The Nigeria Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Kaduna, has invented a bomb diffusing robot capable of defusing bombs and disposing Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), just as the Research and Development (R and D) unit of the institute has produced an improved version of its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), capable of being used in surveillance of the nation’s pipelines and other vital installations.
The commandant of AFIT, Air vice Marshal, John O. Oshoniyi disclosed the new invention while speaking at a press conference organized to kick start the 42nd graduation week of the institute on Monday. He said that the invention became necessary in view of last year’s incidents where a police anti bomb expert was killed as well as bomb explosions in parts of the country.
The commandant also confirmed that the AFIT has upgraded the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), codenamed AMEBO 111, so as to provide area surveillance of any troubled spot in Nigeria. According to him, “AFIT had developed and successfully test-flown two versions of UAV codenamed AMEBO 1 and 11 respectively,” adding that “I am equally delighted to inform you that AMEBO 111, which is an improved version of AMEBO 1 and 11, had been designed and produced to higher precision,” when deployed for surveillance of troubled areas.
“The research activities being undertaken at AFIT come with huge financial implications and the resources required for AFIT to fully operate cannot be borne by the Nigerian Air Force alone with its limited resources. “It is in this regard that we earnestly seek the passage of the AFIT Establishment Act.”The AFIT Establishment Act, when assented to by Mr. President, will open the institute to greater funding.
With adequate funding and political support, AFIT for instance, could develop its UAV to produce operational UAVs that will find use in pipeline and power line monitoring and aerial surveillance; this will ultimately reduce incidents of vandalism and sabotage. “The UAVs could be used to enhance internal security through the provision of timely information when effectively deployed in crisis-prone areas”, AVM Oshoniyi stressed.
He noted that organizations like the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) have tried to support research efforts at the institute through monetary interventions; he however said that the interventions were not sufficient to drive massive infrastructure and manpower development needed at the institute.
In the area of training, AFIT Commandant also disclosed that the institute has commenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Preparatory Course, following the certification of the institute to offer the course by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
The efforts of the institute, he said, had started attracting international attention, particularly from overseas companies which were seeking to collaborate in the areas of manpower and research and development activities, while commending President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration for placing emphasis on improving the way they do things in order to achieve results.
Meanwhile, the prototype of the newly developed bomb defusing robot was demonstrated by the research team that anchored its manufacture.
The prototype robot which was totally conceived and manufactured at the institute with local and foreign materials is a remote controlled six wheels machine with high definition surveillance video camera with feedback capability which could lift a five kilogram object