SMILEE - Landmine Detector and Marking System
- Winner: Mechanical Engineering Senior Design Competition
- Robot Works Under Remote Control
- Ultra-durable Design - Designed for Field Repair
- Cost Reduced Design for Developing Countries
- Made From Recovered Parts - Prototype Cost: $450
Brief: Create a landmine detecting and marking system design that suitable for economically disadvantaged countries.
When our team MechMasters realized that we could use our tight budget to our advantage we decided that we would design a machine with humanitarian applications in impoverished countries. SMILEE (the reverse achronym of Electromechanically Enhanced Landmine Identification and Marking System) was developed with cost in mind. We realized that the most important goal of a landmine marking system was to remove the operator from the field without necessarily eliminating the human from the entire equation. SMILEE takes advantage of abundant labor by using a human operator for remote control. Additional cost is saved by replacing expensive high-precision GPS marking with a simple spray marking system.
Once the operator puts SMILEE on a course, the robot will index across the field sweeping the area to the front and sides with a highly sensitive metal detector. SMILEE will stop and alert the operator whenever a mine is encountered so that the operator can guide SMILEE around the mine.
Looking forward: We learned a great deal about the challenges facing both the manufacturers and the operators of this machine. Although development has stalled on this design, our next prototype would include the following features:
- Inexpensive two motor design where tank motion swings the detector arm
- Interchangeable detection heads
- Optional Ground Penetrating Radar verification
- Operator free programable paths, with passive object avoidance
- Local positioning through IR emitters
- Cluster networking and logic for multiple devices on one field