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(BBC-US)   Afghani designed landmine clearing device uses no fossil fuel, is biodegradable, has zero risk of injury to human operators, and costs pennies on the dollar next to current tech   (bbc.com ) divider line 52
    More: Cool, land mines, operators, fossil fuels, visual field test, Military education and training, bamboo, risks  
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8213 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 May 2012 at 4:04 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-04 01:51:34 PM  
Afghani designed landmine clearing device uses no fossil fuel, is biodegradable, has zero risk of injury to human operators, and costs pennies on the dollar next to current tech

Afghans?
 
2012-05-04 01:52:32 PM  
Is it wrong that I was half expecting it to be a herd of goats or something? ^^;;

Still, that's pretty cool. :)
 
2012-05-04 01:57:11 PM  

mamoru: Is it wrong that I was half expecting it to be a herd of goats or something? ^^;;

Still, that's pretty cool. :)


I figured it was half a dozen Afghan kids on tethers.
 
2012-05-04 01:59:35 PM  

mamoru: Is it wrong that I was half expecting it to be a herd of goats or something? ^^;;

Still, that's pretty cool. :)


I realllly thought it was some kind of animal, like dogs or something (mainly because of the "biodegradable" remark, even though a 37lb iron casing isn't exactly biodegradable).

I do agree that this is pretty cool. Personally, I would just buy a bunch of RC cars, and have competitions to see who can blow up the most landmines.
 
2012-05-04 02:04:09 PM  
I like how the landmine clearing guy's opinion is, "Meh, but I guess it's good for marketing purposes"

For reals, though, this is a cool idea and maybe in a few revs it'll be something that's truly useful.
 
2012-05-04 02:09:15 PM  

mamoru: Is it wrong that I was half expecting it to be a herd of goats or something? ^^;;

Still, that's pretty cool. :)


That was the first thing I thought of too.
 
2012-05-04 02:31:59 PM  
Hey, it's expensive to dower daughters. Might as well get some use out of them.
 
2012-05-04 03:05:24 PM  
Subbies headline forgets than in actual use it was an absolute failure for actually clearing mines. They do say it might be an inexpensive way to check an area before hand to see if it has been mined, but they'll still need to clear the mines the old fashioned way.
 
2012-05-04 03:05:35 PM  
Came to ask when iron was considered 'biodegradable', but I see it was already mentioned.
 
2012-05-04 04:09:00 PM  

BurnShrike: Afghani designed landmine clearing device uses no fossil fuel, is biodegradable, has zero risk of injury to human operators, and costs pennies on the dollar next to current tech

Afghans?


Well, their female children, but yes.
 
2012-05-04 04:09:23 PM  

dahmers love zombie: mamoru: Is it wrong that I was half expecting it to be a herd of goats or something? ^^;;

Still, that's pretty cool. :)

I figured it was half a dozen Afghan kids on tethers.


I figured it was a bucket of food and money heaved out into the mine field.
 
2012-05-04 04:13:50 PM  
It would only work on AP mines, but it's pretty cool.

Wouldn't help much against unexploded cluster bombs, anti-tank mines or unexploded munitions.
 
2012-05-04 04:14:04 PM  
cool idea but as the article mentions is not suitable for other terrains like jungles, it only works for open areas that have a lot of wind, and well even then it doesn't work.
 
2012-05-04 04:16:03 PM  
They look interesting, my only question is this. Do you need a gravity gun to move them around?
 
2012-05-04 04:16:11 PM  
Good idea until the wind is blowing at you from across the minefield.

Who wants to volunteer to take this across the field?
 
2012-05-04 04:16:54 PM  
Another issue is the selective clearance. If it is wind-blown, the area it clears would be scattered and leave wide swaths where mines could still be present and harm individuals. I appreciate the effort, but it simply doesn't do the job well compared to traditional methods..
 
2012-05-04 04:18:59 PM  
I was more concerned with the shards of bamboo shrapnel when it actually tripped a mine.
 
2012-05-04 04:20:42 PM  
Considering how the Taliban treated them I thought for sure it was going to be unmarried women above a certain age.
 
2012-05-04 04:20:58 PM  
I was assuming a bunch of goats.

Bonus: you can eat (what's left of) the minesweeper afterwards. It might even be pre-cooked!
 
2012-05-04 04:24:36 PM  
It seems like even a slight hill will make this useless. Interesting idea though.
 
2012-05-04 04:32:36 PM  
I think it's a damn clever way to confirm a mine-field. But as the article stated, it won't be effective at clearing a field once discovered, and it's not useful except on relatively flat terrain.

But where it is useful, it's a cheap way to make sure you're not wasting time with the Aardvarks:
upload.wikimedia.org

Bonus side effect: Even the hardest soil is rendered tillable by these things, so what was a dangerous minefield could become valuable farmland.
 
2012-05-04 04:37:20 PM  
Wait until one of these things becomes a giant ball of rubber and bamboo shrapnel.
 
2012-05-04 04:38:41 PM  
The Afghani is the money; the Afghan is a person from Afghanistan.

Thanks for playing, though.
 
