mine kafon


Mine Kafon by Massoud Hassani

Hassani, a product designer from Afganistan, build (by hand) a wind-powered device that trips land mines as it rolls across the ground. It is made using bamboo and biodegradable products.

Many of these mines are active and near populated areas in countries like Afganistan and are hard to remove. The UN says that one mine clearance specialist is killed, and two injured, for every 5,000 mines cleared.

Hassani’s cheap and easy to make method has been achieving great results.


Destroy mines with creativity, Massoud Hassani has created a working prototype to create safe paths through mine fields.

A designer raised in Kabul in Afghanistan and now living in the Netherlands, as a boy he played with self-made toys. One of his favourites was a small rolling wind-powered object that he used to “race against the other kids on the fields around our neighbourhood. There was always a strong wind waving towards the mountains. While we were racing against each other, our toys rolled too fast and too far. Mostly they landed in areas where we couldn’t go rescue them because of landmines. I still remember those toys I’d made that we lost and watching them just beyond where we could go.”

Almost 20 years later, he went back to Kabul and made those toys again as a garduation project. He calls it a “Mine Kafon”. It destroys mines when it rolls over them, and it has a GPS chip integrated in it. so its movements can be followed to work out the safest paths to walk on and how many land mines are destroyed in that area.

Also, as it’s made from bamboo and biodegradable plastics, each one costs 40 Euros i.e. affordable.



In 2013, Massoud Hassani came to Kickstarter with Mine Kafon, a low-cost, wind-powered, tumbleweed-like mine detonator. It came to be included in the Museum of Modern Art’s collection and was hailed as “an act of design justice." 

Now, Hassani is back on Kickstarter with a drone designed to safely locate and detonate landmines. With the Mine Kafon Drone, he aims to eliminate all land mines around the world within the next ten years. 

Read our story about Hassani’s incredible mission and support the project here


Above: Callum Cooper’s film explaining TEDxUtrecht speaker Massoud Hassan’s mine-detonating, rolling super-toy, the Mine Kafon.

Massoud Hassani is the creator is the Mine Kafon, a tumbleweed-like apparatus that uses wind gusts to roam through land mine filled areas and detonate hidden mines as it goes. Born from designs of the wind-powered toys Massoud and his brother sent tumbling in the desert outside of Kabul as children, the Mine Kafon almost looks like a toy itself – a giant mass of poles and suction cups, made from bamboo and biodegradable plastics.

During his talk at TEDxUtrecht in The Netherlands, Massoud explained his process behind designing the prototype, something he hopes will soon turn into an affordable alternative to the very expensive land mine clearing methods of today:

I was born in Afghanistan…[In school], usually you get math, languages, and so on, but we got classes about land mines – so I know all of them. I know how to open them, because every day [they were] on our playground.

…We have to do something about it…but for now it’s really commercial companies [clearing them] – and they want to keep it like that, because they are earning money. They are [employing] not really trained people – just locals – and the locals, they want to earn money, [so] they are taking the risk to clear the land mines.

The time you have to invest to find a land mine – it takes days. [So] I went back to my childhood and made a few toys… I enlarged one of the ones that we were playing with on the ground in Afghanistan, and I thought, ‘Okay, if you make it bigger…it will become stronger as well, and heavier, and now if it runs over a land mine, it’s heavy enough to detonate it – because it has the same weight of a foot.’

..So I built it.

Currently, Massoud is raising the funds to build a better prototype, with hopes that the Mine Kafon will soon be available to clear mines in his home country and across the world. Until then, you can read more about the project on his Kickstarter page.

The Mine Kafon by Massoud Hassani

Massoud Hassani’s dandelion-shaped mine detonator, is equipped with a GPS to record a safe path and designed to roll through mine fields. If the object, made from bamboo and biodegradable plastics, encounters a mine and detonates it, it will only partially destruct and can be salvaged and reassembled into a new specimen ready for deployment. Hassani grew up in the war-torn countryside of Afghanistan, where many of his friends were injured or killed by landmines. Hassani drew on this personal experience to design a universal and low-cost tool that can save many lives.

