I was wondering if members of the ROS community were aware of any past/ongoing open-source robotics projects around humanitarian demining?
i.e projects with the goal of designing and building a software/hardware architecture for robots (Rovers,UAVs) to perform autonomous or semi-autonomous landmine detection and/or removal.
It seems like the kind of application that could make great use of the ROS framework and maybe also some open-hardware design, so I am surprised to see relatively few references in Google :
- Minesweepers competition, 27-30 oct 2016, Egypt : http://www.landminefree.org/home/
- Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technology Challenge (HRATC) and the IEEE RAS-SIGHT(Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology) : http://www.ieee-ras.org/educational-resources-outreach/humanitarian-efforts
- Clearpath Robotics apparently supports these competitions : http://www.clearpathrobotics.com/2014/01/robot-used-for-humanitarian-research/
And for the above competitions, I cannot find any organized code repository calling for remote contributors.
I was wondering what were the main obstacles to creating such a project :
- Cost of hardware too high for individual contributors to build their platform?
- Difficulty to reproduce a proper testing environment ?
- General lack of interest for humanitarian robotics?
As a ROS user with experience in navigation, this is the kind of project that I would be glad to dedicate some spare time to, so I just wanted to start by collecting some general feedback. What are your thoughts?