Apr 29

A village in south-west England will shortly be swarming with robots competing to show off their surveillance skills.

The event is the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) answer to the US DARPA Grand Challenge that set robotic cars against one another to encourage advances in autonomous vehicles.

This village, built for urban warfare training during the Cold War, will host teams of ground-based and aerial robots hunting for snipers, bombs, and other threats (Image: MoD)
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This village, built for urban warfare training during the Cold War, will host teams of ground-based and aerial robots hunting for snipers, bombs, and other threats (Image: MoD)

The MoD Grand Challenge is instead designed to boost development of teams of small robots able to scout out hidden dangers in hostile urban areas.

Over 10 days in August, 11 teams of robots will compete to locate and identify four different threats hidden around a mock East German village used for urban warfare training, at Copehill Down, Wiltshire (see image, top right).

The robots must find snipers, armed vehicles, armed foot soldiers, and improvised explosive devices hidden around the village, and relay a real-time picture of what is happening back to a command post. Continue reading »

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Apr 16

LONDON, England (CNN) — New technology that can “see” through clothing and detect what’s underneath can now be used to scan crowds, making it a potentially effective tool to prevent terrorist attacks in public places.

The ThruVision T5000 camera picks up Terahertz rays, or T-rays, which are naturally emitted by all objects and can pass through fabric or even walls.

The camera can then image metallic and non-metallic objects hidden under clothing on still or moving subjects without revealing any body detail, according to its British manufacturer, ThruVision Limited.

While similar technology is being unveiled at airports around the world, the T5000 is designed to be used in large, open areas. With a range of 25 meters, the T5000 can screen people in public places, thus avoiding bottlenecks at border crossings or security checkpoints.

It also means people can be screened without knowing it.


The camera can see through people’s clothes from up to 25 meters away, detecting objects. Continue reading »

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