New System Seeks to Upgrade Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robots, Aid Technicians

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A man-portable tracked robot investigates a suspicious object.
Source: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexis Pentzer.

February 15, 2024 | Originally published by AFRL on January 22, 2024

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO (AFRL) — A new system seeks to aid explosive ordnance disposal, or EOD, technicians by adding a simple and inexpensive system to improve depth detection while controlling disposal robots to manage counter-improvised explosive device, or C-IED, operations. The system, which increases precision and safety for EOD personnel, is the product of collaboration between the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, AFWERX, and Air and Space Force Tech Connect, a service to connect potential partners with Department of the Air Force science and technology experts and opportunities.

“The EOD robot senses its environment using infrared sensors, which is in line with what we do,” said Dr. Mohammad Imran Vakil, senior electronics engineer at AFRL’s sensors directorate. “We’re hopeful our work will save lives and prevent injuries to the Airmen working in the field.”

Vakil specializes in developing sensing system architecture as part of AFRL’s Infra-Red Imaging Systems Lab, using Tech Connect and other outreach methods to stay abreast of new technologies and ideas.

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