Demine Robotics, a social enterprise using robots to defuse landmines in Cambodia, is opening their first design engineering office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia starting 1 March 2018. The start-up’s office will be based in the new Social Innovation Lab at the National University of Management (NUM), with partnership from Smart Axiata. The Social Innovation Lab at NUM is part of EU funded South-East Asian Social Innovation Network (SEASIN).
Their demining excavation machine is called Jevit! Jevit means life in Khmer, and is a symbol of our commitment to creating a world free from landmines and Unexploded Ordinances (UXOs).
Demining is currently a three step process; location, removal and detonation. Currently, removal is done by hand, and requires deminers to be extremely careful and slow in the removal process. Jevit is a remote controlled excavator unit, and has been designed to unearth anti-personnel mines and other small sized UXOs.
Richard Yim, Founder & CEO
Born in Cambodia, Richard Yim (the founder of Demine Robotics) 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. Cambodia has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most heavily land-mined countries in the world – with an estimated 4 to 6 million land mines in the country.
Worldwide, land mines are a significant issue. The United Nations estimates that there are 4,000 to 6,000 landmine related deaths each year. Land mines also have an economic effect on mined countries – in Cambodia, for instance, fertile land cannot be farmed due to the presence of land mines.