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Bomb disposal robot developed in Medway

Experts with the bomb disposal robot designed at the University of Greenwich at Medway
Experts with the bomb disposal robot designed at the University of Greenwich at Medway

The Army will be using a robot designed in Medway to help disarm explosives on the frontline.

The remote controlled device has been developed by scientists at the Chatham campus of the University of Greenwich.

The innovative robot, which can climb stairs and even open doors, will be used by soldiers on bomb disposal missions in countries such as Afghanistan.

Measuring just 72cm by 35cm, the robot weighs 48 kilogrammes and can move at speeds of up to eight miles an hour.

Much lighter and more flexible than traditional bomb disposal units, the robot is easier for soldiers to carry and use when out in the field.

It is controlled with a wireless device, similar to a games console and can be operated from a distance of several hundred metres.

It has cameras on board, which relay images back to the operator via the hand-held control, and includes a versatile gripper which can carry and manipulate delicate items.

The robot also includes nuclear, biological and chemical weapons sensors.

The University of Greenwich at Medway has joined forces with Folkestone-based company NIC Instruments, who manufacture security search and bomb disposal equipment, to develop the machine.

Dr Steve Woodhead, from the university’s school of Eegineering, said: “It’s great to be able to employ our specialist knowledge to support a small manufacturing company in its next stage of development, as well as producing a vital security product.”

When the robot is complete it is expected to be purchased by the defence and security forces of several European countries.

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