Industrial AI to clear landmines from warzones

  • February 17, 2021
  • William Payne

Canadian mining AI specialist Windfall Geotek and drone developer Draganfly have developed a solution to remove military land mines from former warzones. The two companies have completed successful field trials of their land mine detection solution, EagleEye.

Windfall Geotek is a mining services company that specialises in the development of industrial AI for use in the mining sector. 

According to the Landmine Monitor Report, an estimated US$540 million was spent by industry and government in 2018 to deal with the problem of landmines and Explosive Remnants of war (multiple anti-personnel mines (APMs) and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in a variety of terrain and contexts). 

Every day approximately 10 people around the world lose their lives or are maimed due to an anti-personnel mine, equivalent to around 4,200 people hurt or killed worldwide every year of which 35-42% are estimated to be children. It is estimated that there are between 60-110 million landmines in the ground right now and an equal amount is in stockpiles waiting to be planted or destroyed. Approximately 82 countries around the world are contaminated by APMs according to the United Nations, Office for Disarmament Affairs.

“Since 2020, Draganfly has invested in new capabilities in drone-based magnetometer technology and other remote sensing equipment,” commented Dinesh Kandanchatha, Chairman of Windfall Geotek. “The depth of the Draganfly engineering team, drone services group, and expert advisory in public safety was instrumental to get us to these first tests.”

“Windfall Geotek is the industry leader in AI-based digital exploration for mining. We now have the right mixture of equipment and data to move to the commercialization of an advanced AI-based platform to help solve the global problem of landmines,” said Cameron Chell, CEO of Draganfly. “The two companies share a mission of saving lives through technology. These tests are critical to helping create a new solution to this age-old problem. The new and expanded revenue streams for both companies in the Defence sector, Public Safety, and other markets are significant and represent an area where combined offering can excel.”

“For years our foundation has support organizations removing land mines, this type of technology and innovation by Draganfly and Windfall is exactly what is needed to solve this global challenge on a massive scale,” said Admiral Hayward, former head of the US Navy and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.