Massoud Hassani Turns Childhood Toy into Wind-Powered Mine Sweepers

green design, sustainable design, social design, bamboo, biodegradable plastic, Afghanistan, Design Indaba, Cape Town, Massoud Hassani, land mine, bamboo, wind power

Afghani designer Massoud Hassani transformed a childhood toy into a giant bamboo minesweeper powered by the wind. 

There are more land mines in Afghanistan than there are people, so Massoud Hassani turned a childhood toy into an extraordinary wind-powered bamboo mine sweeper that destroys and tracks them. Made out of bamboo and biodegradable plastic, the rolling Mine Katon’s arms self-destruct when they hit and simultaneously destroy a land mine. Equipped with a GPS chip, this incredible design also maps out which land mines in the country have been wiped out so that local Afghanis know which areas of the country are safe.

green design, sustainable design, social design, bamboo, biodegradable plastic, Afghanistan, Design Indaba, Cape Town, Massoud Hassani, land mine, bamboo, wind power

Toys for grownups

Massoud Hassani recalls on his personal blog childhood memories of making wind-powered toys and chasing after them in areas of Afghanistan that were pocked with destructive land mines.

Many of his friends were killed or seriously injured when they accidentally encountered one of humanity’s most destructive inventions.

Twenty years later, as a student of Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Hassani scaled up his childhood toy by twenty times and equipped it with tools that literally save lives.

green design, sustainable design, social design, bamboo, biodegradable plastic, Afghanistan, Design Indaba, Cape Town, Massoud Hassani, land mine, bamboo, wind power

Sniffing out land mines

Although Afghanistan only has 10 million land mines on record, Hassani says there are many more – up to 30 million in a country with a total population of 26 million.

It is uncertain whether government agencies in the country have commissioned the ingenious minesweeper, but Hassani will be available to talk about this and other designs at the upcoming Design Indaba in Cape Town that starts on February 29th, 2012.

According to Design Indaba, the talented designer from Afghanistan will also discuss his latest project, “..a series of cooking products called “Silk Cooking”, inspired by Afghan traditions.”

:: Design Indaba

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7 thoughts on “Massoud Hassani Turns Childhood Toy into Wind-Powered Mine Sweepers

  1. Laurel Anne Hill

    Hello Shane,

    So far, no single de-mining method works best under all circumstances in all types of terrain. That’s why multiple technologies are helpful and some tools are used in conjunction with others.
    Even the mighty machines that dig and flail don’t necessarily bring total clearance of landmines. For example, a D-2 Digger run can guarantee only 95-99% clearing. Additional de-mining by manual de-miners is needed. The second pass will be easier, of course. If both D-2 and manual passes are done correctly, the result will be 100% clearance.

    From Laurel Anne Hill, Moderator of the “Minds Clearing Land Mines” WordPress Blog and Facebook page.

    Reply
  2. Shane

    Nice idea BUT a sphere – WITH only intermittent points of contact is not a very effective shape for wide lands of flat land.

    I think perhaps rows of rollers launched upwind across fields etc., could work better.

    But…. I still prefer the tank with the spinning flails mounted out the front.

    That is thoroughly thorough against all mines.

    Reply
  3. Paul

    Sooooo:

    - How many mines did it blow up so far?
    - And if it did, what happened to the GPS device
    - How does it upload the data. Afganistan is not San Francisco

    Basically, nice to see some fresh ideas but this thing is not going to stamp out any mines. Unless you know it is there and you drop it on top in which case a brick will do the trick too.

    Reply
  4. Laurel Anne Hill

    Massoud Hassani is amazing. Minds Clearing Landmines prays for the success of his Mine Kafon. (From Laurel Anne Hill, moderator of the Minds Clearing Landmines WordPress Blog and Facebook page.)

    Reply

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