Gadget Freak of the Year Creates a Cheap Mine-Detection Tool: Page 2 of 2

David Prutchi wins the top prize for a Design News Gadget at the Pacific Design and Manufacturing show in February 2017.

– can save de-mining teams many thousands of dollars. “If you buy one of these cameras, it will cost more than $30,000,” said Prutchi. “The DOLPi is in the $100 range, so it can be created by any group around the world very cheaply.”

Prutchi decided early on that he didn’t want to monetize his gadget. His goal is to make is as easily available as possible for de-mining teams. “I’ve received questions from the de-mining team in Columbia that is building one. A number of universities that have approached me to ask if they can buy one. I told them, ‘No, but here are the instructions to build one,’” said Prutchi. “They build them to fly over territory and detect disturbed areas that might point out human intervention. An Italian eye-ware company is interested in developing the DOLPi as a public service for de-mining teams.”

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 17 years, 15 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.


Jerald Cogswell's picture
David, this is a fantastic project. Princess Diana's project was cleaning up land mines. She would have loved your device. I look forward to future Design News articles apprising us of the work being enabled by this device around the world. Just a nit: The word for weaponry is "ordnance" not "ordinance." They're different words.

What a great project and approach to putting it to use. I'm curious what is it that the device senses about disturbed earth and how much does time passing effects its ability to detect.

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