Taking To The Air To Make It Safe To Walk Again

Taking To The Air To Make It Safe To Walk Again


A group of JMU students build a set of drones to detect and detonate landmines

Harrisonburg, VA– On December 7, 2016 a group of James Madison University students will be unveiling a set of drones built to detect and detonate landmines. The drones were built as part of an interdisciplinary course held at JMU and several other universities that teaches students how to use UAV technology to combat complicated humanitarian issues.

The first drone is equipped with LiDAR and Ground Penetrating Radar sensors that can detect foreign objects just below the ground. The second drone carries a box with a pneumatic system that can generate enough force to safely detonate a landmindsc_0186_1024e. When used properly, these devices have the ability to locate and eliminate landmines without a need for humans.

The UN estimates that landmines kill anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 people per year. The large majority of these individuals are innocent civilians and children. This group of young students from JMU is hoping their modified drones can eliminate this problem.

The group consists of six JMU students from various different academic backgrounds. The members include: Rehan Ahmed a senior writing major, Marshall Grimard and Eric Lim junior intelligence analysis majors, Daniel McHugh a senior communications major, Bailey Swayne a junior computer science major, and Dalton Wagner a junior biology major. Together, they’re hoping their drones can make it safe to walk again for millions of people around the world.

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