About this project
After three years of work, we are proud to be back on Kickstarter to present the Mine Kafon Drone: an unmanned airborne demining system that uses a three step process to map, detect and detonate land mines.
The Mine Kafon Drone is up to 20 times faster than currently available technologies.
The Mine Kafon Drone (MKD) offers an innovative solution to land mine removal, providing a reliable demining system that delivers accurate updates and information on mine clearing operations.
The Mine Kafon Drone flies over dangerous areas to map, detect and detonate landmines from a safe distance. The drone works autonomously equipped with three separate interchangeable robotic extensions.
These three methodologies combined makes the MKD up to 20 times faster than traditional demining technologies. As well as being safer, it also up to 200 times cheaper.
First the drone flies over the whole field with an aerial 3D mapping system to identify all the dangerous areas with GPS way points.
Equipped with a robotic metal detecting arm the MKD hovers above the ground at approximately 4 cm to detect mines. Every detected mine is geotagged on the operator's system to construct a map of known mine locations.
For the final phase of the process the MKD, attached with a robotic gripping arm, places a small detonator on every detected mine. The land mine is then detonated from a safe distance using a timer.
There are 100 million land mines worldwide. Every day, 10 innocent civilians are killed or maimed by these explosives.
Today, land mines can still be found in more than 60 countries, constituting a significant risk to communities across the globe. In these countries, the victims are mostly civilians – children, women and the elderly – with tens of thousands of innocent people killed every year, and many more injured, serving as a horrific reminder of the past.
Using current technologies, clearing or even detecting all land mines across the entire world would take over 1100 years. The established processes are slow, dangerous and expensive, and completely unacceptable if we want to solve the problem in our lifetime.
MKD offers a number of crucial advantages over the products currently used by demining organisations.
- The MKD is completely casualty free and operates at a reduced cost to traditional methods.
- Its modular system can be enhanced through the addition of sensors and tools, allowing the MKD to perform a wide variety of tasks.
- The ability to map the area covered by the demining operation creates a wealth of information to aid the decision-making processes for on-going operations.
- Planning of demining procedures is made easier by the scanning process, allowing information to be gathered about at-risk areas before the demining begins.
- The data from each operation is collected and analysed in a structured and systematic way.
What if we could wipe out all the land mines and explosives in less than 10 years?
Growing up on the edge of Kabul in a little town called Qasaba in Afghanistan, Massoud and Mahmud Hassani, the brothers behind the Mine Kafon Drone project, experienced the horrors of land mines from an early age. These experiences fuelled Massoud Hassani to develop a solution for a safe and smart solution to detect and clear land mines.
Following Massoud’s first successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013, backed by 4200 backers from all over the world, the Mine Kafon Foundation was founded. The Mine Kafon Foundation is an R&D organisation based in the Netherlands. In the past 3 years, Massoud and Mahmud have been raising awareness by giving lectures around the world and developing new approaches on how to fight land mines in different environments. In this way, they have crowdsourced many engineers and designers from all over the world and invited them to collaborate and volunteer on this humanitarian project.
"So far, we have already developed several working prototypes of the Mine Kafon Drone. We have performed tests with the Dutch Ministry of Defense on their territory and spoke with their experts on demining difficulties. The Mine Kafon Drone is now ready for its next step."
It is now time for a pilot study showcasing the MKD’s capabilities. This is crucial for the actual development and production of the Mine Kafon Drone because we need to prove to governments, the UN and NGOs that the MKD works as a reliable and unmanned demining system. This also allows us to test different weather conditions and environments. Following these tests, we will be able to finalize details for the batch production of Mine Kafon Drones.
With the Mine Kafon Drone we can save thousands of lives. 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?
We need your backing to reach our goal in realizing the safety of people in need. By supporting the Mine Kafon Drone project, you will help the world get rid of land mines, save thousands of lives, rescue the affected natural landscapes and help build the economies for those in need. Join our Kickstarter campaign and spread the word.
All your pledges will go directly towards developing the Mine Kafon drones. Thanks for your support for bringing this project to life. Every Life Counts.
Risks and challenges
It can be difficult to detect land mines with traditional land mine detection technologies, as the quality of the metal degrades significantly after decades of lying dormant in the ground. Metal detection can also be hindered by differences in terrain and variations in the soil. Nevertheless, the MKD is able to detect even the weakest metal frequencies under ground in various terrains and can operate at full capacity in jungles, mountains, deserts or agricultural surfaces.
2. Robotic arm
The robotic arm needed to hold the metal detector at the necessary distance from the ground and navigate it with the change of the surface must constantly function at full capacity without generating vibrations that can disorientate the drone.
3. GPS positioning
GPS has a typical accuracy of 4 m, which is not sufficient when it comes to the mapping of areas that could put people’s lives in danger. In order to increase the accuracy of our GPS, the MKA uses triangulated GPS and external antennas on the field.
4. Streaming detection data
The provision of a video and photo report is relatively simple. However, linking pictures with their specific GPS coordinates and uploading them to the app requires complex software which requires extensive programming.
Mine Kafon Drone is the first unmanned demining system and is unique because of the three methodologies combined:
1. First it flies over the whole field with an aerial 3D mapping system to cover all the dangerous areas with GPS way points.
2. Then MKD hovers really low up to 4 cm over a mine field to detect land mines with a robotic metal detector extension. Every detection will be tagged with a GPS flag on the platform.
3. Finally MKD places small detonators with a robotic gripper on every detection to blow them up from a distance.
These three methodologies combined makes Mine Kafon Drone much safer, 20 times faster and 200 times cheaper than the traditional technologies.
Yes, Mine Kafon Drone has several working prototypes which have been tested extensively. For example, we’ve already tested with the Dutch Ministry of Defense. However, to prove that Mine Kafon Drone is a reliable demining system in all weather conditions and different environments, we need to do this pilot phase.
Traditional and existing demining systems are mostly operated by humans or animals. It is vert slow and time consuming. Of course it is also very dangerous.
There’s a hidden problem in the world, both literally and figuratively, that something as deadly as a land mine can be overlooked and forgotten because it’s out of sight. Although the developed world seems to have been mostly cleared of this problem, its deadly and mutilating effects are constantly experienced by civilians in over 60 nations. The numbers seem daunting, with more than a 100 million live land mines worldwide and nearly a billion people at risk, but humanity always invents solutions to problems and especially to problems that we have put in place. In a collective and humanitarian effort we can defuse this hazard, which will enable the land to become useful again. There are land mines where farms ought to be; there are land mines where sports fields and parks ought to be; there are land mines where educational and medical facilities ought to be.
With the current technology, as employed by NATO forces, land mines around the globe can be cleared in 1100 years. The Mine Kafon Foundation wants to reduce this period into 10 years.
After our first Kickstarter campaign a lot has been done. Besides raising awareness about this forgotten problem, we have crowdsourced many engineers and designers from all over the world and invited them to collaborate and volunteer on this project. The experts from the deming organisations such as MAG International, UN, DCA and the dutch EOD has advised to come up with a multidisciplinary tool which could operate on different environmental landscapes. So far, we have already developed several working prototypes of Mine Kafon Drone. We did test sessions with the Dutch Ministry of Defense on their territory and spoke with their experts on demining difficulties.
We need funding for further research and development of Mine Kafon Drone. We have already
developed several working prototypes. Now we need to do a pilot phase to collect as much data as possible to be able to integrate them into our final product. Also, we need to test in different weather conditions and environments. After that we will be able to finalize the end results for production of Mine Kafon Drone.
This might seem like a small step, but this R&D process is necessary to create confidence for
governments, UN and NGO’s in order to make demining with Mine Kafon Drone possible in the
future. We need to prove that Mine Kafon Drone works and it’s a reliable unmanned demining tool.
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