Three soldiers from Blandford Camp in Dorset have built a machine that could revolutionise bomb disposal and other humanitarian situations deemed too dangerous for people.

For their task, or Project Rover as it is known, Staff Sergeant Jolley, Sergeant Rana and Sergeant Paddon, who are currently undertaking their Foreman of Signals course, were asked to design an autonomous robot that was capable of moving from point A to point B, take a temperature and transmit the information back to a remote computer.

Dave Ball, the senior lecturer at Blandford Camp, explains why it's a fantastic opportunity for the soldiers.

“Even though they are only half way through their course, [they can] showcase some of the stuff they've learnt and produce something that is really quite exciting."

Project Rover information

Although semi-autonomous robots have been used for some time now, there is nothing like this available to the Ministry Of Defence.

This is easily programmable to complete a variety of tasks, including avoiding obstacles in its path which you can see in the short clip below.

Its brain is a computer called a Raspberry Pi.

Using this technology means that even a significantly scaled up version is very affordable and easily programmable for de-mining campaigns, search and rescue and even bomb disposal.

SSgt Jolley, team member of ‘Project Rover’ from the Foreman of Signals Course explains.

“With the invention of the Raspberry Pi, this has allowed three very inexperienced individuals to programme a robot very capable of doing these things."

Soldier Bomb Disposal Afghanistan Improvised Explosive Device IED Sand Brush DNI
Picture: A soldier tentatively brushes away dust from a suspect object beneath the surface of a road near Garmsir, Afghanistan in 2009

At certain stages of their Foreman of Signals course, members are presented with a problem which they are required to analyse and build a solution for. This leads to their final showcase at the end of the course and potential promotion.

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