Cambodia will soon employ ‘Hero Rats’ to detect mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) by the end of this year.
“The first batch of rats is training to help their human counterparts to clear land still contaminated with mines and other unexploded ordnance (UXO) after decades of war,” Anadolu Agency reported Today.
Apopo, an organization that trains Giant African Pouched Rats says that the rats can sniff out mines that are in many ways better than other detectors.
“The rats, for example, are very good at finding mines over large areas where we believe the mines to be scattered,” James Pursey, communications manager for Apopo, told Anadolu Agency this week.
“This is because they ignore scrap metal like old coins, nuts and bolts and only sniff TNT” - mines' main ingredient.
The rats are trained with a simple click-and-reward system - “clicks" rewarded with usually bananas or peanuts, their favorite treats.
The click sound is quickly established as a conditioned reinforcer associated with a food reward. Once the rat learns that click means food it will now have to search for the target scent - in this case TNT - to earn its reward
Over time, the rats receive these treats for more specific tasks – the sniffing of a hole, telling explosives such as TNT or C4 apart from other smells, and finally the behavioral flagging of a mine by scratching the soil.
For their ability to save lives, the rodents are called HeroRats.
Apopo says its focus is not solely on finding a large number of mines; it lies on making agricultural land safe and releasing it to the local population.
“So for example in a village, one mine accident with, say, a cow, will keep everyone off that land forever, until we have arrived, found any remaining mines and declared it clear,” Pursey told Anadolu Agency.
Once trained, the rats can search 200 square meters (656 sq. feet) in 20 minutes - a task that would take a human deminer with a metal detector between one to four days.
The rats will come in handy in helping to demine the about 2,000 sq. km. of Cambodian soil still believed to be contaminated.
BAE Systems has been awarded a $20 million contract to develop an advanced prototype system that detects mines and obstacles in near-shore waters for the U.S
The Spanish Army has acquired the Husky Mounted Detection System or HMDS, equipped with ground penetrating radar as their Vehicle Mounted Mine Detection solution, CSI announced yesterday.The acquisition is a part of the $20 million contract awarded to CSI and partners for six Husky vehicle systems delivery which also includes spare parts and field training support, with delivery scheduled for 2013
In an effort to protect its coastline and monitor daily maritime traffic coming in and out of the country's ports, The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has purchased four helicopter- mountable, laser mine detection systems from Northrop Grumman. Making this the first direct commercial sale of Northrop Grumman Corporation's Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) to an international navy
Cambodia has sought tactical gear and military accessories for its counter-terrorism special forces from China. Lieutenant General Mao Sophan, Commander of Brigade 70 said that the equipment is to be used for security operations in Phnom Penh and a military parade scheduled for next year, China Mil reported Tuesday
Pakistan To Get Egyptian Mirage 5 Jets: Report
North Korea Tests Tactical Guided Weapons
China Develops New Engine for Carrier-based Stealth Fighter Jet
Lockheed Martin Working on $25000 Per Flight Hour Operating Cost of F-35
Spectacular debut by Indian LCA Tejas fighter jet at Malaysian airshow
Russian Yak-130, Indian Tejas, 3 Others Receive Malaysian Light Fighter RFI
Pakistan Unveils Light Attack Super Mushak Turboprop Aircraft
Pakistani JF-17 not to Participate in LIMA 2019
Russian state-run Almaz-Antey has released additional data on its latest export-version of Buk-M3 Viking air defense missile system (ADMS)
The MiG-29, one of Russias most exported military jet has been upgraded in India that expands its capabilities from an...
Russian fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) Su-57 will for the first time perform flights during the ARMY 2018 event near...
The American-made Patriot and Russian S-400 Triumf air defense systems are currently hogging international orders despite their price tags running...
The Russian ministry of defense on Thursday published a series of videos showcasing the production, deployment and installation and testing...
The market for fighter jets in countries which are expected to have open competitions is estimated at US$50 billion to...