Mine Kafon Drone: Clearing Landmines with the Help of Drones

Mine Kafon Drone: Clearing Landmines with the Help of Drones
Mine Kafon Drone | Photo file:

Minefields could be cleared all around the world with the use of drone technology. The Mine Kafon Drone System could make the clearance of all landmines possible by offering a safer, quicker, and less expensive substitute to present techniques, saving numerous lives in the process.

A revolutionary method that combines drone technology, robots, and data analysis has the ability to remove landmines worldwide within 10 years, as shown by the EU-funded MKD project. A significant humanitarian achievement would result from this. Over a million people have reportedly been hurt or killed by landmines in just three decades, according to UN estimates. At the current rate, it would take hundreds of years to remove all of the approximately 110 million active landmines that are strewn over the world. This is due to demining's continued reliance on hand removal, which makes it a time-consuming, expensive, and hazardous procedure. All of that could change if unmanned aerial vehicles were used instead, operated safely from a distance.

A blast from the past

The Dutch-Afghan brothers Massoud and Mahmud Hassani, who grew up in Kabul and personally saw the problem's scope, are the creators of the Mine Kafon Drone System. Afghanistan is one of the nations in the world most heavily contaminated by landmines as a result of its long history of war and warfare. "We resided outside of the city. The Mine Kafon Lab, which houses the project, and the playground were both surrounded by landmines, according to Mahmud Hassani, the project coordinator for MKD and a co-founder of Hassani Design. The brothers used their personal experience to develop a concept that would bring innovation to the war against landmines. They are currently located in the Netherlands, where they fled their home country as refugees 20 years ago.

Getting the project off the ground

Testing of the mapping and detection systems is now possible. In order to launch a 6-month trial in Afghanistan, the team is now collaborating with the Directorate of Mine Action Coordination (DMAC), an Afghan organization backed by the UN. The Hassanis would consider reaching this milestone in their native nation to be a significant accomplishment, but they have much greater goals in mind. "We have received inquiries from nations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and South America. Now that there is a great demand, we must satisfy it. In ten years, all landmines could be removed from the planet if we quickly expand our business and introduce our technology into all impacted nations.

In less than ten years, according to the developers of a drone that can map, locate, and detonate land mines autonomously, the world may be free of these lethal weapons. Although ambitious, the objective is one that should be pursued. There are reportedly 100 million land mines in existence worldwide; many of them are the remnants of hostilities that are long past. These mines claim the lives of thousands of people each year, most of whom are unarmed civilians. This is something that the Mine Kafon Drone (MKD) hopes to change.

The MKD is made to make demining land mines simpler, more affordable, and safer. The drone has three different attachments and six rotors. While the second, a metal detector, is used to find mines and mark them with GPS markers, the first is utilized to map the intended area. The drone then flies back to its controller and exchanges its metal detector for a robotic arm that is used to plant tiny detonators the size of tennis balls over the locations of the mines. The mines are then set off while the drone retreats to safety.

According to MKD's creators, this approach to demining is up to 200 times more affordable and up to 20 times faster than conventional methods. The group, under the direction of designer Massoud Hassani, previously developed the Mine Kafon, a low-cost, disposable wind-blown device that resembles a tumbleweed made of a toilet plunger and rolls through fields, detonating mines as it goes. Hassani has firsthand knowledge of the harm these weapons can cause because he grew up in northern Afghanistan, which is home to some 10 million land mines that are concentrated in a 500 square kilometer area.

Hassan has started a campaign on Kickstarter today with a financing goal of €70,000 in order to raise money for the drone. The funds will be used to construct base stations, test the drone in various conditions, and train pilots, in addition to improving the MKD's design. Rewards include miniature models of the wind-blown Mine Kafon and postcards of sponsored locations that will be mine-free thanks to the support of backers.

The MKD's creators acknowledge that employing a drone for such sensitive work has its own set of issues. These include the challenge of using a drone that must hover around four centimeters above the ground to find mines that have been buried for many years. The MKD team hopes to enhance GPS's four-meter accuracy by using triangulation from external antennas because it can be challenging to rely on it for precise positioning.

A three-step approach

The Mine Kafon Drone operates in three stages: first, it scans an area to create a map, then it uses a metal detector to find mines, and finally, it uses robotic grippers to place detonators (which resemble dog toys) and detonates from a safe distance.

This system is far safer and more logical than the less-than-ideal present approaches. In some cases, skilled experts manually locate and explode mines using metal detectors. In some cases, trained animals assist in finding the mines in a manner similar to how a police dog may detect drugs. It's almost shocking that better solutions haven't been used given how

Amazingly, the proposed Mine Kafon Drone System is not only said to be safer, but also up to 20 times faster and up to 200 times less expensive than present methods and technologies. Many of the pieces of this typically expensive piece of technology are 3D printed using Ultimaker printers, making it substantially more affordable.

Despite the campaign's recent launch, they are already making progress toward their $70,000 target. The idea is a ground-breaking and economical application of modern technology, especially given the low cost of 3D printing and the numerous opportunities provided by drones.

Mine Kafon do-it-yourself package

The drone might be a little too pricey for folks who live close to minefields. As a result, the Hassani brothers created a pdf manual that anyone may use to construct a secure Mine Kafon. This may be accomplished extremely quickly and cheaply using common items like wood and automobile wheels. They will collaborate with NGOs to make the PDF available to people in land mine-prone nations. "People are trying to devise their own, frequently quite risky means to get rid of land mines because they are desperate. They can construct a simple and secure Mine Kafon using the PDF.

Creating awareness

Massoud demonstrated how simple it is to design a tool for disarming land mines with the first Mine Kafon. It served as an additional means of raising awareness of the widespread issue of land mines. A land mine causes injury or possibly death every 22 minutes, according to Mahmud, a co-founder of the Mine Kafon project. When it comes to disarming landmines, the issue is far too frequently ignored, and technology has hardly advanced. People continue to use antiquated, frequently hazardous methods to find landmines. The brothers hope to demonstrate that there are less complicated ways to detonate landmines by creating the Mine Kafon Drone.

A world without landmines

Is it possible to eliminate landmines from the planet? Massoud Hassani and Mahmud are making efforts in this direction. The Afghan brothers were raised in Kabul, which is a city with a lot of land mines. They established a new life in the south of the Netherlands after escaping the conflict in Afghanistan. As part of his capstone project, Massoud, who majored in industrial design at Eindhoven's Design Academy, created the first Mine Kafon, a wind-driven ball that is relatively simple to construct. If you simply throw it into a field that has land mines, it will detonate.