David Summers, director of University of Missouri-Rolla’s Rock Mechanics and Explosive Research Center, and a team of researchers are developing a remote-controlled vehicle that uses high-power water jets to detect and destroy mines. ELADIN (Eliminating Landmines by Aqueous Detection, Identification, and Neutralization) starts with an array of nozzles that shoot water into the ground at a pressure of up to 5,000 psi—more than 100 times as hard as your shower. The auditory feedback is fed into a computer mounted on the vehicle. A database analyzes the sound. When a mine is identified, a second robot arm uses a water jet to blast open a trench in the ground; it then sucks out the muddy dross to expose the explosive. A tripod-mounted cutting head is then placed over the trench, and water shoots from the nozzle at up to 5,000 psi as the cutter moves across the mine, slicing it in half. No risky detonation required.

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