Starting in 1965 and continuing for three decades, Cambodia was embroiled in armed conflict. US bombings during the Vietnam War made Cambodia perhaps the most bombed country in history. Many of these bombs did not explode, leaving UXO throughout the country. Following this period, the Khmer Rouge came to power resulting in the Cambodian genocide. The Khmer Rouge were eventually pushed to the Cambodia-Thailand border, where significant numbers of landmines were deployed by both Cambodia and Thailand to prevent the Khmer Rouge from entering their respective countries.
More than 4500 km2 in Cambodia are contaminated with explosive remnants of war (ERW), which has significantly affected Cambodia in a number of ways. For example, as of June 2012, more than 64,121 people had been killed, injured or disabled in accidents, and economic growth is stifled because expansion of farms and other livelihood activities is impeded.
This problem exists in other developing countries as well. IEDs have caused more than 53,000 civilian deaths worldwide in the last three years. While developing world explosive ordnance disposal technicians do amazing work, they do not necessarily have access to expensive military-grade EOD robots and therefore, must put themselves in higher risk situations than their developed world counterparts. Thus, there is a need for a lower-cost EOD robot solution.