WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY FOR LANDMINE SEEKING RATS

Oomvelt is creating a unique combination of robotics technology and wearable computing for specially trained rats to map land mine fields.

The rats are fitted with a waistcoat containing a small accelerometer-based electronic unit designed to collect real-time motion data while the rat searches for land mines thus enabling us to detect precisely when the rat gives an indication of the presence of a land mine.

Having developed the concept, methodology, and sensor electronics, Oomvelt is currently raising funds to do live field tests, proof of concept studies, and data analysis at APOPO’s facilities in Tanzania.

Pacific Virtual Reality are proud to contribute to this great cause by providing communication strategy, content, design and communication campaign.

HOW IT WORKS

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Since 1938, anti-personal landmines have been utilized in every major conflict.

Anti-personal landmines are strategically designed to maim, rather than kill, with the logic that more resources are needed to care for an injured soldier than a dead soldier.

Over time, anti-personal landmines began to be deployed on a wider scale, often in internal conflicts and aimed at terrorizing communities by targeting civilians. The practice of marking and mapping landmines ceased.

Many mines remain from the Second World War. In addition, since the 1960s as many as 110 million mines have been spread throughout the world into an estimated 70 countries.

Anti-personal mines still maim and murder ordinary people everyday — they blow off their victim’s limbs, feet, and toes, fire shrapnel into their bodies, and kill.

Year after year, Landmine Monitor reports that between 75% and 85% of landmine victims are civilians.

It is estimated that 50% of landmine victims die within hours of the blast and children are the least likely to survive. And this is not only during conflict — the vast majority of countries where causalities are reported are at peace.

– Anti-personal landmines maim or kill 5,000 people annually — that is roughly 12 people every day and 2 people every hour.

– Though the number of landmine casualties is slowly declining, the percentage of those causalities that are civilians is growing. In 2012, 78% of casualties were civilians.

– In 2012, 47% of landmine causalities were children.

International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention’s laws of war indicate that forces must distinguish between military targets and civilians.

However, landmines do not discriminate — they cannot tell the difference between the boot of a soldier and the bare foot of a child.

 

The law of war indicates that injuries inflicted must be proportional to the military objective.

With a goal of optimal maiming of a civilian, anti-personal landmines also fail the proportionality test. Further, they do not follow peace agreements or ceasefires — the only way to end their violence is to clear them away.

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