Inside Rensselaer
* Safe HAVEN for Bomb Disposal
Safe HAVEN for Bomb Disposal
Safe HAVEN for
Bomb Disposal
A team of sophomore engineering students in the course Introduction to Engineering Design, under the supervision of CATS research engineer Glenn Saunders, has developed a bomb-disposing mobile robot called “HAVEN” (Hazardous Vessel Neutralizer). The project came about after a call from the Albany County Sheriff hazmat team to Rensselaer’s Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS), inquiring if Rensselaer students could develop a better, safer method for defusing and disposing of bombs.

The old way of opening up bombs, as described by the Albany County Sheriff team, involved fitting a metal pulley over the lid/cover of the bomb, and using rope tied around the pulley to twist it from a distance. This was neither an easy nor a safe task. HAVEN fully automates this process. The mobile robot, which stands about three feet tall, is placed over the explosive. Via remote control, the operator lowers HAVEN’s clamp down over the lid of the explosive device or jar of hazardous substance. The clamp is then mechanically adjusted to the right size; it slowly squeezes the lid of the explosive and delicately twists it off. HAVEN then lifts off the lid, which allows the bomb squad or hazmat team to better assess the severity and/or nature of the threat, and neutralize it. Often, removing the lid also removes the fuse from the bomb, rendering it disabled.

Such a tool is of life-saving relevance to bomb squads, SWAT teams, chemical labs, law enforcement officers, or the armed forces and could help protect these individuals from the dangers of explosive or otherwise harmful materials. The next step is to perform extensive field testing of HAVEN and expose it to realistic emergency situations, and make appropriate updates and refinements. The team is in the process of patenting its creation.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 4, Number 7, April 16, 2010
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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