Autonomous mobile robots, which can be programmed to exhibit cooperative behaviors, are ideal mechanisms for sweeping land mines. They can spread out to hunt for the mines, using a dispersal rule. Once a mine is located, they can congregate to surround it using a clustering rule. Should a robot be destroyed by tripping an unseen mine, the cost is minimal compared to a human life. UALR has been experimenting with coupled oscillator based rule generators for several years using fragile, indoor robots in a laboratory setting to validate the clustering and dispersal behaviors. In order to accomplish outdoor trials, a rugged robot, which can negotiate uneven terrain, needed to be designed. Energy efficiency and mechanical efficiency were paramount in the selection of the batteries, motors, and controller electronics to extend the running time between recharging. An eight wheel treaded design was selected, in order to provide best traction on uneven terrain and to provide the ability to climb over obstacles or steep slopes.
Wright, Andrew B.
"Mechatronic Design of a Treaded Mobile Robot for Mine Sweeping,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 54
, Article 23.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol54/iss1/23