Edgerton Center Course Targets Landmine Removal

Staff

Student and professional deminer using demining toolAndrew Heafitz’s Edgerton Center course, Design for Demining, is a spring semester class that develops tools to help solve the landmine problem. The photo shows a class project being tested by a student on the left, and being used by a professional deminer in Sri-Lanka on the right. The tool was invented, built and blast tested by students in the class, and here is what the professional deminer's supervisor had to say, "The men like the tool, and argue over who should use it. They find it useful and want more." This tool allows the deminer to dig through ground "as hard as concrete", while being safer than existing tools in an accidental detonation of a landmine, as demonstrated during multiple blast tests. Students in this class go on a field trip to Ft. Leonardwood for training at the US Army's Humanitarian Demining Training Center, and then work on ongoing projects or invent their own devices.

MIT News January 2006 article on class: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2006/iap-demining.html