Afghan invents low cost mine clearing device
An Afghan designer and former refugee has developed a low-cost, wind-powered mine detonating device inspired by the toys he played with as a child.
Massoud Hassani's Mine Kafon is composed almost entirely from bamboo and biodegradable plastics, with a skeletal structure of spiky plungers that resembles a giant spherical tumbleweed from another planet.
At 70 kilograms, Hassani says his invention is light enough to be propelled by a normal breeze, while still being heavy and big enough - 190cm in diameter - to activate mines as it rolls over them.
According to the U.N., there are more than 110 million active mines scattered across 70 countries, with an equal number stockpiled around the world still waiting to be planted.
By contrast, Hassani claims the Mine Kafon -- which includes a basic GPS tracking device used to record the area "cleared" by its tumbling path - costs as little as $40 to build.
"The core sphere that contains the GPS system is high enough from the ground to avoid damage from most anti-personnel mines," explained Hassani.There is a photo of the device at the link above. It is a clever design that can cut the cost of mine clearance and provide a safer way of dealing with land mines.