With Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) remaining the weapon of the choice of the militant groups in Afghanistan which is the major contributor to civilian casualties, two Afghan youths have launched a new device to hunt such explosives.
The two youths and brothers, Massoud and Mahmud Hussaini, have created the device in the southern Dutch city fo Eindhoven, according to a report by AFP.
The device, a low-cost drone, will detect and destroy the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), combining drone technology, 3D printing and robotics with a metal detector.
Weighing 4.5 kilo and hinging on six arms with rotors that creates lift, the drone cosists of a blue hard plastic casing that contains batteries, computer hardware and software, and a global positioning system.
A robotic arm slung underneath is fitted with pincers that can remotely be opened and closed. The pincers can carry a metal detector or a small explosive charge, which the brothers say can be used to destroy a landmine.
The on-board GPS allows it to plot its course via computer.
When deployed, a 3D mapping system scans the section that needs to be demined. Secondly, the mapped area is meticulously sweeped by the drones carrying a metal detector on a pre-programme path.
“This way the mine field in question can be scanned inch-by-inch,” Massoud told AFP at his workshop in the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven.
Finally, the plan is to destroy the mines by using the drone to place a small charge on every mine to detonate it.
“We believe this way mines can be cleared almost 20 times faster than what they are now,” Massoud said.
The brothers are expecting to take the device to Afghanistan in coming two months as they are currently busy collecting funds using Kickstarter online crowd funding with an hope to raise 90,000 euros ($100,000).