Scientists from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) of Harvard University (USA) have designed an antipersonnel mine detector that, implanted in a smartphone , improves results by up to 80 percent. In addition, it is cheaper than the devices used so far.
Classic antipersonnel mine detectors function like a metal detector, alerting operators with sounds when they identify a buried metal object in the vicinity. But that means that they also detect any other piece of metal, reducing the effectiveness of the search. The device created by Lahiru Jayatilaka and Krzysztof Gajos, called PETALS, uses a smartphone associated with the detector to create a virtual image of the object . Antipersonnel mines have a characteristic oval shape that allows them to be quickly identified.
“Using only the audio signals the system was ineffective. The operator had to find out whether or not what he has detected is dangerous. If he is not completely sure, he has to excavate each piece of metal as if it were a mine,” he said. explaining Jayatilaka, who assures that with his tool the process will be 80 percent more effective.