Students create robots to help military The latest Brookings Institution report indicates that since 2003, about 33 percent of the more than 3,300 soldiers
killed in the war in Iraq have died because of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The report defines IEDs
as devices that are placed or fabricated in an improvised manner incorporating destructive, lethal, noxious,
pyrotechnic or incendiary chemicals and designed to
destroy, incapacitate, harass or distract.
In an effort to reduce the number of wartime fatalities, UTSA Department of Electrical Engineering students are
designing and building rover robots that they hope
eventually will be able to assist the military. The robots
are equipped with biosensors and global positioning system (GPS) technology to enable them to go into dangerous
areas and detect IEDs or biological and chemical weapons.
The project is led by internationally recognized robotics
expert Mo Jamshidi, who came to UTSA from the University of New Mexico, where he directed the Autonomous
As a native of Iran, Jamshidi said the war in Iraq is
“Every time I see a U.S. soldier or an innocent Iraqi
civilian killed in the news, it just breaks my heart,” he said.
UTSA’s robots were featured in the 13-episode
public television series State of Tomorrow. The 30-minute
program ran on 13 PBS stations throughout Texas from
April to June. — Kris Rodriguez