Mine Kafon - Deminer

Sometimes you come across these great projects that touch your heart instantly. This is one of them. Massoud tells a touching story about his childhood and integrates it in his final graduation project at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

During his childhood in Afghanistan, Massoud Hassani would make miniature models to be blown by the wind. Sometimes they would end up in a minefield, where he could not retrieve them.
Twenty years later, he went back to his childhood and made those toys all over again. “I remade one of those objects, 20 times bigger, heaver and stronger. It is powered by the wind and it’s designed specifically for clearing mind fields.”
The Mine Kafon - Deminer is made of bamboo and biodegradable plastics and has also a GPS chip integrated into it, so you can follow its steps on the website. Now if it rolls over a land mine, it will destroy itself and the landmine at the same time.

The Mine Kafon has recently been added to the MOMA collection.

(via @nrc and thx pdh :)

“Some ideas just can’t wait.” Curator Paola Antonelli talks to The Huffington Post about her web-based Design & Violence project

[Massoud Hassani (Dutch, b. Afghanistan 1983), Design Academy Eindhoven (The Netherlands, est. 1947). Mine Kafon wind-powered deminer. 2011. Bamboo and biodegradable plastics, 87 x 87 x 87" (221 x 221 x 221 cm). Gift of the Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, 2012. Image courtesy of Hassani Design BV]


Mine Kafon, a concept by Massoud Hassani

Massoud Hassani was born and raised in Kabul. During his childhood he built toys powered by wind power to race with his friends.
Today, 20 years later, he uses this idea presenting an invention intended to remove some of the 10 million mines spread across Afghanistan. The cost of manufacture is minimal mostly when compared with each mine disabled, vulgo, another life saved. Tottaly worth watching.

Directed by Callum Cooperx, the video is also a Semifinalist in the $200,000 FOCUS FORWARD Filmmaker Competition and is in the running to become the $100,000 Grand Prize Winner. It could also be named an Audience Favorite if it’s among the ten that receives the most votes. If you love it, vote for it. Click on the VOTE button in the top right corner of the video player. Note that voting may not be available on all mobile platforms, and browser cookies must be enabled to vote.


Mine Kafon | Callum Cooper



Mine Kafon by Massoud Hassani.  

Wind-powered landmine clearing. 



Product designer Massoud Hassani blends art and utility in a low cost response to Kabul’s landmines. Made from bamboo and biodegradable plastics, the Mine Kafon is a spherical, wind-powered device crafted to roll across open expanses like the deserts of Afghanistan, heavy enough to detonate any mines touched on. As a mine blast destroys only one or two of the Mine Kafon’s many legs, Hassani’s device can safely destroy numerous landmines in one journey. 

Read more on the Mine Kafon project at Hassani’s blog, or watch the designer speak on the device at his My Way talk this past April.

- Maggie



Mine Kafon is a wind-powered device, heavy enough to trip land mines as it rolls across the ground. Hassani, the man behind this innovation, drew his inspiration from his childhood, growing up on the outskirts of Kabul. There, he would play there with homemade, wind powered toys. These would sometimes get lost, blown astray they would roll out into the desert landing amongst landmines, too dangerous to retrieve. These landmines often cause accidents especially among children that would play near them.

The Mine Kafon is approximately the height of a man. The core of the Kafon is a 17kg iron casing surrounded by dozens of radiating bamboo legs that each have a round plastic “foot” at their tip. Inside the ball is a GPS unit to map where it has been – and in theory land cleared of mines. The data will be available in real-time accessible online. The feet act as a suspension mechanism, which allows the entire Kafon to roll over bumps, holes and so forth. In all, it weighs a little more than 80kg. The designed weight is enough pressure to trigger a landmine as it is about as heavy as a person, mimicking the footstep of a human being.

With each detonation the Mine Kafon loses just one or two legs so it could potentially destroy three or four landmines in one journey. The total cost of one is about $60 USD. It is faster, safer and up to 120 times cheaper than traditional techniques.