Dutch Drone Detects and Detonates Landmines

Massoud Hassani is crowdfunding his drone that will detect and safely detonate landmines.

Massoud Hassani wants to clear the world of landmines. He says that ten people are killed or maimed by landmines daily. Civilians, military personnel, and humanitarian workers are victims in more than sixty countries around the world. Hassani’s solution is the Mine Kafon Drone, an airborne system designed to detect and detonate landmines safely.

Hassani is running a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund a fleet of test drones to further prove the concept and develop the products. Early testing has been done in conjunction with the Dutch Ministry of Defense.

Mine Kafon Drone uses a three step process – first the drone flies over an area and creates a 3D map of the field to identify possible danger zones and flag them as way points. Next the drone uses its metal detecting arm to hover around four centimeters above the ground and detect mines. Finally the drone uses a gripper arm to drop a detonator on the identified mines, and flies away before the detonation.

The drone system is modular – the mapping cameras, gps units, metal detecting arm, and detonator manipulating arm are all used in different phases of operation. Modular design is nice but if an organization had three or four drones it’s conceivable for them to have one drone to perform each function. Hassani says that his process is cheaper, safer, and faster than current demining technologies. His end game goal is to remove most landmines from the world in ten years.

Massoud Hassani is a talented inventor full of big ideas and the drive to make them reality. We’ve covered his work before with the land-bound wind powered Mine Kafon and it’s great to see what a few years of technological advances can do to a project. It’s interesting that the project’s introduction to the world is through this Kickstarter campaign and a call for crowdfunding instead of a corporate or government sponsorship. Another quirk about this campaign is that backers can order their own do-it-yourself drone kit, or a fully assembled drone for themselves. The campaign ends on August 31, and testing is expected to begin at the end of 2016.