Israeli firm trains mice to detect explosives at airports

14 June 2015 (Last Updated June 14th, 2015 18:30)

Israel-based security firm X-Test is working on a system that will train mice to detect explosives at airport security checkpoints.

Israel-based security firm X-Test is working on a system that will train mice to detect explosives at airport security checkpoints.
Carried in cages at checkpoints, the rodents will be made to sniff people and their luggage for identifying certain substances, reported the Independent.

The animals will be trained to signal when they detect a threat. The company believes that rodents are more effective than humans, dogs or machines at detecting explosives.

X-Test vice-president Yuval Amsterdam said: "They're as good as dogs as far as their ability to sense, but they're smaller and easier to train.

"They're as good as dogs as far as their ability to sense, but they're smaller and easier to train."

"They're cheap, and you don't have to take them for a walk. Once they are trained, they become bio-sensors."

According to the publication, the mice are expected to produce much more reliable results as they can be trained in large numbers by a machine.

The developers working on the project are hoping that the mice will not only be able to detect bombs implanted inside a body but also drugs, thereby combating smuggling.

"We can teach them anything that has a scent - whether it's explosives, whether it's drugs, whether it's ivory in Africa. Anything that has a smell." Amsterdam added.

X-Test is a part of Israel's Tamar Group that was established in 1998 by former special unit officers of the Israel Defense Forces and of other security and intelligence agencies. It offers expertise in design, development and implementation of activities related to explosives.