Bomb disposal robots have become more popular in the military as technology has continued to advance to the point where they can be more easily controlled remotely, as bomb disposal does require, after all, deft fingers.
The U.K Ministry of Defence announced that the British Army has recently received a few bomb disposal robots that come equipped with haptic feedback, which means that their operators can ‘feel’ what the robotic arms hold or touch via a companion hand grip.
The U.K Ministry of Defence calls the platform ‘game-changing’ and states that the robots have been going through an eight week testing period at sites based in both the U.K and the U.S.
The robots were tested on multi-terrain driving and on battlefield missions. They also faced weightlifting and dexterity tasks and had their abilities tested during live firings, among many other things.
Colonel Zac Scott, Head of the Defence EOD & Search Branch has stated that the robots have “cutting-edge technology to provide EOD operators with unprecedented levels of mobility and dexterity. It represents a step-change in capability for our service personnel and it will save lives.“
The U.K Army will have a ‘fleet’ of 56 robots total by 2020 – called Harris T7 – that will support its Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD).
The program will be replacing the Wheelbarrow Mk8B remote-controlled EOD robots that the U.K Armed Forces have been using since 1972.