Israel develops bomb-detecting robot to save soldiers' lives

The system is based on the Israel Aerospace Industries’ robotic kit, enabling faster, more efficient execution of missions.

 An explosive device detection system of the SAHAR family installed on a "LR-II" vehicle (photo credit: IAI)
An explosive device detection system of the SAHAR family installed on a "LR-II" vehicle
(photo credit: IAI)
Israel Aerospace Industries has completed the development of an autonomous system that can identify, locate and destroy improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines before troops reach them, the company announced on Sunday.
The system is installed on a robotic platform made by IAI and integrates a combination of multiple sensors that detect IEDs which may be hidden in “complex areas.”
The robotic engineering scout can be maneuvered autonomously without danger to troops, and can detect, engage and remove the IEDs by using a blade installed on the vehicle.
“The completion of the development of the autonomous IED detection system... and its delivery to operational trails is another significant quantum leap in the field of unmanned vehicles,” said IAI Robotic Systems Division general manager Meir Shabtai
The IDF neutralizes 100 explosive devices which were hurled at troops during the protests on Friday. (IDF Spokesperson"s Unit)
“The system provides a full end-to-end, effective, threatened-routes clearing solution, operations which have been done heretofore by troops, with significant danger to their lives,” he added.
The robotic system enables faster, more efficient execution of missions without risk to human life. It combines a number of different detection devices capable of finding explosives on and under surfaces, and the engineering capabilities for neutralizing them. The system can be operated in any terrain and has a precision system that generates a real image of the area for its operator.
The device will now be transferred for trial and evaluation purposes, according to IAI.
While IEDs and mines are not new to the battlefield, their use has become a matter of concern for modern armies, both in regular and asymmetric warfare.
Weekly protests along the Gaza border have seen hundreds of IEDs used against IDF troops. The military has warned of an increased use of such devices after explosives were planted near the security fence and attached to balloons launched from the coastal enclave into southern Israel.
In March, four IDF soldiers were wounded, including two seriously, when an IED hidden inside a Palestinian flagpole at the security fence detonated next to their military jeep as they patrolled the border of the southern Gaza Strip.
The system is part of the SAHAR IED detection family, which includes a number of robotic platforms that can locate hidden or buried explosives before clearing them. Each system includes the robotic platform, a control system and detection payloads.
Last summer IAI announced that it had begun testing its Counter Improvised Explosive Device and Mine Suite (CIMS) mobile system, which can identify, locate and destroy improvised explosive devices and mines.
Primarily intended for patrols during routine security missions on Israel’s borders, CIMS can be operated day or night and in any weather conditions and environment. A large, rectangular multi-sensor system is placed directly in front of armored vehicles, allowing it to search and destroy IEDs.
According to IAI, CIMS has a 270-degree visual radius. When an IED or mine is identified, the system alerts soldiers with warning sounds and indicators displayed on a screen. The system also includes a firing position from where troops can shoot at the explosive device to destroy it without having to leave the safety of their vehicle.