Villanova’s Low-cost Robot to Aid Cambodia

Villanova University faculty and students are seeking to live out the university’s mission of to help create a more sustainable world through serving those in need in Cambodia. Cambodia has suffered decades of bombings followed by the rise of the Khmer Rouge which lead to the Cambodian genocide. Eventually Cambodia was able to push the Khmer Rouge out of Cambodia through the use of a significant number of landmines. Cambodia is now contaminated with explosive remnants of war, which has led to the death of 64,121 innocent people as of June 2012. (SITE) As a developing country, Cambodia does not have the access to “expensive military-grade EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) robots” which are designed to provide advanced capabilities when it comes to the disposing of bombs.

Villanova University has collaborated with the Golden West Humanitarian foundation (GWHF) to address the urgent need for a lower-cost EOD robot solution. The main objective of this project is to “design and build a low-cost humanitarian explosive ordnance disposal robot capable of operating in low income countries, like Cambodia.”

Since the project began in 2013, four Villanova engineering faculty and more than 25 Villanova Engineering students have worked on this project. They have completing field trials in Cambodia and the most recent prototype was “determined ready to undergo redesign for production.” The robot has met the necessary goals of being economically viable, simple to repair, a wide range of mobility, and is operator-friendly. Villanova is now seeking donors to help with bringing this life-saving robot to the market.

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