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Some of the most dangerous threats encountered by the military, law enforcement, first responders and emergency personnel – like toxic, airborne chemicals – are often unseen. Whether investigating a potential chemical suicide, raiding a possible meth lab or conducting military reconnaissance in a hostile theater, ensuring safe breathing conditions is paramount to the safety of all involved.

Morphix Technologies, which specializes in the science of detection devices for dangerous chemicals, announced that its chemical and explosive detectors can be paired with unmanned vehicles like aerial drones, throwable robots and EOD robots to detect dangerous chemicals and explosives, keeping military, law enforcement and first responders safe.

According to ammoland.com, the Chameleon Chemical Detector and TraceX Explosives Detection Kit are colorimetric (work through color change) and have several advantages over electronic detectors when used with an unmanned vehicle.

Electronic detectors require specialized training, a large budget, regular maintenance and are often fragile. Using one with an unmanned vehicle is also difficult and often requires extensive technical collaboration between the unmanned vehicle manufacturer and the chemical/explosive detector manufacturer. Many small unmanned vehicles are only able to carry a light payload. However, Morphix’s chemical and explosive detectors are easy-to-use, lightweight, inexpensive and durable.

The Chameleon Chemical Detector can hold up to 10 cassettes, each of which detects a particular toxic chemical. Thanks to its simple color-change chemical detection system, it’s easy to know if chemical danger is present.

The Chameleon is wearable, attached to the arm, or can easily be attached to a ground unmanned vehicle (UGV) or an aerial unmanned vehicle (UAV), using the Chameleon armband, or the hook and loop on the bottom of the Chameleon holder.

Once the Chameleon is attached, the user simply maneuvers the unmanned vehicle to the area of concern and then returns the unmanned vehicle so the user can look for a color change. Alternatively, the user can position the Chameleon so that the unmanned vehicle’s camera can allow the user to view a color change remotely.

According to the company’s website, the Chameleon chemical detector is designed for use in arctic, tropical and desert conditions, and it can be immersed in water, thus often used by naval boarding teams.

The company’s website says Morphix has prioritized its product development based on the advice of U.S. military and law enforcement agencies, so Chameleon chemical detection cassettes are available for many of the high-risk Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs) identified by the U.S. government.

The TraceX Explosives Detection Kit is designed to help identify bombers, bomb-makers, and their bomb-making facilities. The kit can fit into a pocket and once deployed can detect most common explosive materials and their precursors at trace levels in a single test.

While most colorimetric kits are not compatible with an EOD robot, the TraceX collector works with any EOD or bomb squad robot that has an arm and claw. This approach allows the user to keep a safe distance away from the suspicious material.