Skip to main content

Kickstarter project wants to use drones to rid the world of land mines in 10 years

Every single day, around ten innocent civilians around the world are killed or maimed by land mines. Many of them are children, women and the elderly.

Massoud Hassani wants to change all that. He’s got a plan to rid the world of land mines within the next ten years — and it relies on autonomous drones able to detect explosives from the sky.

Hassani’s Mine Kafon drones (MKDs) fly over dangerous areas of the world mapping, detecting, and detonating land mines from a safe distance. Doing so involves an aerial 3D-mapping system, a robotic arm able to detect mines while the drone hovers above the ground, and the ability to place a small detonator on each mine to safely destroy it using a timer.

It sounds like something out of a James Bond movie — but it’s just audacious enough to have a shot at working. As Hassani points out, the tech-heavy solution isn’t just 20 times faster than traditional de-mining technologies, but it’s 200 times cheaper as well.

“With our new Kickstarter campaign, our goal is to raise funds to be able to develop Mine Kafon drones and deploy them for the de-mining activities,” Hassani told Digital Trends, describing his new fundraising effort. “Before that we need to do [pilot schemes] with local organizations to be able to test the MKDs in different weather conditions and environments.”

Hassani notes that developing the Mine Kafon drone involved two years of cutting-edge R&D. “Along the way we talked with lots of industry experts and listened to their advice,” he says. “We needed to find new ways to detect land mines from the air, and the robotic arm needed to be created and tested with distance sensors to measure the ground. We have [now] developed three different types of robotic extensions since they need to be easy to use.”

To scale the project, Hassani is hoping to crowdfund 70,000 euros ($77,000), which he is doing through Kickstarter. People pledging money can get anything from a personal message to a three-day drone workshop.

And along with your contribution comes the knowledge that you’ve helped create a land mine-free world. Could there be a better Kickstarter reward than that?

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
Kickstarter project sells world’s first ink made out of air pollution
kickstarter ink air pollution solvents test

Let’s be honest: Unless you’re the heir to the Parker Pen Company fortune, there is nothing overly exciting about the way that ink is made.

Unless you ask the folks behind Graviky Labs, that is. They found a way to recycle air pollution -- which causes more than 7.2 million deaths each year -- by using a proprietary method to transform it into something you can write with. The fluid ounce of ink needed to fill a pen can be gathered from 45 minutes of car emissions, courtesy of Graviky’s smart process, developed while the founders were studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Read more
Despite its drones ‘trying to land in trees,’ Google insists it’s committed to delivery project
Drone Delivery

Despite difficulties in designing a reliable enough drone capable of supporting an efficient delivery service, Google's parent company Alphabet says it's intent on seeing the ambitious project through to completion.

It has its eye on creating platform called the "Wing Marketplace" where customers can order items from retailers and restaurants and have them delivered by drone within a few minutes for a $6 delivery fee, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Read more
Fewer than 500 people wanted this funky Windows 10 Mobile phone on Kickstarter
nuans neo windows 10 phone kickstarter 2 feat

The NuAns Neo, a smartphone running Windows 10 Mobile, has failed to meet its ambitious $725,000 Kickstarter campaign target. The project launched at the beginning of July, and was Japanese company NuAns attempt to launch the Neo phone internationally, following its local release at the end of 2015. Donations managed to top $142,000, after nearly 500 people pledged at least $270 for one of the phones. The unsuccessful campaign says more about the state of Windows 10 Mobile than about the device itself, which looks great.

Packing a 5-inch, 1,280 x 720 display that features an anti-fingerprint coating, the Neo is powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 and 2GB RAM, making the phone powerful enough to support Continuum, a Windows 10 Mobile feature that turns the phone into a pseudo PC when connected to a monitor. A 5-megapixel camera sits above the display, while a 13-megapixel shooter sits around back, with both cameras featuring wide-angle lenses.

Read more