SCAMP De-Mining Robot Takes Sting Out of Minefield Strolls

Landmines are proof that the human race is made up of total assholes. Leave it to SCAMP—engineered by a firm with the poetically twisted name Humanistic Robots—to clean up that little mess.

SCAMP stands for Specialised Compact Automated Mechanical-clearance Platform. True to its name, it's an automated rolling cage containing six pistons which apply pressure to the ground, which it touches using metal disc rollers that can withstand a limb-flinging blast from a landmine. The key is the pressure it applies to the ground—it's a 100-to-300-pound deep-tissue massage that gets a landmine all turned on.

From what I can tell from these images, the automated part comes from that steering tractor you can see behind the platform in the second shot. I suppose it's also possible to push it with a manned tractor, like in the first shot.

Core77 says that the inventor—Humanistic Robots founder Josh Koplin—developed the SCAMP after trips to wartorn stretches of Bosnia, Afghanistan, Cambodia and other countries. According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the advantage is that this sucker can clear an acre in a day, versus the 20 square feet a very brave person can manage on his or her own.

There are apparently up to 100 million landmines currently on the ground, in 85 countries. Even at an acre a day, that's a lot of work for a lot of SCAMPs. Good thing the DoD is already handing the company cash ($US2 million just this past month), so that they can get something out there rolling around in explosives-laden ground by end of 2009. [Core77 and, with more great pictures]

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