The pulse mine consists of a proximity fuse and miniaturized EMP device enclosed in a gray metal casing screwed to the base. Armed status is indicated by four red diodes situated on top of the cover. It will begin beeping when a target comes within a short distance to it until it is disarmed or it detonates. The time until detonation depends on the Explosives skill of the person setting it off. Both soft and armored/robot targets will activate the fuse.
On detonation, the pulse mine creates an electromagnetic field affecting any functioning robots and turrets. The blast deals little damage to non-robot targets in close proximity to the detonating device. The pulse mine will become live and likely to cause instant death after it's dropped into non-player character's pants (inventory) via theft.
Enclave soldiers and officers are often supplied with one.
The can randomly be found in mine boxes across the wasteland.
They are also almost never found in the Wasteland, at least armed. A single live one can be found in the National Archives Rotunda.
Note that some robots hover above the ground, thus making this mine useless. Planting a pulse mine and waiting for a hovering bot, then using a firearm to set it off is very useful.
Running up close to robots and dropping these mines is a good way to make use of these mines if you don't care to use them as conventional mines. The mine will hardly damage you, while inflicting great harm upon the robot.
Reverse pick-pocketing pulse mines and pulse grenades will kill organic opponents without the potential to hurt the player significantly.
Interestingly the EMP does no damage to power armored non-player characters, even though the armor is highly mechanical and relies on a power source to function.