Chemical-sniffing robots to be used by army

By | July 17, 2008

The military is upgrading to a new robot that will replace the current bomb-spotting robots that are proving to be too fragile to use in current situations anymore. The new robot, called the CUGV (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Unmanned Ground Vehicle), will be a lot more durable and will be able to perform more tasks including “sniff” for chemicals as well.

The reasoning behind the chemical detection is to help clean up hazardous sites in Iraq and Afghanistan that have been caused by the destruction. The CUGV is able to detect traces of ammonia, carbon monoxide, chlorine, gamma radiation, dangerous organic compounds, oxygen levels, and a few more measurements. It will certainly prove beneficial for the army, especially when they need to estimate the safety of a location.

The robot is expected to be sent to Afghanistan and Iraq this coming fall. The machines will not only let soldiers go into places where they need to be faster, but it may even reduce the need for protective suits in some instances, which means the soldiers will be able to retain their normal mobility. Some of the current chem suits that soldiers were are very bulky, not to mention uncomfortable due to the heat and humidity which is trapped inside of them. The CUGV’s will also be able to stay at dangerous sites longer than any human, since the chemicals won’t do any damage to them. Soldiers currently have time limits in those situations due to limited supplies of oxygen within the protective suits.