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Warm and Fussy
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i hear all these stats like "there are fifty gazillion mines that
have yet te be discovered and disposed of." there are all
these picture of unfortunate children with no arms and legs
you know how the minesweepers are doing it these days?
They walk around with a metal detector,
find a mine, and
gingerly pry it up with a knife, their faces mere inches away
from death or disfugurement. i can't think of a crazier way to
go about digging these things up. the late princess dianna
worked effortlessly to drum up cash to fund this endeavor.
what a waste of money. there's got to be a better solution...
i wouldn't be a minesweeper no matter how much i was paid.
and if i was in the army i'd go awol.
we've all seen steamrollers with those big knobby rollers.
well, build them in a couple of sizes, small (person sized) for
going in and out of trees etc and tractor-sized for those
bigger fields - only add a 10" thick steel plated bucket to the
engine compartment. basically i'm picturing something like
one of those ore carts you see in mines. the minesweeper
operator can be dressed in heavy protective gear and walks
about 100 ft behind the unit with a remote control, merrily
driving it across fields and valleys, exploding mines as he goes.
i bet i could clear 100 acres in one afternoon all by myself.
(?) Tank Funnies
Not tank cartoons; just WWII special-purpose tanks. Includes a picture of a flail tank. [Uncle Nutsy, May 03 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]
Some views of a Sherman Crab minesweeper tank. [Uncle Nutsy, May 03 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]
MINERATS - Anti Personnel Mine Clearance Robots
John Walker's site on this kind of thing. [jutta, May 03 2001]
BigFoot Mine Sweeper
RealVideo from Jane's [LeBain, May 03 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]
||The military have been using armoured vehicles fitted with flails (spining chains) on the front for many many years. (Since the WW2 I think!!!) These are a very effective way of clearing mines, however they required a skilled operator and are very expensive.
||The chains can be replaced easily once damaged and impact the ground repeatedly, setting off most mines.
||The roller idea wouldn't work for three reasons:
A - The roller would get damaged and would be hard/expensive to repair
B - Some mines are designed not to go off the first time them are touch - some are set to go off after the 2nd, 3rd or even 4th time.
C - As Petersealy stated - steamrollers only work on complete flat ground, and are immobile over anything more than pebble. (They have no grip and no suspension - ever watched one try to mount a kerb?)
||In other words, this is another example of how questions that begin "Why don't they..." are usually answered with "money." We could remove land mines with flail tanks very well, but we'd have to pay for it.
||Why not make the soldier who layed them find them by walking them across the minefield. Seems fair.
||Some robot researcher was trying
to build a low-cost robot based on
bicycle parts that would act as a
minesweeper. The problem was that
it ultimately depended on good
chemical sensors... and those
don't really exist, and certainly
aren't cheap in any case.
||So, you're down to "thumpers", and
thumping every square inch of the
landscape ain't easy or cheap.
||CasaLoco: fairer still to make the general who ordered the mines laid in the first place pick them up when he's done with them.
||Saw an article on 'Tomorrows World' about this little 8 legged robot theyve developed to do this job. It walks sidewards like a crab, and they are going to make armies of the things to crawl over areas with mines. DUnno if this is going ahead though
||Except they won't do they because A - they didn't put the mines there in the first place and B - the mines arn't in the US.
||// Arguably, though, this is against the Geneva Convention. //
||PeterSealy: The use of prisoners of war as forced labour is against the Geneva Convention even if you have them pick daisies.