Hear and Now: Drones Could Clear Unexploded Landmines Within a Decade

Allison Loudermilk

Hear and Now: Drones Could Clear Unexploded Landmines Within a Decade HowStuffWorks
Hear and Now: Drones Could Clear Unexploded Landmines Within a Decade HowStuffWorks

Here's a stat for you: Today, about 10 people were either injured or killed by a landmine, according to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. That's about 4,000 people yearly in 60 different countries, the organization says. And now drones could have a hand in stopping all that carnage.

Yep, this past week on HowStuffWorks Now, Holly Frey reported on the Mine Kafon Foundation, which is developing a drone designed to locate and detonate mines in a way that's safer and cheaper than existing methods. The project's founder, Massoud Hassani, says the Mine Kafon Drone could be 20 times faster at finding and eliminating mines than existing approaches and 200 times cheaper. Best of all? Hassani intends to get rid of the planet's remaining mines within 10 years, according to his Kickstarter.

Next up was Jonathan Strickland, who happily announced that researchers have come up with a hippo bugle that can play the "Imperial March" from "Star Wars." That acoustic feat is just one of many made possible by voxels, or 3-D-printed, interconnecting cubes that can transform sounds. Can't picture what a voxel is? Watch the voxel video we link to below or simply imagine a cube-type connector with holes in each face. Some of those holes are closed and some are open. You link other voxels to each other via those connectors. Here's the paper in case you'd like to hear additional scoop.

Last was Alexander McQueen, or rather his skin, which an intrepid fashion designer named Tina Gorjanc is hoping to recreate and eventually fashion into a leather jacket via the wonders of synthetic biology and a DNA sample. That story comes to you from Robert Lamb, who also makes you think about all that hair and skin you're leaving everywhere as you blow through life and how your biological information is and isn't currently protected.

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