Millions of active mines and munitions are scattered across dozens of countries. Baur and his colleagues hope to make their drone detection system available to demining organizations around the world to help secure post-conflict countries.
Can this technology help Ukraine?
On Thursday, the United States announced $89 million in aid to Ukraine to clear landmines.
According to Ukrainian government officials, about 13 percent, or 160,000 square kilometers, of Ukrainian territory could be “contaminated” with mines and other unexploded ordnance, an area roughly the size of Virginia, Maryland and Connecticut combined.
“The neural network only detects landmines based on the data you provide. So we feed it all kinds of data and a lot of labeled data. That’s why we’re collecting a lot of real data here,” Steinberg said.
“Machine learning is always best applied to real-world data. We have an algorithm that detects the PFM-1 (butterfly mine) plastic mines that are actually used and deployed in Ukraine now,” he added.
There is evidence that Russia is still deploying the same mines in Ukraine.