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.
Toys into tools that save lives
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.
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 29, 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.”
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