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Surprising Science

Mine Detector Looks And Works Like A Dandelion Puff

An Afghan-born designer has created an object that rolls over and detonates land mines using just the power of the wind.

What’s the Latest Development?

Afghan-born industrial designer Massoud Hassani is currently looking for funds to further development of an object called the Mine Kafon. This wind-driven device consists of 150 bamboo legs attached to a central ball, and each leg ends in a plastic disk about the size of a Frisbee. All together, it looks like a huge dandelion puff, and like it, it’s designed to roll across landscapes, exploding mines with which it comes into contact. Any legs that are blown off can be easily replaced. Also, the ball contains a GPS device that plots the object’s path and creates a tracking map.

What’s the Big Idea?

Despite recent progress with removal, Afghanistan still contains many land mines and other unexploded ordnance that maim or kill hundreds each year, many of them children. Hassani escaped to the Netherlands in the late 90s and eventually found himself at a prestigious industrial design school, where he came up with the concept by remembering how, when childhood toys rolled into a minefield, “we could never get them back.” In addition to refining the device, Hassani hopes to use the money generated from his Kickstarter campaign to test it in his home country this summer.

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