British University Tests Drones That Scan For Evidence Of Landmines

Clever robots seek simple bombs

Antipersonnel Landmine
Antipersonnel landmine MoserB

Landmines never stop waiting. The simple machines are explosives with triggers, set in the ground primed and ready for someone to set them off. For landmines, the war never ends. For humans, war does, and the landmines that once marked the front line between warring factions can change instead to deadly artifacts, a lethal trap for anyone who wanders unknowingly into danger. Getting rid of landmines is a humanitarian concern. To solve it, scientists from the University of Bristol are enlisting the help of drones.

Bristol Mine Finding Drone

A jetsonian droid.

One of the major dangers with landmines is that, while they’re waiting in the ground to blow up, the vegetation around them isn’t, and after a few seasons, plants can grow over the bombs, hiding them from human eyes. But there are other ways to detect them, says John Day of Bristol’s School of Physics:

The project is sponsored by Find A Better Way, a British charity dedicated to finding, well, a better way to get rid of landmines. Watch a video from them below explaining the project, and the roles drones have in protecting humans from the consequences of our wars:

Kelsey D. Atherton

Kelsey D. Athertonis a defense technology journalist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work on drones, lethal AI, and nuclear weapons has appeared in Slate, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.