Unexpected Advantage of New Robotic Bomb Disposal Tech

060607-N-7987M-025 Fort Story, Va. (June 7, 2006) - Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training and Evaluation Unit Two (EODTEU-2) demonstrates the use of a robot to disarm and defeat improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during a media demonstration at Fort Story. EODTEU is part of the newly formed Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC). Within NECC, all naval expeditionary combat and supply combat elements are integrated so that they are more capable, responsive and effective in their role in the global war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Mandy Mclaurin (RELEASED)

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Bomb disposal robots with technology that allows human operators to “feel” their way through disarming explosive devices have been delivered to the British Army. The system was designed to provide operators with human-like dexterity while they operate the robot’s arm using the remote-control handgrip giving them physical feedback, allowing intuitive detailed control, according to the MoD.

The robots use state-of-the art “advanced haptic feedback”, in which vibration is used to guide an operator’s hand movements as they work to defuse a device from a safe distance.

Haptic technology, also known as haptics, is what creates the vibration sensitivity found in some modern computer game controllers.

Four Harris T7 unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) costing almost £1 million each have been delivered to explosive ordnance units, the first of 56 due to begin service by 2020.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “These robots will go on to be an essential piece of kit, preventing harm to innocent civilians and the brave operators who make explosives safe. “The robots will provide the Army with the latest bomb-disposal technology and will prove to be trusted companions both on UK streets and in deadly conflict zones.”

The T7 also comes with equipment including HD cameras and all-terrain tank-style tracks.

It underwent eight weeks of trials in the UK and United States, as reported by shropshirestar.com.

The robots will replace the British Army’s Wheelbarrow Mk8B remote controlled robots, which have been in operation since 1972 and will be phased out from 2020.