Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Mine-clearing robots have safety limits, even in Russia

IEDs are taken care of by mine-clearing robots behind Russia’s lines of defense in Ukraine. One of the easiest ways to use ground robots is to do this important but tiresome military task. Even though mine-clearing is important for keeping people and vehicles safe. Russia seems to only clear mines in places where it feels safe to do so.

It is possible to control Uran-6 remotely, allowing it to clear minefields. The Russian military used Uran-6 demining robots in Syria to remove bombs from the sides of roads. Izvestia, a Russian news site, has put out a video that shows an Uran-6 truck driving along a gravel road outside of Mariupol. A Ukrainian city that Russia has taken over. The front cylinder of the machine blows up because of landmines.

Mariupol was in the middle of fighting for two months. Since there were no more Ukrainian troops nearby. Russian troops attacked the town and took away its last lines of defense, trapping the people inside. On May 17, the last Ukrainian troops in Mariupol turned themselves over to Russian forces, and the video shows Uran-6s robots emptying the fortified beaches of the city. Russia has a lot of different kinds of tanks, missiles, and other weapons

Samuel Bendett, an analyst and adjunct senior fellow at the Center for Naval Analysis, says that Russia’s official media show how the Uran-6 works to show that the country’s military uses modern, high-tech weapons.

The videos from Russia also show a problem with technology

Bennett says that Russia or its allies only use Uran-6 when there are no more threats from Ukraine in the area.

In the event of a roadside bomb, Mine-clearing robots have safety limits demining can provide early protection, letting forces move with minimal risk. After a thorough search, explosives can remain on a battlefield for years or even decades. There’s no denying that Russia’s Donbas territory, which includes sections of eastern Ukraine, will require cleanup.

Since 2014, Ukraine has been fighting separatists in the Donbas region. On February 24, Russia invaded the Donbas region. As both sides broke the truce by using artillery and bombs to break through their static lines of defense, observers from the outside world took notes. So, any unexploded ordnance on land that is controlled by Russia is a threat to Russian soldiers.

Bennett says that as Russian forces get closer to Ukraine, the MOD may show more Uran-6 use in promotional movies. Human sappers help find and destroy mines, weapons, and UXO on the ground.

The “hedgehogs” made of metal are Ukraine’s answer to Russian tanks

To clean up a mine takes a lot of time and work. Even when robots like Uran-6 sweep, a person is still in charge. After an advance has been made, it might be hard for the military to get more ammunition and other supplies because the terrain is unknown.

Because the human operator of the mine-clearing robots is so close to the robot, the human is especially at risk. As the Ukraine war drags on and turns into an artillery and attrition fight. There are fewer safe places for Uran-6 to operate. Soldiers may be willing to put a robot in danger by firing artillery or rockets at it, but trained operators are less likely to do the same.

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