Danish design student Massoud Hassani, who escaped war-torn Afghanistan when he was 14, has figured out a way to detonate the mines in his old hometown, where thousands of old Soviet landmines still lurk in the rugged terrain.
He has designed a GPS-integrated Mine Kafon Ball that rolls over mines at much lower costs than traditional methods. The ball is constructed of three parts: the spherical core, 70 bamboo legs that stick out from it, and black round surfaces that act as feet. The device is light enough that a gentle breeze can keep it rolling along, like a giant tumbleweed.The GPS chip installed can be used to monitor and record the location of mines.
Although the ball explodes when a mine is discovered, it's a much smaller sacrifice than a human life. The UN puts Afghanistan's land mine count at 10 million, though Hassani insists there are "far, far more."
"When we were young we learned to make our own toys," Hassani states on his website. "One of my favourites was a small rolling object that was wind-powered. We used to race against the other kids on the fields around our neighbourhood. There was always a strong wind waving towards the mountains. While we were racing against each other, our toys rolled too fast and too far. Mostly they landed in areas where we couldn't go rescue them because of land mines. I still remember those toys I'd made that we lost and watching them just beyond where we could go."