Four-legged bomb detectors still top dog

Paul Raven @ 22-10-2010

After research and development to the tune of US$19bn, the Pentagon concludes that nothing detects bombs more effectively than a well-trained dog; Uxo would be proud.

Despite a slew of bomb-finding gagdets, the American military only locates about 50 percent of the improvised explosives planted in Afghanistan and Iraq. But that number jumps to 80 percent when U.S. and Afghan patrols take dogs along for a sniff-heavy walk.

Technology isn’t the answer to every problem… unless that problem is “how can we squander billions of dollars that could be better used in other ways”, I suppose.

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3 Responses to “Four-legged bomb detectors still top dog”

  1. Robert Koslover says:

    A dog is actually a very sophisticated system. 🙂
    But someday, maybe, humans will produce something comparable, whether for drug or bomb sniffing, companionship, herding sheep, guiding the blind, etc. Patience, dear futurist, patience.

  2. Chad says:

    The dog is definitely better, but it can only work for short periods of time. Thus, you have to have lots of dogs just to cover a 24 hour period. This means there probably is a place for machines.

  3. AnthonyA says:

    That’s the thing about innovation – you don’t know if you’ve got something better until you’ve got the invention in your hands ,and can try it out. Sometimes, the new thing just doesn’t work out.