Petro Hrebenyuk, Minesweeper for Ukraine

Hello everyone,

I saw my dad this winter, and I filmed a little video  where he talks about his minesweeper project. The transcript of what he says in English, is just below. Apologies, this is my imperfect translation, a lot of what he says is quite technical, but I hope you get the gist. We are fund-raising for him to develop this minesweeper prototype. If the prototype is successful, dad should be able to get funding of the Ukrainian government, to produce these life-saving machines.

Here is a video of current progress (we have been able to fund-raise 10K US dollars so far, but we need a lot more).

Transcript of the intro video:

Petro Hrebenyuk:

This war has brought a lot of trouble and heartache to the Ukrainian people. So far we have pooled all our efforts together, and been able to help our defenders and our people. We have bought and sent generators, tyres, supplies, and much more.

But now, there is an urgent need for minesweepers [a territory the size of Germany is mined in Ukraine at the moment]. Because I’m an engineer, and used to have a farming equipment factory in Kakhovka (before the occupiers blew it up). We used to produce over 100 different machines.

 

We came up with an idea, to create a machine capable of removing landmines, one which would be cheaper to make than the ones available to us from overseas.  Those cost near enough half a million euros but our machine we predict will be closer to 150k to restore.  

 

How did this come about?  We decided to renovate a Kharkiv T150 tractor. First it is renovated and made remote-controllable, and then it is reinforced with metal. For this we need tons of metal chains, to suspend at the front of the tractor. These chains move and cause the mines (all the types of mines, anti-personnel and anti-tank) to explode.  

 

But these minesweepers can also be of different types. Some minesweepers can be built using tanks, ours will be using tractors. Our minesweeper will be used to de-mine civilian areas. A lot of farmers suffer, because their fields have been mined. If a farmer’s tractor (the ones used for sowing and ploughing) is blown up by one of these mines, it can never be restored. Our minesweepers could do a job of tens of human minesweepers, who would be risking their lives. The tractor minesweeper will not put human lives at risk, and would do the job quickly. We need a lot of these machines, as Ukraine is the most mined territory in the world.

 

Right now, we are raising money to make a prototype minesweeper. I still have contact with the engineers from my factory, and we are working on the prototype. We are currently installing it with a powerful MAZ engine, we are changing the gearboxgear box, which needs to be simplified in order to make the tractor remote controllable.

 

Our tractor will have a metal chain system, but it will also be possible to modify it. So the system is very flexible. Whatever system people would need, we would use.

They had already made a similar machine in Kharkiv, which is already being used. So we hope that our machine will also be successful.

Thanks to the Hercules For Ukraine raffle fund-raiser, we have been able to buy the tractor and to start its modification. What we need now is about eight tons of metal to create the chains. This will cost us about 16K US dollars, just the metal. This does not include the next stage, of cutting the metal scraps into chains, attaching them to the tractor, etc.

Please contact us on olia.hercules@gmail.com if you would like to help us with this project. Thanking you in advance.