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Marine Corps Considers Robots to Clear Mine-Filled Waters

The U.S. Marine Corps is planning to build robotic systems that would scout sea floors for possible mine threats and other man-made traps. The service branch's Crawling Remotely Operated Amphibious Breacher or CRAB would clear amphibious areas to provide a safe landing spot for troops, USMC said Thursday.

These unmanned robots would deploy from a littoral craft and neutralize obstacle threats both explosive and nonexplosive. In theory, the CRAB system will breach through man-made obstacles in the surf zone,” said Capt. Anthony Molnar, MK154 and MK155 project officer at Marine Corps Systems Command.

The command awaits the Office of Naval Research's approval to rapidly prototype CRAB with fiscal 2020 funds over a two-year period. Molnar said MCSC would collaborate with the service branch's Combat Development Command to develop CRAB.

“The CRAB will support combat engineers and explosive ordnance disposal Marines by providing a remote or autonomous explosive and nonexplosive obstacle reduction capability within the very shallow water, surf zone and the beach,” said Michael Poe, who leads MCSC’s Mobility and Counter Mobility program.

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