Chinese combat engineers have a new mine clearing robot that’s going to accompany troops into the battlefield. While many other nations have built mine sweeping robots, such as the U.S. Panther (an unmanned M60 tank chassis with chainlink flails), this new robot is actually armed with exploding mine clearing line charges (MCLC). Imagine it a bit like a rocket armed R2-D2 or BB8.
The rocket robot consists of a simple four wheel chassis, and an ammunition box at the front, with the motor, control systems, camera mast and communications antenna at the back. Each side of the robot has a small rocket launcher, able to fire a MCLC consisting of a rocket tied to a string of explosive charges. When fired, the rocket pulls the explosive line out of the ammunition box and into flight, crossing over the minefield. When the rocket motor burns out, the explosive line falls into the minefield and detonates, destroying all mines under it. Since the MCLC’s explosives are all attached to the line, their explosions would create a straight, mine-free path for infantry. A light MCLC like the rocket robot’s would have a range of about 40-50 meters, and clear a lane 1-2 meters wide and 50 meters long.
Full article: China’s New “Rocket Robot” Has an Explosive Surprise (Popular Science)