Pemex-PE Portrait Gallery

Personal Mine Explorer (Pemex) BE is a two-wheeled robot built to investigate cross-country navigation and to evaluate sensors for the detection of anti-personnel mines. It weighs less than 16 kg and can be carried as hand luggage. It is powered by rechargeable batteries which provide 60 minutes of autonomy and a maximum speed of 6 km/h.

The on-board 68331 microprocessor permits autonomous or teleoperated navigation. Polaroid and Sharp PSD ultrasonic sonar sensors detect obstacles. The sensor head currently contains a metal detector; other sensors will be tested for the detection of plastic (minimum metal) mines.

[Image] At the entrance to EPFL.

[Image] In the weeds. Mined terrain is often overgrown with dense vegetation. Pemex-BE's mountain bike wheels allow it to move in high grass.

[Image] Climbing a pile of rocks. With climbing cleats mounted on its wheels, Pemex-BE can climb irregular slopes of 20° to 30°. It can also climb stairs. The wheels go first when climbing to prevent the sensor package leaving the ground.

[Image] On the beach. Philip Mächler holds the optional teleoperation control. Pemex-BE can be teleoperated or can explore autonomously.

[Image] Going for a swim. Equipped with optional water wings, Pemex-BE floats and swims. This allows it to operate in environments such as rice paddies and, on land, reduces the pressure on the ground when searching for very sensitive pressure-triggered mines.

[Image] Packed for travel. For transport, the wheels are removed and attached to the sides of the main chassis. All components can be packed into a special rucksack.

[Image] Easily carried by one person. Weighing a total of 20 kg including all accessories, Pemex-BE can be easily transported by one person.

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by John Walker