A U.S. scientist is working on technology designed to reduce the number of soldiers killed or injured in Iraq by improvised explosive devices.

During the past three years, thousands of soldiers in Iraq have been injured or killed by IEDs that are placed near or buried under roadways and often detonated by remote control.

Professor John Seely at the Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering envisions the creation of an unmanned vehicle that could patrol large areas without endangering troops.

We’re already using drones for surveillance in the skies over Iraq, Collins said. It’s much more difficult to design a ground-based vehicle to perform surveillance functions — but we’re working out the logistical issues right now.

Collins is also director of the Center for Intelligent Systems, Control, and Robotics — a multidisciplinary research center in the College of Engineering that uses state-of-the-art technology to develop solutions for industry and government.

The Army Research Lab currently is funding the center with $500,000 per year for eight years to pursue its research on unmanned robotics. Another $200,000 has been allocated for human-robot interaction research.