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Broswarm, a military tech startup raises $100K to combat landmine crisis in Ukraine with drones

Broswarm, a military tech startup raises $100K funding to combat landmine crisis in Ukraine with drones

Broswarm, a Lithuanian military tech startup developing drone-based mine detection solutions, has secured $100,000 in funding to further develop its technology and contribute to demining efforts in Ukraine.

Landmines continue to pose a significant threat to lives and livelihoods in war-torn regions worldwide. The 2023 Landmine Monitor report highlights the devastating impact, with over 4,700 casualties recorded in 2022 alone. The situation in Ukraine is particularly alarming, with an estimated 30% of the country’s territory suspected to be contaminated by landmines. This not only threatens civilians but also hinders access to fertile agricultural land, impacting Ukraine’s global food exports.

While this tech can be a breakthrough among defence tech companies, it will soon be replicated by many companies which are backed by their respective countries. In a similar note, we had created a good read titled, “Will robots rule the battlefield? The global AI arms race and its impact on our lives,” earlier this year. You may want to give it a read as well.

The challenge of demining

Despite international support of $244 million pledged for demining efforts and the dedication of resources by organisations like the HALO Trust, the scale of the challenge remains immense. Estimates suggest millions of landmines have been laid since the conflict began, and the World Bank estimates a staggering $37 billion is needed to clear Ukraine of mines. Current demining capabilities, with limited resources like demining vehicles and specialists, are stretched thin.

Broswarm’s innovative solution

Broswarm aims to address this critical challenge by leveraging drone technology equipped with advanced sensors and machine learning algorithms. Their core technology is a “multisensor fusion” payload that combines metal detectors, magnetometers, thermal imaging, and high-definition cameras on the drones. Additionally, Broswarm is developing a proprietary sensor with the potential to detect previously undetectable or difficult-to-find small mines. By analysing sensor data through machine learning, Broswarm’s technology aims to identify mines with high accuracy and efficiency, even in challenging environments.

Co-founder and CEO Ernestas Žvaigždinas emphasises the need for a new approach and said, “Despite advancements, new mine detection and clearance technologies have yet to make a substantial real-world impact. Most current methods are virtually unchanged from those used a century ago. We aim to change this status quo.”

Broswarm’s cost-effective and rapidly deployable solution offers significant advantages over traditional demining methods. This technology has the potential to save lives, expedite the demining process, and allow for the safe use of land currently contaminated by mines.

Investment and recognition

The $100,000 funding round led by ScaleWolf, a hybrid accelerator and fund for defence tech, will propel Broswarm’s development efforts. The company also plans to patent its groundbreaking sensor technology.

Edvinas Skerza, Managing Partner at ScaleWolf, highlights the potential impact, stating, “The Broswarm team has the right mix of skills and know-how to take the technology to the real world and make an impact where it is most needed.”

Field testing and beyond

Founded in 2023, Broswarm is a young company with a promising future. Their recognition with the Ugninis Skydas award for best new defence technology at the Lithuanian conference underscores their innovative approach. Later this year, Broswarm plans to conduct field tests in Ukraine, marking a crucial step towards real-world application of their life saving technology.

Broswarm’s development holds immense potential for Ukraine and other regions grappling with the legacy of landmines. Their innovative drone-based solution offers a cost-effective and efficient way to accelerate demining efforts, pave the way for the safe use of land, and ultimately save lives.

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