The MineWolf - the machine with superhero aspirations
By Mike Hanlon
April 21, 2008
April 22, 2008 The MineWolf can best be described as a superhero – a machine which uses its unique and extraordinary strength to benefit humanity. The nearest machine we can think of is the tmsuk’s 3.5 meter tall Enryu robot which rushes into burning buildings and rescues people.The MineWolf is the most effective demining machine in operation. On a good day, it can reclaim 30,000 square metres of land, capable of running over 10 kg anti-tank mines without flinching in its endeavor. Like Enryu, it even has remote-control capability for really dangerous tasks, but sadly, it’s losing the war. There are 110 million landmines buried and active on Mother Earth. Another 215 million are stockpiled and ten million are produced annually. For every hour spent sowing mines, over 100 hours must be spent de-mining. If we stopped laying mines NOW and continued clearing at current rates, the world would be free of mines in the year 3100. It’s a prime example of what can happen when people use technology the wrong way.
The MineWolf is as tough as they come, whether in flailing mode or looking for trouble with its patented tiller, which is masterpiece of design in terms of reliability and survivability of the driver. It’s difficult to comprehend the full hostility of the environment in which the MineWolf operates, though the best example we can think of is that it takes 10kg anti-tank mines in its stride - mines designed to immobilize a tank.
As vegetation always grows over mine affected areas (no-one goes near minefields so nature runs wild), part of MineWolf’s brief is to make safe the earth to a depth of 35 cm and clear dense vegetation simultaneously.
The MineWolf’s driver, who must have a very exciting job, has a great deal of highly ruggedized machinery on board with him, including automatic depth control and there’s an optional GPS system available too. Everything on the machine is built to withstand the most inhospitable operating conditions imaginable, including engine and cooling modules capable of withstanding the most extreme heat and dust conditions. Depending on the terrain and conditions, a single MineWolf can clear between 15,000 and 30,000 square meters a day.
The Landmine is history’s cruellest invention. It was invented by the Chinese to ward off Genghis Khan and was revived as a military weapon against tanks in WW1. The advent of the tank during WW1 precipitated the development of the anti-tank mine, a clumsy, cumbersome device which was easily dug up and re-deployed by opposing forces. To prevent this redeployment, the anti-personnel mine was developed and used extensively, targeting military personnel.
The landmine’s ability to extend and multiply the casualties of war for many subsequent decades has seen it become one of the most feared of all military weapons (we think the IED deserves top spot these days). Like the IED, the landmine fights way above its weight in every sense. Initially conceived to deny the enemy access to land, it leaves the horrors of war behind for those unlucky to live near the battlefield. Landmines from WW2 still today claim large tracts of land in France and Holland, and usually some land is taken with every war going on in the world since, and there are dozens of wars going on at any one time. In less than a century, landmines now affect more than 80 countries.
Beyond denying access to land, they remain active for 50 years or more, and still kill or maim 20,000 civilians each year. More than a million people have been killed or maimed by landmines since 1975. Half of all adults who stand on a mine die before they reach hospital. Children, being smaller, are more likely to die from their injuries, though there are still more than 300,000 children alive who have been severely disabled by landmines.
Clearing mines is a dangerous and very costly job. Mines can cost as little as $3 to produce yet the necessary care involved in clearing a landmine cost more than US$1000 a mine – further damaging the economy and creating misery long after a conflict has been resolved.
MineWolf Systems is the leading provider of state-of-the-art landmine clearance technologies and services, and has cleared more than 14 million square meters of mine-contaminated land in Europe, Africa and the Middle East since it began.
The MineWolf is the premier product – its purpose is to clear all types of landmines in a highly effective and cost-efficient manner.
There’s also a Mini MineWolf designed for smaller tasks and quick deployments in remote areas.