ROBOTICS

Robot Can Pinpoint Hiding Enemies

4/1/2011
By Eric Beidel
Instead of risking their lives, troops could turn to a mini-robot to investigate a building in hostile territory.

California-based TiaLinx Inc. has built the Cougar20-H, a robot that can detect motion and breathing inside a structure and be controlled remotely from long distances. The machine uses a tractable arm outfitted with a sensor array to provide standoff surveillance. Multiple cameras allow it to see both day and night.

“Furthermore, it can be used by forces to identify caches of weapons behind a premise or in a compound in remote areas while keeping the operators out of harm’s way,” said Fred Mohamadi, founder and CEO of TiaLinx.

During tests the robot detected slight movements behind an 8-foot thick concrete wall from 40 feet away, he said. It also found a person in the second floor of a building from a distance of 120 feet.

In addition to alerting soldiers to enemy combatants and suicide bombers, the Cougar could be used during rescue operations where access to hard-to-reach areas is crucial. For example, it could locate victims left in the rubble after an earthquake, avalanche or fire, Mohamadi said.

Several U.S. and allied government agencies have expressed interest in evaluating the product.

Topics: Robotics

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