This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," August 17, 2005, that was edited for clarity.
BRENDA BUTTNER, GUEST HOST: Think James Bond. Think Buck Rogers. They could get rid of bombs with a high-tech gadget and now maybe so can the military. That’s because a new technology makes laser-guided electrical charges that can clear out bombs in an area before troops go in. Ionatron is the company behind it.
So what are the risks and rewards? Let’s ask the CEO of Ionatron (IONT), Thomas Dearmin.
OK, this is basically really high-tech stuff that can save a lot of lives.
THOMAS DEARMIN, PRES. & CEO, IONATRON: That’s correct.
BUTTNER: Tell me how it works.
DEARMIN: This is a spinoff of our core technology which is laser-induced plasma channels, which, if you think of the "Star Trek" phaser. What we’ve done is we’ve built a phaser but it fits in a truck right now. It’s not hand-held. We went to the government and they were looking for a quick solution to the roadside bomb problem.
BUTTNER: Which has been huge. I mean, there are I think 474 deaths so far from those improvised explosive devices.
DEARMIN: It’s over 50 percent of our military’s deaths in the Iraqi conflict have been caused by roadside bombs. We met with the Office of the Secretary of Defense last January and in two months we built a prototype, completely new technology.
BUTTNER: And now you have a contract with them and you’re sending them to Iraq?
DEARMIN: We have 12 production units that we’re just finishing up the last four of those. And we’re actually training troops as we speak and be deploying here very shortly.
BUTTNER: So the idea is they can go and radar basically in unmanned vehicles and clear out the bombs.
DEARMIN: The remotely piloted vehicles and we actually drive them down the highway in front of a convoy or in an area where maybe the night before someone might have planted roadside bombs, they will actual find the bomb, they will either disable it or detonate it. And they are remotely piloted so you can operate them, I don’t want to give the operational range but, you know, from a good distance away so people are safe. You know, so if somebody chooses to shoot at the vehicle, there’s no people around.
If it happens to be a very large (search), when it detonates it, it could damage the equipment. But, you know, in production they will be inexpensive enough that they’re less than damaging a AAV like the Marines were killed in the other day. So certainly loss of life, you know, how do you put a price on that?
BUTTNER: That’s absolutely true. Well, we wish you luck. Thank you so much for joining us and explaining that.
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