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The original Mine Kafon is a wind-powered device that is heavy enough to detonate landmines as it rolls across the ground. Massoud drew inspiration for the project from his childhood growing up on the outskirts of Kabul, where he would play amongst the minefields with homemade, wind-powered toys.
The Mine Kafon is approximately the height and weight of the average man, allowing it to trigger landmines as it rolls across them. The core of the Kafon is a 17kg iron casing, surrounded by dozens of radiating bamboo legs that each have a round plastic “foot” at their tip. Inside the ball is a GPS unit that maps the route the Mine Kafon has taken. The feet act as a suspension mechanism, which allows the Mine Kafon to roll over bumps, holes and other obstacles.
Antipersonnel landmines are explosive devices designed to injure or kill people. They can lie dormant for decades until something triggers their detonating mechanism. Landmines are activated by pressure, radio signal, other remote firing methods, or even by the proximity of a person within a predetermined distance.
Because no one controls the detonation of landmines, they can be referred to as victim-activated weapons; not aimed at a specific target they can indiscriminately kill or injure civilians.
The UN estimates that the cost of removing a landmine is up to 50 times its cost of production and the removal is not without human cost, with approximately one clearance specialist killed and two injured, for every 5000 mines cleared. The Mine Kafon, loses some legs with each detonation, meaning it has the potential to detonate 3 or 4 landmines with each journey. The Mine Kafon is faster, safer and up to 120 times cheaper than traditional landmine removal techniques.