Rats are traditionally viewed as pests in most societies. APOPO turns this stereotype on its head by training rats to detect mines in a wide-scale effort to push forward demining efforts in post-conflict countries. Mine Detection Rats (MDRs), also affectionately called HeroRATs, are a sustainable landmine detection technology, adapted to low resources settings. Rats have a highly developed sense of smell. They can detect the smallest traces of explosives emitted by the mines. Rats are intelligent creatures that also love to perform repetitive tasks for a small food reward. They live up to 8 years, giving a good return of the initial nine months training investment. And it is key that these rats only weigh a maximum of 1.5 – 2 kilos, and therefore they are at minimal risk to set off a mine.
Copyright Owner and License
Copyright © 2010 by Lien Centre for Social Innovation
Lien Centre for Social Innovation.
APOPO: Building a Rats-based Detection Technology with the Capacity to Detect Landmines. (2010). Social Space. 132-135. Social Space.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lien_research/57