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SAYS OFFICIAL
RP Navy eyes bomb disposal robot

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 09:29:00 11/06/2008

Filed Under: Innovation (invention), Robotics, Technology (general)

PASIG City, Philippines -- The enhanced version of the Philippine-made mechanical anti-terrorist concept (MAC) bomb disposal robot will be designed for use in water, a Philippine Navy official told INQUIRER.net.

In an interview, Cdr. Rodrigo Jaca of the Philippine Navy of the Naval Sea Systems Command Cavite Unit, said that the Philippine Navy will benefit from the enhanced version of the bomb disposal robot developed by a team from the Mapua Institute of Technology.

MAC lead developer and engineer John Judilla said the enhanced MAC version will become a prototype for Philippine Navy?s ?Project Smart.?

Development of the Navy?s Project Smart will get a funding of P1.7 million.

Jaca said the request for funding is undergoing deliberation at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the mother arm of Philippine Navy as well as the Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Army.

The Navy official said that when the funding reaches final deliberation from the Department of Defense, the funding will be released via the AFP and the development of the improved MAC will commence immediately.

Project Smart will include enhancements of the MAC prototype, which was announced previously by Judilla. Jaca, however, said in an interview with INQUIRER.net that it was premature to announce other features as of yet, apart from the idea that it will operate on water.

The Project Smart bomb disposal unit is one of four other technologies the Philippine Navy has proposed for this year under its Self-Reliance Defense Posture (SRDP), an AFP modernization program aimed to develop technologies for low to medium level threats by tapping local capability.

Other projects include a submersible robot launched last week, an unmanned surface vessel or ?Seadroid? and a wireless trident strike Philippine machine gun, an update of the wired 2005 version.

Currently in development, the submersible robot is designed to reduce the Navy frog mans sent during underwater rescue operations, especially during the rescue of survivors in sunken ships.

Meanwhile, the Seadroid is designed to help automate reconnaissance patrol and reduce sending personnel far from the Navy base. It can cover up to 2 nautical miles and is operated wirelessly from the base.

Jaca said the Navy?s SRDP 2009 program will focus on firepower preservation aboard ship and ashore. Another technology under development is the rust converter paint, which can help reduce and prevent metal disintegration caused by rust.

Issuance of funding is the man challenge for the development of the technologies, said Jaca.

In terms of collaboration with other state universities for technology development, the Navy official said it was open to partnerships.

The Philippine Navy official said that they find it easier to work with local universities like Mapua since they can easily tap local experts like Judilla who is also a Navy lieutenant.



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