A Ukrainian Teenager Invents a Drone That Can Detect Land Mines

photo_2022-05-19_15-42-05.jpg
The
Quadcopter
Mines
Detector
uses
a
metal
detector
to
find
land
mines
as
it
flies
above
them.

Igor
Klymenko

In
February
2022,
when
Russia
invaded
Ukraine,
17-year-old
Igor
Klymenko
was
forced
to
flee
his
home
in
Kyiv.
He
and
his
family
moved
to
the
countryside,
sheltering
in
a
basement
as
the
war
raged
around
them.

“I
was
living
with
eight
people,”
Klymenko
says.
“All
this
time
we
heard
explosions,
rockets,
planes,
and
it
was
really
hard
to
concentrate,
to
just
focus,
[and]
not
to
think
about
the
war.”

After
three
weeks,
and
with
a
renewed
sense
of
urgency,
the
young
engineer decided
to
revisit
a
past
passion
project:
a
prototype
of
a
drone
that
could
detect
unexploded
land
mines
and
send
their
exact
coordinates
remotely
to
a
user.

Klymenko
was
just
nine
years
old
when
Russia
invaded
Crimea
in
2014.
At
that
time,
feeling
compelled
to
research
ways
to
help
his
country,
he
came
across
information
about
the
global
land
mine
crisis.
Even
before
the
invasion,
unexploded
land
mines
were
a
huge
threat
worldwide
not
only
to
soldiers
on
the
front
lines,
but
also
to
civilians
living
in
areas
that
were
once
war
zones.
In
2020,
mines
or
other
explosive
remnants
of
war
killed
or
injured
a
recorded

7,073
people
,
and
civilians
represented
about
80
percent
of
all
casualties.
As
many
as

110
million
land
mines

may
be
buried
in
about
60
countries.

But
demining
practices
are
slow
and
dangerous;
for
every
5,000
successfully
removed
land
mines,

one
deminer
is
killed
and
two
are
injured
.
Klymenko
thought
he
could
put
his
computer
science
and
engineering
skills
to
good
use
to
make
the
process
safer.

Fast
forward
to
2022,
and
the
teenager
says,
“I
just
started
thinking
that
I
can’t
give
up.
I
should
go
ahead,
because
this
problem
is
becoming
more
relevant
than
in
2014.
My
people
are
defending
Ukraine,
my
country,
me,
my
family,
and
I
should
also
help
them.”

While
finishing
his
senior
year
and
sheltering
from
the
attacks,
Klymenko
worked
with
scientists
and
programmers
to
hone
his
Quadcopter
Mines
Detector.
He
now
has
two
working
prototypes
of
the
device
and
two
Ukrainian
patents.
Just
this
week,
at
the
Clinton
Global
Initiative
in
New
York
City,
Klymenko
was
awarded
the

Chegg.org
Global
Student
Prize
,
a
$100,000
award
for
a
student
making
an
impact
on
society,
learning
and
the
lives
of
their
peers.

The
Global
Student
Prize
has
“provided
me
[the]
opportunity
to
show
the
world
my
story,
to
show
the
world
the
land
mining
problem,
and
to
show
how
it
affects
people,”
Klymenko
says,
adding
it’s
a
“good
opportunity
to…find
people
who
also
want
to
work
with
me
on
this
device
to
create
it
and
save
lives.”
He
plans
to
use
some
of
the
prize
money
to
further
develop
his
drone.

Igor Klymenko-winning photo
Klymenko
won
the
2022
Global
Student
Prize,
which
comes
with
a
$100,000
award.

The
Varkey
Foundation

“In
times
of
crisis,
we
need
innovation
and
resilience
to
help
overcome
unimaginable
adversity,”
Dan
Rosensweig,
president
and
CEO
of
Chegg
says
in
a
statement,
“and
Igor’s
commitment
to
tackling
the
global
land
mine
problem
is
truly
inspirational.”

Land
mines
are
broken
down
into
two
varieties:
anti-vehicle
land
mines,
which
target
tanks
and
armored
vehicles,
and
anti-personnel
land
mines,
which
target
people.
The
1997
Anti-Personnel
Mine
Ban
Treaty,
which
was
signed
by
more
than
150
countries,
prohibits
the
use
of
anti-personnel
mines
because
they
indiscriminately
kill
both
soldiers
and
civilians.
Anti-vehicle
mines
usually
require
a
certain
amount
of
pressure
on
top
of
them
to
detonate.
Ukraine
signed
the
treaty
in
1999,
but
Russia
and
several
other
countries,

including
the
United
States
,
did
not.

So
far
in
2022,
the

Human
Rights
Watch

has
identified
at
least
seven
types
of
anti-personnel
mines
and
six
anti-vehicle
mines
in
Ukraine,
though
only
Russian
forces
have
used
anti-personnel
mines.
The
Ukrainian
government
reports
that
about

116,000
square
miles

of
land—or
a
third
of
the
country—may
be
contaminated
with
explosives.
People
on
the
ground
operating
metal
detectors,
explosive-sniffing
animals
and
land
mine
probes,
which
are
spikes
used
to
manually
poke
into
the
ground,
are
the
most
commonly
used
tools
for
finding
these
land
mines,
though
researchers
have
explored
using
drones
and

other
technologies

in
recent
years.

The

Demining
Research
Community
,
for
example,
has
developed
a
drone
that
uses
images
and
machine
learning
to
locate
mines
with
92
percent
accuracy.

