Robot searches for cluster bombs

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Robot searches for cluster bombs

Postby Libraoct7 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:54 pm

Hi, thank you for taking the time in answering and helping people do their projects easily and faster. The science fair project will be about robot searches for cluster bombs and sticking a flag right beside them, instead of having a human do the job. I know this could be a big, costly and time consuming project. The problem is the starting point. I don't know where and how to start this project. What field of study could this be related to? Is it computer science related project? Is it Chemistry, biology or physics related project. What materials do we need. Please help me in starting my project. Let me know if there is any specific information you need from me about the project. Thank you again.
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Re: Robot searches for cluster bombs

Postby barretttomlinson » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:57 am

Hi,

How you would structure an approach to this problem seems to me to depend on what you are trying to teach. If the objective is to give students a chance to work cooperatively and get experience doing an engineering project I would suggest viewing this as a robot building challenge. There are quite a number of robot building contests all over the US, and it would solve many of your problems if you could locate one in your area and participate - they often specify an objective, a schedule, may provide a moderate to low cost parts kit to be used, and culminate in a contest to pit several teams robots against each other in a one day event that generates high enthusiasm and great spectator value (for both parents and kids). You can sometimes recruit professional working engineers as volunteer consultants for your class (I suggest trying to contact the Pre College Education or Student Activities chairperson of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Section or Region in which you are located. They may be able to connect you with local volunteers who share your interests in this. Do a Google search for “IEEE committees“ or use this link:

http://www.ieee.org/societies_communiti ... d_map.html

To locate contact information)

The other issue to consider is how you propose to locate the land mines or cluster bombs to be flagged, or is the strategy to be used up to the students to decide. If this is a just for fun problem, you might use a metal detector and not have much of a problem. If you are trying to solve a real world problem and living in an area where these land mines or bomblets are a fact of life, then this issue is a very serious one, as the land mines you are interested in can often not be found by metal detectors. If the second scenario is the case, then the detection strategy is a terribly serious one that must be chosen and solved very early in your project. The issue then becomes primarily either a physics or perhaps a chemistry one. Here are some links to surveys of the subject:

http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_repo ... index.html

https://www.llnl.gov/str/Azevedo.html

http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-engl ... 85773.html

Trying to deal with these issues seems a bit above what I would expect your students to tackle, but if it is your reality I wish you success. Again if you need support in this area I suggest reaching out to professionals, and the IEEE is one of the better places to start.

I hope this gives you some ideas on where to start. Good luck!

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Re: Robot searches for cluster bombs

Postby Libraoct7 » Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:42 pm

Hi,
Thank you very much for your help.
The fact is we are trying to solve a real world problem and we are actually living in an area where these land mines or bomblets are a fact of life. The thing is we don't have to locate a real land mines or cluster bombs to be flagged. That is, we don't have to demonstrate the working of the robot on a real land mines or bomblets. We are only trying to prove that building a robot to do that job is possible. So, one of the problem is how are we going to demonstrate that? Do we need to use a real bomblet? I think that would be very dangerous. In my idea, to demonstrate the working of the robot we would only need not the real bomblet but only what inside it, or what resembles what inside the bomblet. You are right about not using a metal detector cause that would make the robot flag any kind of metals even if it wasn't a bomblet. Now the problem is that, I believe, there are many kind of bomblets, powder, gas, and some other chemical things that I don't know. Hmmmm. Having a robot searching for these many kind of chemicals would be troublesome. Well, I am doing my searches for solutions of these problems. Thanks for the sites I think these would help me a lot. I will try them and when I reach a solution, I will let you know. Thank you again. Please let me know if there is anything new about this project you can share.
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Re: Robot searches for cluster bombs

Postby hhemken » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:52 am

Hi Libraoct7,

There are a few other considerations. Actually building a robot that can do even a poor but detectable job of finding bomblets (or anything else) is an extraordinarily difficult task. If you achieve it, you will become wealthy and powerful! 8-)

Alternatively, you can have the kids do more manageable subsets of the problem, for example write computer programs that examine photographs and draw circles around objects they think are bombs. The program can look for things that are of a certain size and color, maybe with hints regarding the lens used on the camera and the distance to the object in focus so that the program has an idea of the scale of the objects it is examining. If you have the resources, you can have them build a Lego robot with a camera on it, optionally hooked up to an off-board computer, that can do a similar analysis of what the robot sees through its camera.

The actual robot 1) doesn't need to have all the compute power on-board and can offload it to a nearby computer over a wire or WiFi network, and 2) does not even need to physically exist, students can write not-so-complicated programs to brainstorm and test interesting strategies for object detection.

How old are the students? How much computer programming can be realistically expected from them?
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Re: Robot searches for cluster bombs

Postby Libraoct7 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:59 pm

The students are of grades 7 and 8. I can easily teach them the basic of a programming language.
I have a question! Some soldiers do go out searching for mines and cluster bombs. But what kind of tool do they use for searching for them? I don't think it's a metal detector! So, what is it?!!
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Re: Robot searches for cluster bombs

Postby hhemken » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:56 pm

Libraoct7,

I suspect you can easily google for such information. It probably ranges from unbelievably dangerous and insane quasi-manual methods to relatively safe and sophisticated use of robotic devices or armored vehicles. I don't think it is so relevant to your project, though. I think there are many simpler and more accessible ways for your students to develop devices or software that showcase one or another strategy to detect cluster bomb mockups and possible variants. There will be plenty of stimulating challenges for your students.

Have you and/or your group brainstormed any possible approaches yet?

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Re: Robot searches for cluster bombs

Postby Libraoct7 » Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:00 pm

No not yet. But you know what?!!! I think you gave me a very good idea and possibly a solution to my project. If I reach a dead end in solving the problem a bout a cluster bomb detector, I can just build a robot to be used as our eyes in seeing the mines. A robot with a Camera to be control through wifi from distance by human. When a human sees the mine through the robot's eyes, then again by controlling the robot to stick a red flag or draw a circle around it if it was a rocky area.
Thanks for the idea.
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Re: Robot searches for cluster bombs

Postby hhemken » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:28 am

Sounds like a good idea! If it gets too hard, another project would be to write relatively simple programs in Perl, Python, Java, or whatever to have the program "look at" photos and draw circles in the image around things the program concludes are cluster bombs.

I didn't mean drawing actual circles around physical objects in the field which I suspect is more challenging, although maybe of greater practical utility.

Good luck with whatever you go with and please keep us posted.
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Re: Robot searches for cluster bombs

Postby DarbyGloss » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:24 pm

Libraoct7 wrote:The students are of grades 7 and 8. I can easily teach them the basic of a programming language.
I have a question! Some soldiers do go out searching for mines and cluster bombs. But what kind of tool do they use for searching for them? I don't think it's a metal detector! So, what is it?!!

That bomb sweeper are indeed metal detector. metal detectors can detect the hidden metal objects such us guns and controlled knives, also bombs.
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