SARAH is an autonomous metal searching hovercraft- she searches an area in a random search pattern, using sonar and a gyroscope to avoid objects and control her movement. Her creation was inspired by the timeless image of the beachfront metal detector junkie; the type of person who might spend hours walking around, metal detector in hand, hoping for the find of their life. Now, perhaps, our fanatic may sit back and enjoy a tasty beverage while a robot does all the work. However, SARAH is not all fun and games. During her creation, it became clear she might also find a more noble cause- landmines injure and kill many people every year [pdf], but if scaled up, SARAH could help fight that. Even one or two car-sized SARAHs would be able to assist in finding and clearing out a considerable number of mines. Because SARAH floats, she would not trigger any of them.
Complete report on SARAH (with code) [pdf]
Here’s an early test of her search algorithm: