As most of the troops leave the area, I am sure that this DIY solution will still be made by the locals. It'll be like radiation detectors in Japan's Fukushima area. It is a sad state of affairs. Perhaps the mindset that is creating the IEDs will start to evolve past violence sometime soon.
Cabe, this is a great development. Many of our casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, if not a majority, are from IEDs. Being able to detect the chemical signature from a distance will help minimize this. It is all we can do to use our technological edge to remain one step ahead of the terrorists.
Unlike industrial robots, which suffered a slight overall slump in 2012, service robots continue to be increasingly in demand. The majority are used for defense, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and agriculture, such as milking robots.
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