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With over 70 people killed or injured by anti-personnel (land) mines each day, unmarked minefields not only destroy communities with death and injury but also through the loss of usable land and economic development.
Having grown up in minefield-stricken Kabul, Afghanistan playing soccer just yards away from active minefields, product designer Massoud Hassani set out to do something about it while studying industrial design at Design Academy Eindhoven.
The result – in 2012 – was the Mine Kafon; a wind-powered minesweeper that costs just $50 to produce and can sustain four explosions before needing to be replaced. In contrast, the professional removal of a single mine can cost over $1,000 and can take days or weeks to be effective. Considering that there are over 10 million mines in Afghanistan alone, that becomes not only an expensive task but a tedious one as well. The Mine Kafon earned Hassani a well-deserved spot in the permanent collection at MoMA where it is celebrated as a seamless combination of functional art and design justice.
Flash-forward to Summer of 2016 and Hassani is back at it again with an all-new update to the Mine Kafon in the form of the Mine Kafon Drone (MKD).
Using a three-step process to map, detect and detonate land mines, the airborne update to the original Mine Kafon is up to 20 times faster than currently available technologies and carries the ambitious goal of clearing the entire globe of unmarked landmines within the next ten years:
“With the Mine Kafon Drone we can save thousands of lives,” says Hassani. “Civilians will have access to agriculture, water resources, education, and the freedom to play outdoor sports. A billion people currently cannot move freely for fear of mines. Can you imagine that we could liberate these people in all affected countries with the Mine Kafon Drone?”
With a campaign on Kickstarter to help fund the final development, Hassani and his small design team are offering a number of creative rewards to backers including personalized postcards of sponsored areas to be swept with the drone and even a DIY miniature version for demonstrating the process in your own backyard.
With over 3,000 backers already, Hassani has soared past his project goal with nearly three weeks left to go in the campaign. Find out more over at Kickstarter.