these rats are great
These rats are fantastic
cue dangermouse music.
More news this week from the perhaps surprisingly active field of US military combat rodent operations, as reports have it that Pentagon boffins are considering deployment of crack units composed of highly trained, enormous bomb rats into the Wars on Stuff. These bomb rats, we should hasten to add, would not be explosive-laden …
I saw a documentary on the use of rats in Africa to detect landmines. It was amazing. Apparently they learn faster than dogs, have more acute smell than dogs, are obviously more portable than dogs, cheaper to keep (i.e. feed etc.) than dogs.
They can also be used for sniffing out other stuff such as narcotics etc., so could also be used by police forces and drug enforcement agencies.
I read about the idea of bomb-sniffing rats a few rats around 2001 / 2002, following the destruction of the World Trade Centre in New York- apparently the US suddenly realised that it had a shortage of dogs trained to sniff bombs, since their canines had all been trained to find drugs instead.
As I recall, the chief advantage of using rats- besides their lower weight and size- was that much of their training could be automated in a sort of augmented-reality maze, whereas dogs required an expensive one-to-one relationship with a costly human trainer.
So there is your IT angle... don't take my word for it, I imagine it's in the archive of New Scientist magazine, if anyone with a subscription (and thus access to the archive) cares to confirm.
I wouldn't imagine that using bomb-rats and bomb-dogs in the same area would be a good idea...
"IEDs, the primary threat to Western troops in modern conflicts, as opposed to landmines or other regular munitions manufactured in established arms factories."
Taxpaying arms factories, no less.
But its great that the DIY / Maker culture can thrive in a place like.. well, any of the Empire's colonies..
has always broken my heart.. I mean it's not their fight, is it ?
Whatever happened to the sniffer tech the septics
were supposed to have used in 'nam ?
Has that tech stood still ? Not likely !
ANIMALS ARE JUST CHEAPER.
Badgers - No projected military use at this time
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