Vermont company to develop mine clearing robotics

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(Host) The Vermont branch of an international engineering firm has been awarded a $3.5 million federal grant. Applied Research Associates in South Royalton will develop remote-controlled equipment used to clear anti-personnel mines. The mines often remain buried and unexploded for years.

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy announced the award in a ceremony at the Applied Research facility in South Royalton. Leahy said the technology will save civilian lives:

(Leahy) “Much of the removal of landmines today is done the same way it was in World War II: People crawl on their bellies. They poke it. And you’re never sure you’ve got everything. Something like this, you have the ability to search them out, you have the ability to remove them even without exploding them.”

(Host) The company has already developed similar remote controlled equipment used by the military to detonate or remove unexploded bombs. David Timian of Applied Research says the technology is also seeing increased use in this country:

(Timian) “They were at the Olympics. They were at the big UN meeting in New York City. Just on stand-by, in case they were needed.”

(Host) Applied Research has 58 people working at its South Royalton facility.

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