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Demine Robotics is bringing their robotic solution into the Cambodian minefields to clear explosives and needs your support!
Please join Demine Robotics on International Mine Awareness Day, Thursday, April 4th and be a part of the journey of building robots with a humanitarian mission.
Meet the Waterloo alumnus who is innovating a future free of landmines, Co-Founder and CEO Richard Yim, to hear about their progress and kick-off their crowdfunding and fundraising campaign.
Richard Yim is a Co-Founder of Demine Robotics and ASEAN Top 40 Under 40.
Born in Cambodia, Richard spent the first 13 years of his life being cautioned, as all Cambodian children are, about where he could and could not play, and seeing on every street people who were maimed to one degree or another. Richard Yim knows first-hand the danger of land mines: when he was eight, his aunt died after stepping on one. Cambodia has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most heavily land-mined countries in the world – with an estimated eight to 10 million land mines in the country.
At 13, he moved to Canada, and he later got an engineering degree from the University of Waterloo and founded the Demine Robotics, a company dedicated to detecting and safely neutralizing mines using robotics. The prototype bot, built by Yim as a fourth-year project, clamps onto a mine, stabilizing its detonator and slicing into the body to melt the explosive TNT within.
Even today, there are still thousands of landmine-related deaths every year. In addition to the direct cost of human life, landmines are also accompanied with other consequences. Heavily mined regions are unable to be farmed stunting the economic growth of agricultural economies.
In order to combat the use of landmines, large-scale efforts have been enacted. However, of these large-scale efforts a popular approach is manual-excavation and controlled explosions. In this instance, landmines are removed from the ground manually in order to be neutralized. This increased contact with the landmine is both extremely dangerous as well as time-consuming.
Richard’s team is developing a product to make the demining process safer and more efficient by building a machine to excavate and neutralize mines without human supervision.
The challenge is that land mines are easy to make and place (costing as little as $3 U.S.) but challenging, expensive, and highly dangerous to remove. For Richard, it became a personal mission to figure out a better way to rid the world of land mines.
"Never let passion dictate your work ethic." - Richard Yim
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