How many lives could be saved if the dangerous work of demining was done by machines rather than people?
Richard Yim and Christian Lee, two University of Waterloo graduates, have spent the last few years attempting to build a viable machine to remove landmines from the ground. Formerly known as the “Landmine Boys,” Yim and Lee have changed their company name to “Demine Robotics,” and recently hired their first employee.
In 2016 the Foundation gave Yim and Lee $5000 to aid in the development of their machine. Today, Demine Robotics has lined up its first potential international sale in Cambodia, and will be opening an office and conducting a live field test in the region in early May.
The Demine Robotics machine will cost between $50,000 and $100,000. It works by first digging under a mine and lifting it, then disabling the trigger and melting the explosive material inside. Yim and Lee are working to adapt it to different terrains, and improve its performance on steep slopes.