My challenge to the snake-oil salesmenPosted: April 12, 2017
Revising to add Arizona State University’s robot turtle swarm made of cardboard (I wish I was making that up…). Welcome, I guess.
Oh, look: researchers at Hebrew University have come up with an “innovative” technique to find landmines using genetically-modified bacteria that fluoresce when in the presence of explosive vapors (Jerusalem Post). I really, really want these new technologies to work to improve landmine detection and clearance, but over the last five years I have seen a lot of innovative ideas that have received a lot of funding for development but have not resulted in a single cleared landmine. These include:
Indian drones and
I am sure there are others, which offer great promise, but simply don’t work.
So, here is my challenge: If you will vouch for the efficacy of your innovation and set up a true field demonstration (in an actual minefield or suspected hazardous area), I will fly to your site, at my own cost, and document the test. If successful, I will shout it from the mountaintops and share with everyone I meet. If unsuccessful, you will reimburse me for my trip, make a donation to the mine-clearing organization of my choice and publish a full-page ad apologizing to landmine victims everywhere for squandering money that could have been used on tried and true methods for clearance.
Michael P. Moore
moe (at) landminesinafrica (dot) org
April 12, 2017