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Massoud Hassani, mine sweeper

Mine Kafon

The Mine Kafon is a landmine decommissioning device that takes its inspiration from a childhood toy. It’s a wind-blown, bamboo-spiked ball that loses one or two spikes with each landmine detonation.

“Made from bamboo and biodegradable plastics, the Mine Kafon also has an integrated GPS chip. You can follow its movement on the website and see were it went, the safest paths to walk, and how many land mines were destroyed in that area. On paper, Afghanistan is said to have 10 million land mines. In truth there are far, far more. Every destroyed land mine means a saved life and every life counts.”

During the shooting of the film (above) it was proven that the prototypes work. Now Massoud Hassani is in the process of finding collaborative partners — technical companies, funders and Governments — to start production of the Mine Kafon.

Mine Kafon
Photo by Erwin van der Zande

Massoud Hassani. Designer. Life saver.

Massoud Hassani

Video by Ardent Film. Via @mikeindustries.

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9 comments about “Massoud Hassani, mine sweeper”

  1. Wow, what a brilliant idea. I was surprised it could only do around 3 land mines for each ball though, I expected more. Either way, a great product (of sorts) and I hope it goes far.

  2. This is such an inspirational design story David. I absolutely LOVE stories like this!

    To be able to take something like that from his childhood and hone that experience, in order to create a product that ultimately saves lives… He’s an incredible individual! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Would it be possible to incorporate GPS data with the use of a swarm of these to develop a coverage map of an area you’re clearing? Then as a second phase – if randomness does not attain the needed coverage – might it be possible to have a more capable device that can be programmed to cover the gaps? What Massoud has done is a big inspiration. It shows a big mind and a big heart! Namasté.

  4. Brilliant, inspirational. One of the best posts you have ever made David.

    We need more designers to think like this.

    We need more stuff made like this.

    I hope Oxfam add it to their list of things you can buy at Christmas to help others.

  5. Cool stuff. $40 is great considering there’s obviously a lot of optimisation that can be done both when it comes to material and function. Bamboo is beautiful and works great in this video, but there’s material that will move more effectively through the wind and that won’t break as easily by the mines, increasing the longevity of each ‘clearer’.

  6. Glad you think so.

    I’m not sure if you need to have a Vimeo account to vote in the competition, but if you don’t, when you play the video above there’ll be a “vote” button on the right. Whether the $100K first prize goes toward the production of the Mine Kafon or to the video team, either way, it gives publicity to Massoud’s work.

    The other semifinalists are here on Vimeo. Each is 3 minutes long.

  7. What a brilliant idea. Thanks for sharing.

  8. This is a great design. Unfortunately, there are problems with the mine kafon. I found this analysis of the effectiveness of Hassani’s Mine Kafon. http://www.statisticsblog.com/2013/01/simulation-of-landmine-clearing-with-massoud-hassanis-mine-kafon/

  9. Ten million mines in Afghanistan alone, eh? Then I hope they make ten million of these Mine Kafons! At US $40 a pop, even if they only get three mines apiece before they quit working, they’re cheap compared to how we get rid of mines now.

    Sure, there are still some drawbacks. Of course there are; it’s a brand-new design! But so what? These Mine Kafons in their current form probably won’t get every last mine, no, but they’ll sure take out a whole bunch of ‘em, and that’s a good thing. That’s less to have to deactivate the old-fashioned way. And the Mine Kafons will no doubt be improved to be able to take out even greater percentages of ‘em.

    Brilliant, yet totally simple, idea that is very likely to save a whole lot of lives. Right on, Mr. Hassani!

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