It’s time to add one more function to your iPhone – the ability to detect landmines. Yes you heard me right and while I doubt you will be finding many landmines while walking around the city or visiting restaurants and cinemas it seems that there are researchers in Harvard who are working on an app that allows anyone from a professional to an inexperienced landmine sweeper to be able to detect a landmine and its location.
Typically normal landmine sweeping involves waving a metal detector and listening to audio cues to determine if there’s any metal in the ground but with this method some times it’s not that easy to detect if it is a landmine or simply a piece of debris. Additional challenges to this method according to the Harvard website include “the proximity of the human to the explosive device means that mistakes are potentially fatal.”
Enter PETALS which stands for Pattern Enhancement Tool for Assisting Land mine Sensing. The app receives data from a metal detector and creates a visualization of the spatial pattern below ground. It is supposed improve the demining process through the provision of assistive visual interfaces for metal detector-based landmine detection.