonstrate its autonomy for performing humanitarian demining tasks. To achieve this, the power consumed by the robot is measured and logged, with a number of different payloads placed on-board (always including the scanning manipulator arm assembled on the robot front end), during the execution of a discontinuous gait on flat terrain.

Findings

The hexapod walking robot has demonstrated low energy consumption when it is carrying out several locomotion cycles with different loads on it, which is fundamental to have a desired autonomy. It should be considered that the robot has a mass of about 250 kg and that it has been loaded with additional masses of up to 170 kg during the experiments, with a consumption of mean power of 72 W, approximately.

Originality/value

This work provides insight on the use of a walking robot for humanitarian demining tasks, which has high stability and an autonomy of about 3 hours for a robot with high mass and high payload. In addition, the robot can be supervised and controlled remotely, which is an added value when it is working in the field.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2009

Manjula Hemapala, Vittorio Belotti, Rinaldo Michelini and Roberto Razzoli

Humanitarian demining is addressed as an engineering‐driven duty, aiming at optimal price/effectiveness figures, joining low‐cost robotics and flexible automation. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Humanitarian demining is addressed as an engineering‐driven duty, aiming at optimal price/effectiveness figures, joining low‐cost robotics and flexible automation. The mine sweeping is highly dangerous task, and safety is sought by automatic rigs, with remote steering and control. The small price is achieved with resort to locally available equipment, technology and know‐how.

Design/methodology/approach

The robotic solutions are split at three levels: the mobility enabler, exploiting standard agricultural machinery; the demining outfits, specialising cheap end‐effectors; the robot path planner, exploring reliable remote govern options. The approach aims at the pace‐wise deployment of consistent rigs with assessed productivity and tiny investment.

Findings

The paper explores basic ideas to modify common agricultural machines, placing in front proper effectors and specifying the guidelines needed to choose both carriers and suitable demining tools. The remote command logic of the suggested demining strategy is then outlined, specifying the communication and instrumentation for the case study. Finally, the warning/emergency occurrences management is described.

Practical implications

The ensuing robotic equipment joins the remote‐command abilities, with safe and reliable management of dangerous tasks and emergency healing, to the technological appropriateness (shared know‐how and commitment) and the price tag fitness (on‐place device availability). The final set‐up grants dramatic up‐grading, as compared with the current demining practice.

Originality/value

Unmanned mine‐clearing is presently a sophisticated accomplishment of the industrialised countries' armies. By the prospected methods/fixtures, the technical/economic feasibility of the practice is shown to be practicable in third‐world countries.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1997

James Trevelyan

There is a widespread belief that the global land‐mine problem can be solved using a combination of advanced robotics, sophisticated sensors and powerful computing…

Abstract

There is a widespread belief that the global land‐mine problem can be solved using a combination of advanced robotics, sophisticated sensors and powerful computing devices. Recent research results suggest that this confidence is misplaced. There is little likelihood of sensing improvements in the short‐term and all the proposed robotic solutions are too expensive to be practical for humanitarian demining operations in countries like Angola, Afghanistan and Cambodia. However, simple equipment improvements and low‐cost robotic devices might provide some useful improvements in safety and cost‐effectiveness in the short‐ to medium‐term. Reviews contributions in robotics and sensing technology, and proposes some practical directions for future work.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2012

Marija Đakulovic and Ivan Petrovic

The purpose of this paper is to present a path planning algorithm for a non‐circular shaped mobile robot to autonomously navigate in an unknown area for humanitarian

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a path planning algorithm for a non‐circular shaped mobile robot to autonomously navigate in an unknown area for humanitarian demining. For that purpose the path planning problem comes down to planning a path from some starting location to a final location in an area so that the robot covers all the reachable positions in the area while following the planned path.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed algorithm uses occupancy grid map representation of the area. Every free cell in the grid map represents a node in the graph being searched to find the complete coverage path. The complete coverage path is followed by the dynamic window algorithm, which includes robot's kinematic and dynamic constraints.

Findings

The proposed algorithm finds the complete coverage path in the graph accounting for the dimensions of the mobile robot, where non‐circular shaped robots can be easily included. The algorithms are implemented under the ROS (robot operating system) and tested in the stage 3D simulator for mobile robots with a randomly generated simulation map of an unknown area.

Research limitations/implications

Some parts of the area close to obstacles are hard to cover due to complex non‐circular shaped robot and non‐perfect path following. The future work should include better path following algorithm.

Practical implications

The proposed algorithm has shown itself as effective and could meet the working demands of humanitarian demining.

Originality/value

The algorithm proposed in the paper enables complete coverage path planning of non‐circular shaped robots in unknown areas.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2011

Robert Bogue

This paper aims to examine the present‐day use of, and future prospects for, robots for detecting mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), with an emphasis on the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the present‐day use of, and future prospects for, robots for detecting mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), with an emphasis on the key operational requirements.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an introduction to the impact of mines and IEDs, this paper considers the problems with their detection and considers the techniques used. It then highlights their limitations and identifies key detection requirements. The remainder of the paper discusses the present‐day and future role of robots, notably for IED detection and humanitarian demining. This is followed by a brief conclusion.

Findings

This shows that mines and IEDs pose a major military and humanitarian threat but existing detection methods, including robots, suffer from many shortcomings. Robotic technologies that offer prospects are discussed but many specific requirements must be met if robotic solutions are to exert any real, future impact.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the need for improved mine and IED detection methods and identifies the factors that need to be taken into account if robots are to contribute meaningfully to these tasks in the future.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2012

D. Sanz‐Merodio, E. Garcia and P. Gonzalez‐de‐Santos

Reducing energy consumption in walking robots is an issue of great importance in field applications such as humanitarian demining so as to increase mission time for a…

Abstract

Purpose

Reducing energy consumption in walking robots is an issue of great importance in field applications such as humanitarian demining so as to increase mission time for a given power supply. The purpose of this paper is to address the problem of improving energy efficiency in statically stable walking machines by comparing two leg, insect and mammal, configurations on the hexapod robotic platform SILO6.

Design/methodology/approach

Dynamic simulation of this hexapod is used to develop a set of rules that optimize energy expenditure in both configurations. Later, through a theoretical analysis of energy consumption and experimental measurements in the real platform SILO6, a configuration is chosen.

Findings

It is widely accepted that the mammal configuration in statically stable walking machines is better for supporting high loads, while the insect configuration is considered to be better for improving mobility. However, taking into account the leg dynamics and not only the body weight, different results are obtained. In a mammal configuration, supporting body weight accounts for 5 per cent of power consumption while leg dynamics accounts for 31 per cent.

Originality/value

As this paper demonstrates, the energy expended when the robot walks along a straight and horizontal line is the same for both insect and mammal configurations, while power consumption during crab walking in an insect configuration exceeds power consumption in the mammal configuration.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 39 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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