A Robot Watchdog To Sniff Out Radiation

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28th March 2008, 02:13pm - Views: 1212

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Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

Friday, 28 March 2008



Australian scientists have developed a prototype remote-controlled robotic

vehicle to detect radiation, the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel,

The Hon. Warren Snowdon, announced today.

“This is a significant leap forward for Australia’s defence and national security

agencies,” Mr Snowdon said.

“It will greatly enhance our ability to respond to radioactive incidents.”

The concept vehicle, known as RASP, for Remote Advanced Sensor Platform,

was developed jointly by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation

(DSTO) and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation


It’s small and light and can be operated from distances of up to 350 metres

with full control of the robot. 

“It could be deployed in almost any area or location, from aircraft to cargo

containers,” said Mr Snowdon.

“For the first time, we will also be able to provide our national security

agencies with the ability to remotely identify the nature of the radioactive


“Emergency officers who detect the presence of radiation with their handheld

instruments would be able to send in RASP and quickly discover if it has a

half-life of several days or fifty thousand years.”

Mid-year scenario trials will be taken at ANSTO.  The scenarios will closely

emulate a real event involving radioactive material.

Media contacts:

Kate Sieper (Warren Snowdon):

02 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689

Defence Media Liaison:

02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664

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