Israeli Robots To Save Soldiers’ Lives [Video]

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In the year 2000, three Israeli soldiers were kidnapped and murdered by Hezbollah on the border of  Lebanon. Their names were Benny Avraham, Adi Avitan and Omar Souad.  It took three and a half years to return their bodies in a story that the entire Israeli nation followed closely.

I met with Haim Avraham and Yaakov Avitan, the fathers of 2 of the abducted soldiers on this college of Management campus in the city of  Rishon Lezion. It’s been 12 years, but Haim has not forgotten the feeling of losing his child and living in the unknown. The story of the October 2000 kidnappings on Mount Dov is a story of  sad coincidence, or call it fate. A story that united these family-men together, years later, with a common goal.

Haim Avraham, father of kidnapped and murdered soldier Benny Avraham:

“Think that you lose a child for 10 minutes. These are 3 and a half years, we have no day and no night. We travel all over the world to find information; it’s not easy to leave without any knowledge about your loved ones. He stays a young boy, 20 years old, as we remember him when he killed. I miss him very much…  My son Benny wanted to learn Computers but he was kidnapped and all this dream – not happened. When we started this project, I thought maybe other students can do what he wanted to do. It’s hard for parents to see around you what’s happened and your son will miss all this. But when you know it’s for a good reason and for good purpose –  he’s killed to let us live here. I think that he’s done what he needed to do… My brother was killed in the Yom Kippur war and after 25 years, my Benny was killed. This is the price that we need to pay for our Independence. We hope that we don’t need to pay more blood for a piece of land that the Jewish nation can live on. That’s enough”.

Dr. Shmuel Itzikowitz – Institute Founder:

“We need such robots not only along the Gaza border line, we need also along the Sinai border line to avoid such kidnappings. Just to remind everybody, five years later Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser were abducted on very similar circumstances and a bit earlier Gilad Shalit was abducted along the Gaza border in quite similar circumstances. That means that the problem exists.”  

Dr. Yehuda Elmaliach – Institute Director:

“Normally we have fences along our borders and soldiers patrol those fences to check if there’s terrorists that cross those borders and enter to Israel, and what we are trying to do here is develop smart robots that will patrol along those borders and replace the soldiers, by that, keeping the soldiers safe. In another scenario – an urban war, when soldiers need to enter each house, to check if there are terrorists inside the house, if there are bombs inside the house. So what we want is to replace soldiers, again, and enter robots to check if the house is equipped with bombs. We are not building the hardware of the robot, we are building the software level. Actually, the brain of the robot and what we are doing here is developing- we call them “algorithms” in computer science. That will make the robot smart and will help the soldiers to do their job better and in a safe way. The robots will speak with each other and they do it with a parallel and synchronized manner that will do it in an efficient way”.

Sivan Raviv, JN1, Israel

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