Areas of Afghanistan (and countless other nations) are plagued by large swaths of land covered with forgotten landmines that threaten the lives of innocent people. In his youth, living on the outskirts of Kabul, Massoud Hassani knew of these dangers all to well. Now, as an adult, he’s created a concept that could provide an affordable way to clear some landmines and make similar areas more safe. He calls his design Mine Kafon.
Hassani drew inspiration from the wind-powered toys he and his brother used to race when they were younger. As you can see in the image above, the device is a simple sphere, comprised of bamboo legs and biodegradable plastic pads. Because of the flat terrain in the area, the Mine Kafon can rely solely on the wind to move it across the mine-littered areas, setting them off as it comes in contact while sustaining minimal damage. Hassani says only one or two legs are lost with each detonation.
What makes the device so intriguing, in my eyes, is the fact that it is much more affordable than most common de-mining methods. According to Hassani, it’s been calculated that it costs roughly $1200 to clear a single landmine. In comparison, the total cost of materials for his concept is around 40 euros. Better yet, he claims one Mine Kafon has the potential to detonate 3-4 landmines in a single trip.
Hassani submitted a short film documenting his creation in the Focus Forward Filmmaker Competition, which you can view below. It is currently a finalist in the competition and viewers have the opportunity to vote for Hassani’s film as the Audience Favorite.