Mine
Kafon
,
another
organization,
uses
a
team
of
two
drones
to
locate
land
mines—the
first
creates
a
3-D
visualization
of
the
target
area
and
the
second
collects
data
using
a
metal
detector,
radar
and
a
sample
collection
device.
This
data
is
then
used
to
train
mine-detecting
software,
which
locates
the
mines
on
the
3-D
map.
On
autopilot
mode,
this
system
can
detect
land
mines
with
an
accuracy
of

four
centimeters
,
though
it
can
also
be
flown
manually,
per
the
organization’s
website.

Tim
Bechtel,
a
geophysicist
at
Franklin
and
Marshall
College
in
Pennsylvania,
says
that
metal
detectors
are
the
most
commonly-used
method
in
Ukraine.
With
a
group
of
NATO-funded
scientists,
Bechtel
is
designing
a
fleet
of
four
autonomous
mine-detecting
robots
to
work
on
demining
efforts
in
the
country.

“The
most
common
anti-vehicle
mine
is
the
TM
62
M,”
he
says.
“It’s
got
a
metal
casing,
so
it’s
very
easily
found
with
a
metal
detector.
Anti-personnel
mines
are
a
lot
smaller,
but
most
of
the
Russian
mines,
even
if
they
have
plastic
casings,
still
contain
significant
metal.”

But
metal-detecting
on
the
ground
is
risky,
Klymenko
says.

“It
can
be
dangerous
for
a
person,
because
there
are
really
awful
land
mines
that
are
just
listening
for
vibrations
in
the
ground”
and
exploding
when
someone
draws
near,
Klymenko
explains.
He
argues
that
his
drone
is
a
much
better,
more
humane
way
to
detect
mines.
From
a
logistical
point
of
view,
the
machine
is
also
advantageous
in
that
it
can
fly
at
all
hours.

“It’s
a
very
good
idea,”
Bechtel
says.
“Particularly
in
urban
areas,
there’s
so
much
rubble
that
any
other
kind
of
vehicle
that
might
carry
a
metal
detector
is
going
to
have
trouble
getting
around.”

The
device
uses
an
F5
PRO
quadcopter
with
a
metal
detector
Klymenko
designed
suspended
underneath
it
as
it
flies.
A
built-in
gyroscope
detects
the
effect
of
wind
on
the
drone.
The
mine
detector
can
fly
for
a
duration
of
20
to
30
minutes
and
a
distance
of
up
to
five
miles,
though
these
parameters
could
change
with
more
expensive
equipment.

Before
the
drone
begins
its
flight
path,
it
records
GPS
coordinates
in
a
static
location.
The
user
then
sets
the
length
and
width
of
the
area
the
drone
will
scan.
After
takeoff,
as
soon
as
the
metal
detector
encounters
a
mine,
it
sends
an
infrared
signal
to
a
phototransistor
on
an
Arduino
board—a
type
of
programmable
circuit
board—held
by
the
user.
The
board
executes
a
code
that
Klymenko
wrote
in
the
programming
language
C++,
which
records
how
much
time
had
passed
since
the
beginning
of
the
scan
to
when
the
signal
was
received.
Using
the
speed
of
the
drone,
the
time
it
launched
and
the
time
the
metal
detector
located
a
mine,
the
code
calculates
the
coordinates
of
the
mine
relative
to
the
start
of
the
run;
this
calculation
is
then
translated
into
GPS
coordinates
within
two
centimeters
of
accuracy.

A Ukrainian Teenager Invents a Drone That Can Detect Land Mines
Klymenko
with
his
Quadcopter
Mines
Detector

Igor
Klymenko

Altogether,
it
takes
the
drone
about
two
to
three
weeks
to
scan
a
square
kilometer
of
land
and
calculate
land
mine
coordinates.
Klymenko
tested
his
device’s
ability
to
locate
both
anti-tank
and
anti-personnel
mines
in
the
lab
as
well
as
outside
in
low
grass
and
slow
wind.
He
also
experimented
by
varying
input
data
and
distances
between
the
phototransistor
and
the
detector.
The
inventor
hopes
the
device
can
eventually
be
used
by
the
military
within
active
war
zones
and
for
demining
civilian
areas
after
war.

Now
a
computer
science
and
mathematics
student
at
the
University
of
Alberta
in
Canada,
Klymenko
is
also
working
part-time
towards
a
degree
in
machine
building
at
the
Kyiv
Polytechnic
Institute.
He’s
continuing
to
refine
his
device
with
the
goal
of
creating
a
minimum
viable
product
by
the
end
of
this
year.

In
the
future,
Klymenko
hopes
to
add
a
ground-penetrating
radar
to
improve
the
Quadcopter
Mines
Detector’s
accuracy,
a
spray
paint
system
to
allow
it
to
physically
mark
a
land
mine’s
location
and
artificial
intelligence
to
provide
exact
coordinates
and
the
type
of
land
mine.
Eventually,
he
also
wants
to
incorporate
a
detonation
function.

“I
think
it
can
not
only
save
lives,
but
also
I
can
inspire
students,”
Klymenko
says,
adding
that
his
story
can
show
others
that
no
matter
what
challenges
they
face
they
should
persevere.

“Because
it
can
change
the
world,”
he
says.

Artikel ini diambil dari https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/a-ukrainian-teenager-invents-a-drone-that-can-detect-land-mines-180980826/

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