Drones are to be used in the aftermath of Salisbury-style chemical weapons attacks to keep the emergency services safe from contamination.
As accusations and denials continue to fly between London and Moscow following of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March, military scientists from Porton Down have tested a fleet of drones and robots which can check for chemical and biological agents.
Among the hardware under examination by scientists, soldiers and police officers were a robot that can climb stairs and âreadâ hazardous chemical signs, a nano-drone the size of a bar of soap which can detect gas, and the hybrid air-and-ground âSnake Eyesâ drone manufactured by a private lab in Milton Keynes.
Snake Eyes is small enough to be posted through a letterbox but can transmit a 3D image of its surroundings back to its operator, and check the scene for traces of chemical elements, according to the MoD.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Following the reckless nerve agent attack in Salisbury this year, we have seen the bravery and professionalism of our Armed Forces, emergency services and MoD scientists.
“They have worked tirelessly to investigate and clean up deadly contaminated areas.
“This project will ensure we stay at the forefront of dealing with such heinous attacks, whether on our streets or on foreign battlefields.”
The hardware is part of the ÂŁ3m Minerva Project co-funded by the military research lab the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.
Minerva was launched in September 2016 and its tech was tested on Wednesday at the Fire Service College in Gloucestershire