Skip to comments.Rats to the Rescue? Army May Use Rodents As IED and Landmine Detectors
Posted on 07/30/2012 12:17:21 PM PDT by smoothsailing
July 30, 2012
(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. Army says it is sponsoring research that may send trained rats into the field to save soldiers' lives.
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory announced on Monday that it has tapped Barron Associates, a Virginia company, to develop and test a system for training rats to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines.
"The automated system we're developing is designed to inexpensively train rats to detect buried explosives to solve an immediate Army need for safer and lower-cost mine removal," said Barron Associates' William Gressick, a senior research engineer who is managing the project.
The trained rats might also be used in civilian search-and-rescue operations.
"If we can demonstrate that rats can be trained inexpensively to be reliable detectors, then this method would not only lower costs for the Army but would also create new opportunities for using animals to detect anything from mines to humans buried in earthquake rubble," said Micheline Strand, chief of the Army Research Office's Life Sciences Division, which manages the program.
The Defense Department currently relies on dogs for explosives detection. Trained rats would not replace dogs, but they would expand the Army's detection capabilities.
"Training dogs is very expensive," Strand said. "If we can significantly reduce the cost of a trained animal, then we could provide more animals to protect soldiers."
She noted that rats, which can detect low levels of explosives, would be able to search smaller spaces than dogs can, and they are easier to transport.
The project is dubbed R.A.T.S., which stands for "Rugged Automated Training System."
May I suggest certain ‘Rats named Nancy, Al, Barny and Harry?
Did the rats volunteer like the seals and dolphins the navy uses?
Rodents aren’t heavy enough to trigger most devices, made in the last 60 years.
PIGS however.....have MANY advantages in this application.
Are we talking DemocRATS? By all means!
Nah, I’m pretty sure they were drafted.
OH GOODY a USE (finally) for Justin Beeber!
Wouldn’t it be more ethical and less likely to upset PETA if we just used politicians and lawyers instead? Heck, there are things even a rat won’t do.
Oh, great - just what we need, opening yet another front on the war on terror: once this strategy gets out, it’s only a matter of time before PETA declares war on the DoD.
But on the bright side, maybe we’ll finally get rid of those PETA busybodies.
You can add several to that list: barack, joe, debbie blabbermouth-schlitz, up-chuck choomer, etc.
Is that a feature or a bug?
I mean, if the rat can locate a mine, it can be triggered some other way. And, if the rat is smart enough to be recalled from the device, he can be reused.
Oh!! You mean those rats...
Pigs? I think those animals have more value than the sharia loving muslims. Use the muzzies. They love blowing themselves up anyway.
Does give new meaning to “Rat Patrol”....
“Ben, you’re always running here and there.
You feel you’re not wanted anywhere.
If you ever look behind
And don’t like what you find.
There’s something you should know.
That landmine’s going to blow
And that will be the end of Ben.
Anybody ever get the feeling that many if not all these mentioned Democrats are really cold-blooded. I can see some as reptiles but many are even more primitive amphibians. One of these days (on camera I hope) Chuck is going to see a fly and snap will go the tongue!