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Coming soon: A robot to diffuse roadside bombs

LONDON (PTI): You can say it's straight from a science fiction, but scientists are on track to develop in reality a robot which they claim can be used by British army to diffuse deadly roadside bombs in war zones.

Bomb disposal troops, well away from the device, will wear a cyberglove linked remotely to the robot which will copy their hand movements to defuse an explosive, according to British scientists.

The limb is manoeuvred by 20 tiny motors and is so sensitive that it can even tenderly handle soft fruit without leaving a mark.

“The benefits are obvious and a lot of people are very excited by this piece of kit. Bomb disposal is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world and anything that takes the human out of that situation is of major interest,” a senior military source was quoted by the News of the World as saying.

In fact, Britain's Ministry of Defence began testing the robo-hand, made by The Shadow Robot Company, six months ago and it could be in service in Afghanistan's dangerous Helmand Province as soon as next year.

Company Director Rich Walker said: “That sort of precision is essential when you're disconnecting the red or the blue wire.”

An MoD spokesman said: “We are committed to delivering the best equipment for our armed forces. The threats they face are continually evolving and we must always try to stay one step ahead of the opposition.”

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