Second International Workshop on Recent Advances in Robotics and Sensor Technology for Humanitarian Demining and Counter-IEDs

This workshop is designated for reporting recent research and development results in robotics and sensor technologies for humanitarian demining and the recent advances in Counter Improvised Explosive Device (IED) technologies. Detection and removal of landmines and improvised explosive devices, at the present time, is a serious problem of political, economical, environmental and humanitarian dimensions in many countries over the world. The workshop will feature plenary speeches, technical paper session, industrial panel session, and an exhibition of humanitarian demining and counter-IED technologies. 

RST 2016 takes place in conjunction with Minesweepers: Towards a Landmine-free World, first international outdoor robotic competition on humanitarian demining at Zewail City of Science and Technology in the beautiful city of Giza, Greater Cairo, Egypt. The workshop is organized under the auspices of IEEE RAS Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS-SIGHT). All articles will undergo a rigorous review process. Accepted papers will be published as conference proceedings and indexed in IEEE Xplore. Extended version of accepted papers will be recommended for publication in a special issue of International Journal of Robotics and Automation about Robotics and Sensor Technology for Humanitarian Demining and Counter-IEDs. The workshop is organized in two main tracks: 

Track 1: Humanitarian Demining Technologies

Civilian-purpose demining or humanitarian demining aims at finding and removing abandoned landmines without any hazard to the environment. It is estimated that there are more than 110 million active mines scattered in 68 countries. These landmines kill or maim more than 5,000 people annually, of whom 46% are children and cause 15,000-20,000 injuries each year. Landmines create millions of refugees or internally displaced people. This serious problem hinders economic development of rich areas in many countries. While basic landmine detection and neutralizing theologies remain almost the same, landmine technology improved dramatically. The conventional detection methods make the procedure of removing great numbers of landmines very slow, inefficient, dangerous and costly. Robotics systems can provide efficient, reliable, adaptive and cost effective solution for the problem of landmines and unexploded ordnances (UXOs) contamination. In recent years, robotic and innovative sensing systems have received an increasing amount of attention from researchers in academia, government laboratories and industry to develop efficient, reliable, cost-effective and safe solutions for the problem of landmine detection and disposal. This research activity has borne some fruit in tackling some of the challenging problems of these systems that are still open. Topics include but are not limited to:

·      Landmine and Unexploded Ordinances Detection Sensors and Systems

·      Mechanical tools and systems for mine detection and clearance

·      Remote controlled excavators

·      Loader-based demining systems

·      Unmanned Systems

·      Airborne Remote Sensing and Remote Sensing for Humanitarian Demining

·      Mechatronic Systems for Humanitarian Underwater Demining

·      Minefield Reconnaissance and Mapping

Track 2: Counter-IED Technologies

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are currently used by many terrorists and criminal groups to destroy, incapacitate, harass, or distract. IEDs remain the weapon of choice for terrorists and are generally seen in heavy terrorist actions or in unconventional warfare by criminals, terrorists and suicide bombers, and insurgents. Because they are improvised, IEDs can come in many forms, ranging from a small pipe bomb to a sophisticated device capable of causing massive damage and loss of life. IEDs can be carried or delivered in a vehicle (car, boat, etc.); surgically implanted, carried, placed, or thrown by a person (suicide bombing); delivered in a package; or concealed on the roadside as victim-operated mines. There are numerous technologies for the detection and identification, disposal of IEDs that have been proposed, are in the research stage, or are currently in use. This workshop reports the recent advances in counter-IED technologies. Topics include but are not limited to:

·      Detection of Concealed Targets

·      Non-invasive IEDs detection systems

·      Multi-modal detection system

·      IED identification systems

·         Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) systems

·      Counter-IED Vehicles

·      Electronic Countermeasures

·      Countering water-borne/airborne IEDs