An ability to cut through virtually any material and to do this remotely – software overseeing the process – has obvious advantages for industry.
However, a mix of technology and innovation has been found for water jet cutting that can potentially save lives and make unsafe land safe once more.
In India, an Unexploded Ordnance Handling Robot – UXOR – has been designed that can handle unexploded bombs, mortars and missiles.
It can, the team behind the robot claim, defuse a bomb or similar that weighs up to 1,000 kg and it can be activated from up to a kilometre away.
Unsurprisingly, they suggest that the Indian army and air force are interested in the technology and it is not hard to imagine other countries taking an interest too, or working on equivalent versions.
The robot needs a mix of technologies.
Of course it has to be able to access the unexploded device. For this, it must have good traction and be robust, able to travel across the terrain.
The robot also has super endurance, lasting for up to six hours between charges.
How, though, does it do the job once it has arrived at the scene?
This is where water jet cutting comes to the fore.
Water jet cutting, when the water jet is mixed with an abrasive garnet, can cut through almost any material, and beyond 25cm depth of most materials.
One arm of the robot is able to manipulate the bomb, turn it as required (or presumably leave well alone at times), the other arm acts as the nozzle through which the targetted water jet is delivered.
The water jet can cut through the device, removing the fuse in smaller devices or engaging in case cutting for larger bombs, missiles and similar.
Many of the devices they hope the technology will render safe are extremely dangerous to attempt to defuse by human hand. Over time, the undetonated devices can become unstable, essentially becoming more of a threat as time passes. Elements within the device degrade, the risk of accidental discharge grows.
Many of the devices this technology could defuse will be historic. It is not hard to imagine this wonderful use of water jet cutting being used in areas where landmines blight the landscape, leading to preventable, tragic deaths as people are forced to farm this unsafe land.
Trial versions of this water jet cutting robot have been used by the Indian Air Force, and the team behind the prototypes are now seeking to offer licences for production. Their hope is for private firms to then take on production.
We will watch this project with interest from afar.
As the UK’s leading water jet cutters we are always fascinated by interesting user cases from around the globe.
We have worked on a huge range of projects for clients of all sizes across all industries. We have even worked with artists to make sculptures and model enthusiasts to help create custom parts for model railways or replica Star Wars helmets.
This latest use is another demonstration of how water jet cutting has emerged as the pre-eminent cutting technology, with an ability to tackle any conceivable task where cutting of parts is required.
Normally, this is to create, in this innovative use case it is to destruct.
At TMC, we are a water jet cutter who serve the whole of the UK and increasingly Europe too, with clients across the content trusting us to work on their projects.
Despite our success, we remain a company that focusses on every client and work on projects of all sizes.
If you think water jet cutting might be of use for your project, please do get in touch for an obligation-free chat.
Call us on 01625 610 441 or use our Contact Form.