Robotics-assisted demining with Gryphon
The threat and consequences of landmines have led to a multitude of alternative research activities in the field of demining. While mine sensor-focused research has been intensive, there has been relatively less attention given to the problem of automating the detection and removal procedure. Understandably, autonomous robot operation and interaction in unstructured field environments are difficult. This paper addresses this by presenting a robot meant to assist humanitarian demining by providing a cheap, fast, reliable and safe alternative to human deminers risking their lives on a daily basis. The robot, named Gryphon, is able to autonomously scan 2 m2 at a time with any type of mine sensor payload. It then presents acquired sensor images to the operator who selects which spots need further investigation or prodding. The robot then appropriately marks the terrain with paint or marking plates. Gryphon has been extensively field tested in Japan, Croatia and Cambodia.
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