Explosive Ordinance Disposal robots, or EOD robots, are one of the most important part of any bomb disposal squad. They allow a bomb disposal expert to operate from a distance when defusing bombs. Many countries are using these to counter bomb threats that are all too real in this day and age.
The idea for the EOD robots evolved in Britain as they faced constant bomb threats during the 1970s. Many experts lost their lives in attempting to defuse explosives placed inside motor vehicles. As the casualties mounted, a retired British army officer Peter Miller came up with a simple wheelbarrow based device to move bombs away from population for detonation. The device grew more sophisticated and now offers many more functions for the bomb disposal experts.
How do they work?
The contemporary EOD robots are highly flexible and offer a lot of ease to the operator. Let’s dig in a bit.
These are controlled remotely by experts who can move them in any direction as well as perform other tasks. These may have multiple tires or may use metallic conveyor belts similar to those used in the tanks. Most of the EOD robots are able to climb at sharp angles as well.
Typically all such robots have arms with clutches that can perform many functions similar to the human hand, controlled through specifically designed remote controls. There are multiple axes for these arms to allow it to move far and in awkward positions. The level of flexibility they offer enhances their abilities greatly.
The clutch design as well as the number of arms varies in different models based on their intended operations. They can also carry extremely heavy payloads in case of moving a device to a distance.
EOD robots have lots of sensors to help in getting rid of explosive devices. These include chemical and radiological sensors as well as x-ray machines to ensure that any kind of explosive device is detected and can be disposed of.
There are multiple cameras mounted on the robot to ensure that all the required angles are covered. These are used both to direct the movement of the EOD robot towards the site as well as for disposing off the devices. These cameras work as the eyes of the operators and allow them to carry their tasks with relative ease.
Since there are so many functions to control, the EOD robots have their own control station which is operated by experts from a distance. The station sends all kinds of directions to the robot, mostly remotely. In some cases, however, some communication may be carried out through attached cables.