Due to Colombia's longtime guerrilla war with anti-government rebel groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and drug cartels, its jungles and fields are littered with active landmines. Since 1990, mines have injured more than 10,000 people, 2,000 of whom were killed. Only Afghanistan ranks higher in terms of such victims.
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While programs exist to locate and destroy the mines, a Bogota-based design firm has a new solution. Lemur Studio created a shoe or boot insert that alerts wearers if they come within 6.5 feet of a landmine. Dubbed SaveOneLife, the mine-detectors are designed for soldiers, farmers and those tasked with destroying illegal crops.
The boot insole includes a planar coil printed on thin conductive material that acts as a metal detector. Along with a microprocessor and a radio transmitter, this detects the presence of other electromagnetic fields, produced by, say, a large metal object like a landmine. If a mine is detected, a signal is sent to a wristband interface that alerts the wearer and illustrates the location of the mine.