Demine Robotics: Where are they now?

Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Richard and Jared

Demine Robotics, a former Grebel Peace Incubator start-up stationed in both Cambodia and Canada, has left its mark around the world. With the goal of accelerating the clearance of landmine-infested land, Richard Yim, CEO & co-founder, Jared Baribeau, CTO & co-founder, have safeguarded 100,000 m2 (25 acres) of land containing explosive weapons in Cambodia. They built hundreds of relationships with deminers, government officials, industry leaders, and neighbourhood Cambodian tuk-tuk drivers, setting out to make landmine clearance faster and safer. Despite this impactful effort, in early 2022, the team made the difficult decision to wind down the operations of Demine Robotics. But where are the founders now? They are continuing to advance PeaceTech around the world, using engineering to make the world a better place. Demine Robotics serves as both a learning experience to reflect on and an incredible effort to celebrate, an experiment in innovation nurtured by the Centre that will have impact for decades to come.  

Demine Robotics Logo

Demine Robotics, a Grebel Peace Incubator participant from 2016 - 2021, has undoubtedly made a large social impact across the globe. First branded as “Landmine Boys,” Demine Robotics grew out of an Engineering Capstone Design project that subsequently received support from pitch competitions, mentors, donors, and investors throughout Waterloo’s vibrant innovation ecosystem. By demining over 100,00m2 of land containing landmines from previous conflicts with their own product prototypes, Demine Robotics has made safer many rural parts of Cambodia. These projects were the result of partnerships with Cambodia’s National Centre for Peacekeeping, Norwegian People’s Aid, the Government of Canada’s Fund for Local Initiatives, and the Canadian Landmine Foundation. 

Throughout his journey with Demine Robotics, University of Waterloo Mechanical Engineering, St. Paul’s GreenHouse, and Master of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology alum Richard Yim garnered considerable attention and praise. From being listed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Asia in 2019, to being selected as a ZICO ASEAN Top 40 Under 40, winning the Candian Business Model Competition in 2017, being selected as a top 10 winner at the International Business Model Competition, and being featured on several podcasts and interviews.  

Learn more about Demine Robotics in Waterloo's feature article, "Building robots with a humanitarian mission."

Yim’s ambition to make a positive impact in the country of his birth continues to drive his efforts. He now sits on the advisory board for the National Council for Science, Technology and Innovation in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and teaches university courses on entrepreneurship. He has also founded a new company, Quantum – Engineering and Manufacturing.  

Richard and team in front of sculpture

Leveraging expertise Yim developed with Demine, as well as employing four former Demine team members, Quantum is a metal fabrication manufacturer that helps companies launch new products more efficiently. Along the way they have also pursued signature projects of their own such as the Romdoul Dynamic Sculpture in Siem Reap, Cambodia.  

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the experience I had with Demine Robotics,” says Yim. “Although the problem of landmines hasn’t been solved, I want to find new ways to build capacity and hope in Cambodia.” 

Following his time as co-founder and CTO of Demine Robotics, Systems Design Engineering and Grebel alum Jared Baribeau started working as a Solutions Architect for, situated in Portugal. is a company that reduces textile waste by detecting defects in the early phases of textile roll development. has made a substantial impact on promoting sustainability in both the textile and fashion industries, respectively. With the help of their cutting-edge technology, has saved over 3.6 million liters of water, 73,000 kg of CO2, and 32,500+ meters of fabrics in just 2 years of operation.  

Jared with a Demine robot

Baribeau’s new role as Solutions Architect is one that focuses on  software engineering. He evaluates how they design and build their systems, to ensure that they scale and grow, to keep up with their growing customer base. He also focuses on solidifying the reliability of the knitting machines and the technology that goes behind their functionality. He has also been able to apply technological concepts to work towards things that he is passionate about, such as environmentalism.

Baribeau has also been working alongside International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions (IDUM), a non-governmental organization with the mission of removing explosives that have been dumped into the ocean after global conflicts, such as World War II.  

“After just about every conflict, countries have these giant stockpiles of weapons that they don’t want to use and are legally obligated to get rid of,” Baribeau said. “The cheapest and easiest way of achieving this is putting them on ship and dropping them in the ocean.”  

Baribeau encountered IDUM when he was showcasing Demine Robotics at a conference. An IDUM team member asked him if his demining robot could work underwater. Since then, Baribeau has been working alongside the organization to clean explosives from our oceans. 

Baribeau sees similarities between his work at Demine, IDUM, and 

“[The work is] similar to some of the work that others at the Centre for Peace Advancement are doing. Like global politics and advocacy, it’s hard. It’s the kind of work that sometimes takes a decade. It’s hard to know when you’re getting close.” 

“It only takes one person with a different mindset to inspire and motivate people, to breathe new energy into a problem and bring new perspectives. This is important from a generational standpoint because differences will unlock solutions that a previous generation would not have thought of.” - Jared Baribeau

Working for Demine equipped Baribeau with collaboration skills: 

“It only takes one person with a different mindset to inspire and motivate people, to breathe new energy into a problem and bring new perspectives. This is important from a generational standpoint because differences will unlock solutions that a previous generation would not have thought of.”  

Baribeau also explained what the Centre for Peace Advancement community means to him: 

“I’ve always loved the fact that no matter if I’m actively involved in the Centre or not, I’ll always feel a part of the community because I’m always inspired by the way people think, discuss and progress forward.” 

Yim and Baribeau are a testament to the way the Centre’s Grebel Peace Incubator Program attracts and supports passionate and intelligent individuals. The Incubator program enables mentorship, networking, and lifelong lessons and experiences that render innovative ventures and changemakers.  

 Learn more about the Grebel Peace Incubator