Wanted to give a big thank you to Instructables.com for featuring the forum post that gave the link to this Blog. Thank you for your attention to this project! For those of you not familiar, just give them a visit. You’ll find something that you like.
The following represents current ideas and current solutions to problems know. It is by no means comprehensive of future developments and unrecognized problems.
The target area is identified. Areas should be broken down into 20’x20′ sections to maximize safety.
The ROV is deployed with 1. High pressure water cannon, 2. Remotely extendable and retractable wooden probe, 3. Digital camera (live feed and recording), 4. Low/Med pressure paint gun
- High Pressure Water Cannon: Water is stored in a large tank that can be detached from the ROV. Water passes into a 100PSI tank, and is pressurized. After activating a high speed solenoid, water pressurized to 100PSI is passed through a high pressure hose to the cannon tip. The cannon tip constricts and focus the flow, also increasing effective water pressure. The water cannon is aimed by means of moving the robotic arm. The purpose of the water cannon is uncover and expose as much of the ordinance as is safe.
- Remotely Extendable/Retractable Wooden Probe: Hardwood dowel 1/4” to 1/2” slide mounted in end of tip. A DC stepper motor controls the extension, and a servo locks the probe into position once set by the operator. The purpose of this probe would be to identify ordinance edges, and further expose it.
- Digital Cameras: Provides live video feed to LCD Display (located on controller). Allows the arm to be moved and positioned as needed based on available video. Allows the water cannon and paint gun to be “aimed”, and allows the claw attachment to be safely operated.
- Low/Med Pressure Paint Gun: Fires a stream of UV/Fluorescent Orange paint, in order to mark the ordinance by visual sight, and by means of UV illumination. Paint will be fast drying, able to adhere wet and durable.
RORV approached target area, as the operator scans the terrain up close for suspected ordinance. Once suspected ordinance is detected, the operator safely positions the RORV and himself. After aiming the arm at the desired area, he fires a blast of high pressure water to verify ordinance, and expose it. The operator fires a short stream of pain on the ordinance. If necessary AND safe, the probe may be used to locate the edges of the ordinance, and gently expose it further.
RORV leaves the ordinance, and locates others. They will be verified and marked as previously described. Once 1/6 of the target area (or smaller) has been marked and exposed, RORV returns to the base.
The probe/cannon tip is removed, and replaced with a robotic claw.
The RORV is outfitted with necessary demolitions for safe removal in claw. A low resistance wire spool is attached to the RORV to return charge lines to the base.
RORV returns to previously marked ordinance, and places a charge on each. After laying each charge, the RORV must return to base to ensure safe transit of the charge lines. The operator takes appropriate safety measures (shielding, flack jackets, helmets, etc). The operator also protects the RORV by using a natural or constructed shield.
The operator sounds the blast warning.
The operator detonates the charge.
The RORV is returned to the next piece of ordinance, and again lays charge and charge lines. Operator safely detonates charge.
Before the battery is 75% depleted, the operation is halted until batteries can be recharged or replaced.
Interchangeable arm probes are removed, and properly cleaned and stored. RORV modules are removed for cleaning and maintained as necessary.
This is not a blog for broadcasting which restaurant is my favorite this week.
This is not a blog for spewing ideals.
This IS a blog for spewing ideas, however.
The concept here is not a simple one, but the motivation is. The mission here is to design, create, and construct a Remotely Operated Robotic Vehicle (further referred to as RORV). The goal of this RORV will be marking (via visual and by GPS tagging) and ultimate destruction of Unexploded Ordinance (further referred to as UEO) that is located in civilian areas.
The focus of the initial project will be the country of Cambodia. A nation with one of the largest rates of amputees in the world, with over residential amputation victims. After a sucessful prototype is constructed and thoroughly tested, the project may adapt the RORV for use in other terrains and environments. The mission, however, will remain the same. Protect human life from these fatal war remenants.
This project will be long term, as in a multiple year project. After a completed prototype is constructed, field testing in the focus area must be carried out. The prototype will be adapted and adjusted to the real life conditions that the RORV is to be operated in prior to the release of a working model.
A project of this scale will require people working together, sharing skills and knowledge, if it is to be successful. I am trying to get word out, and have professionals in various areas of expertise. Throughout the entire project, I will be trying to recruit people to contribute to it, in any way they are willing. Skills, Knowledge, Ideas, Services, Materials, Machining. All important areas that will require attention.
This “blog” is also being setup to document the process of construction. Updates will be regular. In addition to this web page, we are keeping detailed written work journals (to be exported to PDF for release) and also by video journal and pictures.
Further posts will contain details on the project requirements, as well as initial thoughts on how to overcome problems. Many of the ideas are my own, some belong to other people, and others are hybrid ideas (made possible by entire communities-forums,social networks,random advice/help,etc). One person cannot create such an RORV on their own. It takes a team.
One question I have received from the community, was similar to this: “Why? What’s the point? Wouldn’t it be more effective to focus on fundraising, so that existing “bomb squad”-type robots could be purchased?
My response is that this project is looking for a low cost, low requirement for training for construction and operation. Modern EOD bots are very proprietary, very expensive, and require a large amount of operator training. There is almost no chance of a hacker or hobbyist being able to reproduce one of these machines. To buy one new will run you easily over $300k. And then, you have to send someone to school so that they can safely operate it.
The attempted approach of this is slightly different (but again shares common goals). This RORV will be specifically designed to mark and remove UEO from various terrain areas. It will also be specifically designed to be low cost, and only moderately difficult to replicate or adapt. The dream in my mind right now involves a completed RORV that was safe and effective. An RORV that people may say “I could make one of those.” and hopefully think “I’ll donate it”. There is nothing proprietary here. This will be an open-source project. Anyone may use it as they like. I don’t intend to make $1 in profit from this. The goals are much more valuable.
Upcoming posts will detail the method that we are currently gearing towards, as well as specifics, and plenty of brainstorming.
I appreciate any and all feed back. I think I set this blog up so that anyone may comment without having a wordpress account. If you can not comment, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.