There are millions of unexploded landmines around the world, killing civilians and military personnel every month.
Growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan, Massoud Hassani was acutely aware of the dangers landmines posed and knew all too well not to wander into certain territories around his house.Inspired both by the life-threatening playground he was surrounded with and the wind-powered toys he liked to build, Hassani went on to study Industrial Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands (which had welcomed him years ago as a refugee) and in 2011 revealed his graduation project – a wind-powered landmine detector called Mine Kafon.
Mine Kafon rolls across the ground and is heavy enough to activate landmines. It is made out of 17 kg iron core that hosts a GPS unit to map its route, surrounded by dozens of radiating bamboo legs with a round plastic foot at their tip to enable it to roll over bumps, holes and other obstacles. As each explosion destroys some of the devices legs, it can handle about 3-4 landmines on each journey.
Four years later Mine Kafon 2.0 is already a fact as well as a new organization founded by Hassani called the Mine Kafon Foundation. Its aim is "to work with top humanitarian organisations and industry leaders to clear the world’s landmines quickly and systematically with reliable results.”
Hassani's team has entirely re-thought the concept and has come up with the Mine Kafon Drone – an airborne demining system. The Mine Kafon drone can fly above a dangerous area, generate 3D maps and detect mines with the help of a metal detector and a GPS. A robotic arm attached to the drone can then place detonators on top of the mines and trigger them from a safe distance.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2016, the team is currently completing field tests and working with partner organizations to begin demining initiatives across the world.
Photos: Mine Kafon