Simply Smart: A Landmine Sweeper Powered by the Wind

“Most people who live in Kabul will know somebody who has been hurt or killed by a landmine,” says Afghanistan born designer Massoud Hassani. After years of military training in the country by foreign powers, combined with the current war, the land is strewn with explosives which maim and kill people on a regular basis. Hassani is on a mission to stop this danger and he has a smart and simple solution.

Using bamboo poles placed around a central hub and capped with plunger like ends, his invention harnesses the constant power of the desert winds to move. Called the Mine Kafon, the simple device has enough weight to detonate underground explosives, yet only loses a few legs in each explosion. This leaves the large tumbleweed like device to continue its random pursuit of landmines.

In Hassani’s beautiful and touching film, he highlights the fact that the current price of clearing a single landmine is upwards of $1200 dollars, while his invention costs about $50 and is easily assembled and repaired by the very locals who care the most about this issue.

Ready to help this important cause? It’s as simple as voting on Vimeo for Hassani to win the Focus Forward Filmmaking Competition, with a grand prize of $100,000. That amount would fund 2000 Mine Kafon’s and remove about 6000 landmines over time. How much would it cost to remove that amount at the current price? A staggering $6 million. Isn’t simple, appropriate technology something to love?

Watch Hassani’s beautiful film below, then cast your vote.


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