Tuesday, 18 December 2018
BREAKING NEWS

Drones and robots to be used in Salisbury-style attacks to keep emergency services safe

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 ‘read’ hazardous chemical signs, a nano-drone the size of a bar of soap which can detect gas, and the hybrid air-and-ground “Snake Eyes” 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.

The drones and robots were tested last Wednesday in Gloucestershire

The drones and robots were tested last Wednesday in Gloucestershire

Credit:
Dstl/MoD/Crown copyright/PA

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 £3m Minerva Project co-funded by the military research lab the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

One of the drones weighs just 250g

One of the drones weighs just 250g

Credit:
Dstl/MoD/Crown copyright/PA

Minerva was launched in September 2016 and its tech was tested on Wednesday at the Fire Service College in Gloucestershire

Salisbury has been subjected to widespread testing for nerve agent novichok after it was used in an attempted murder on former spy Sergei Skripal on March 4.

His daughter Yulia was also successfully treated, but about three months later 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess died after coming into contact with the nerve agent.

Police officers also needed treatment following the attack, including Detective Nick Bailey who spent nearly three weeks in hospital.

Police and the Government have accused two men alleged to be Russian military intelligence service officers of carrying out the attack on the orders of the Kremlin.

Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/16/drones-robots-used-salisbury-style-attacks-keep-emergency-services/

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