Jevit the Robot Detects and Removes Landmines
Tom Spendlove posted on April 17, 2019 |

Richard Yim grew up in Phnom Penh Cambodia and always knew of the dangers of landmines, starting from the age of 8 when his aunt was killed in an accident. After moving to Canada at the age of 13 he noticed the lack of fear that was felt once the potential threat of landmines was removed from a lifestyle. Studying at Waterloo University, Yim started Demine Robotics with the goal of removing the threat of mines and unexploded ordinance from the earth. The group says that between 60 and 100 million landmines and unexploded ordinances are left around the globe. At the rate we're clearing those mines today it would take more than 270 years to have a landmine free world. Removing mines from soil is dangerous, expensive, and a slow process. Current demining machinery can occasionally move mines deeper into the ground, ignore unstable mines, or throw mines to the sides of the vehicle. Demine's solution is a robot named Jevit, designed to find and remove landmines. The group is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for its first round of robots.

Manual demining uses the process of metal detection, proving, and then excavation. Jevit is a remote controlled robot that is used after a field is suspected of holding mines. It's operating distance can be up to 300 meters away and excavation can take place in as little as one minute. Three augers drill into the soil around the suspected area at and angle to grasp the earth around the mine, and then the unit moves the clump of dirt into the air to be rezoned and disposed of. The robot weighs less than 600 pounds and one of the goals throughout the project was the ability to transport the machine on a pickup truck.

Demine has been working with Cambodia since 2017 to test the robot, and the team expects to make its next moves in cluster munition fields. This is a fantastic project dedicated to the goal of using engineering as a force for good. It looks like there's still a lot of work to be done fine-tuning the balance between durability, affordability, and manufacturability in this project, but I'm very interested in seeing what happens over the next few years. The Kickstarter campaign ends on May 17, 2019.

















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