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Military personnel use robots to do jobs that might be dangerous to soldiers. One common task is working with explosives, such as landmines. Mobile robots are sent out into a potential threat area to search for landmines. Once a landmine has been detected, soldiers manipulate the robot to disarm or detonate the explosive from a safe distance. Landmine detection is becoming increasingly important because, unfortunately, we live in a world where thousands of landmines have been buried over time. Many undetonated landmines remain hidden long after they have were buried.


In this project, your task is to design and build a mobile device to replicate the behavior of a military robot that can find landmines. The device should sweep an area in front of your robot to identify any hidden magnets. You will use small neodymium magnets hidden under a piece of cloth or a large sheet of paper to represent the buried landmines. The sweep should be large enough to detect “landmines” you could run over with any wheel or track of your robot.

Your challenge is to pinpoint the exact location of the “mines” using a Vernier Magnetic Field Sensor. Once the sensor detects a magnet, the robot should stop with the tip of the sensor directly above the hidden magnet (the white dot on the sensor should be facing the magnet) and give some type of feedback that a “landmine” has been found. Your robot is only required to find one magnet at a time, and you can place your robot on the field in the starting orientation of your choice.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #12 of Vernier Engineering Projects with LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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