Drones are used for entertainment, surveillance, safety and even delivery. A new innovation by Netherlands-based product designer Massoud Hassani hopes to harness the power of drone technology to rid the world of land mines hidden beneath the sands in 60 countries around the world.
The Mine Kafon Drone is an unmanned airborne demining system that uses a three step process to map, detect and detonate land mines. The customised drone flies over dangerous areas to map, detect and detonate land mines from a safe distance. Equipped with three separate interchangeable robotic extensions, the drone is able to work autonomously.
Using an aerial 3D mapping system, the drone identifies all the dangerous areas with GPS waypoints. It then hovers above the ground at approximately 4 cm to detect mines. Every detected mine is geotagged on the operator's system to construct a map of known mine locations. Finally, a robotic arm is attached to the drone. The appendage places a small detonator on every detected mine. The landmine is then detonated from a safe distance using a timer.
There are 100 million land mines worldwide. Ten innocent civilians are killed or maimed by these remnants of war every day. It’s estimated that current technologies will rid the world of its landmines in 1100 years. But Hassani hopes that his device will reduce this number to 10 years.
He recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the development of the device.
An earlier iteration of the device, the Mine Kafon or Mine Sweeper is a wind-blown, bamboo-spiked ball that loses spikes with each landmine detonation.