2012-05-04 04:41:10 PM  
img.engadget.com
 
2012-05-04 04:42:16 PM  
I was expecting donkeys.

/Or maybe goats.
 
2012-05-04 04:43:05 PM  
Thats great until someone starts using this tech FOR mines...

images1.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2012-05-04 04:43:10 PM  
"Many of the victims are civilians - children, women and the elderly - not soldiers"

One advantage of just being a just a plain old regular ordinary white male civilian is not having to face the same threats other classes of less advantaged people face.
 
2012-05-04 04:48:13 PM  
This is good news for Third World Success kid.

i49.tinypic.com
 
2012-05-04 04:50:05 PM  
FTFA: "The Mine Kafon is a cheap, wind-blown mine clearance device made primarily from bamboo, plastic and iron."

Subby, I don't now what you thin plastic comes from...
 
2012-05-04 04:56:25 PM  

kroonermanblack: FTFA: "The Mine Kafon is a cheap, wind-blown mine clearance device made primarily from bamboo, plastic and iron."

Subby, I don't now what you thin plastic comes from...


FTFA: "The device consists of an iron ball, which contains a GPS device, surrounded by bamboo legs topped with biodegradable plastic feet."
 
2012-05-04 04:59:15 PM  

Cybernetic: I was expecting donkeys.

/Or maybe goats.


I thought people. Those don't cost anything and we got a couple billion lying around.
 
2012-05-04 05:11:30 PM  

Dazrin: It seems like even a slight hill will make this useless. Interesting idea though.


Link
 
2012-05-04 05:16:24 PM  
Also, it looks like a ball of toilet plungers.
 
2012-05-04 05:37:44 PM  
We're sorry but this site is not accessible from the UK as it is part of our international service and is not funded by the licence fee. It is run commercially by BBC Worldwide, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC, the profits made from it go back to BBC programme-makers to help fund great new BBC programmes. You can find out more about BBC Worldwide and its digital activities at www.bbcworldwide.com.
 
2012-05-04 05:45:14 PM  

Slives: Came to ask when iron was considered 'biodegradable', but I see it was already mentioned.


Iron Eating Bacteria

/Smug behind Farnsworth glasses
 
2012-05-04 05:50:16 PM  

Daedalus27: Another issue is the selective clearance. If it is wind-blown, the area it clears would be scattered and leave wide swaths where mines could still be present and harm individuals. I appreciate the effort, but it simply doesn't do the job well compared to traditional methods..


This... Even if it had a 100% success rate, unless you observed it the entire time you'd never be able to be certain that it had covered the entire area. I have never measured it but I have been told that a cue ball (pool/billiards/snooker) only has 1/32 of an inch that makes contact with either the felt or other balls. That's a long time to keep the ball rolling to reach a level of probability that I'm comfortable trusting my life to.
 
2012-05-04 06:07:43 PM  

Chakro: mamoru: Is it wrong that I was half expecting it to be a herd of goats or something? ^^;;

Still, that's pretty cool. :)

That was the first thing I thought of too.


Definitely was thinking goats.
 
2012-05-04 06:25:51 PM  
BOOM GOES THE CENOBYTE.
 
2012-05-04 06:32:52 PM  

mamoru: Is it wrong that I was half expecting it to be a herd of goats or something? ^^;;

Still, that's pretty cool. :)


Exactly what I was thinking. I recall that US troops in WWII used donkeys for booby-trap and mine clearance in some areas, and the Soviets used dogs as both mine clearers and anti-tank weapons.
 
2012-05-04 08:07:57 PM  

new_york_monty: kroonermanblack: FTFA: "The Mine Kafon is a cheap, wind-blown mine clearance device made primarily from bamboo, plastic and iron."

Subby, I don't now what you thin plastic comes from...

FTFA: "The device consists of an iron ball, which contains a GPS device, surrounded by bamboo legs topped with biodegradable plastic feet."


Just because it's biodegradable doesn't mean it doesn't have fossil fuels in it, eh?
 
2012-05-04 09:29:41 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2012-05-04 10:17:34 PM  
It looks like a mutant soccer ball.
 
2012-05-04 10:19:27 PM  
I'm with the people thinking it was some form of animal.

But just for kicks:

pbfcomics.com
 
2012-05-05 01:00:04 AM  
So it's a Polish Mine Detector, but with the nifty Remove Pole feature disabled?
 
2012-05-05 04:04:34 AM  
What's a girl gotta do to get a hyphen in this headline, subs?
 
2012-05-05 11:31:29 AM  
Is it an american on a leash?

/dnrtfa
 
2012-05-05 04:17:26 PM  
Naaa.. na na naa naa naa naaa na naa na naa naaa na*BOOOM*

/We left some surprises for you on the Earth planet little Prince. Be sure to collect them all for us.
 
2012-05-05 05:22:28 PM  
static.bbci.co.uk
"We . are . your . mine . field . clear-orrrrrrrrrs!"
 
2012-05-06 03:42:54 AM  
Russian peasant?

/dnrta
 
2012-05-06 11:55:51 AM  
Very clever invention. I was sure subby was referring to a goat.
 
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