Roman Zdorovylo, a 16-year-old student of the Kyiv Junior Academy of Sciences, an 11th-grader at the KPI Polytechnic Lyceum, together with his supervisor Oleh Kozlenko, developed "spider boots" to protect feet from anti-personnel mines. This device was made to the final of the Sikorsky Challenge 2023 competition of innovative startup projects.
When a person hits a "butterfly mine," he or she is severely injured, and the limb has to be amputated. In Canada and Ukraine, special "spider boots" have been developed to help people move through mined areas.
The schoolboy and his teacher created their own, more advanced design, lighter and even safer than their counterparts.
First, they developed three experimental models, which they modernized step by step over the course of a year. In the end, they decided to settle on a model with a metal base on springs that cushion the platform with the boot and also "smooth out" the blast wave.
"Thanks to the metal V-shape of the platform, the blast wave is cut in different directions during the explosion, which allows us to save the limb," Roman said.
According to his supervisor, the springs on the boots are necessary to "stretch the effect of kinetic energy over time." "The blast wave will first pass through the coils of the spring and lose its initial power," Kozlenko explained.
"There are no analogs of this. In addition, Canadian-made mine-resistant boots cost 40 thousand hryvnias, while the estimated cost of the version improved by Ukrainian developers is 4500-5500 hryvnias. Moreover, the Canadian "Spider-boots" weigh 4 kilograms, while the sample submitted for the Sikorsky Challenge competition weighs only 1.65 kilograms.
"Our protective device is lighter, more comfortable, and at the same time stiffer, which allows it to withstand more stress... The military, to whom we showed our boots, support our project," Roman Zdorovylo says.
According to the developers, thanks to these boots, if a person steps on a mine, they will not be injured, but they will not lead to amputation.
The development has passed successful laboratory tests, including tests for strength characteristics in engineering computer programs.
"Our protective boots can be taken with you, thrown into a backpack, hung somewhere and used as needed... It is clear that we cannot conduct field tests on our own. Yes, investors are interested and have taken our phone numbers. But we want to reach out to the state to show how big a problem this is and to suggest ways to solve it," said Kozlenko.
(based on vechirniy.kyiv.ua)anti-mine boots Sikorsky challenge spider boots