The machine was first put into action in Cambodia but has since attracted interest from
agencies working in Bosnia. The latest model has just been sent to the United States for
evaluation by the army.
Millions of mines were left in the ground following the long civil war in Cambodia and
hundreds of people are killed or injured every year from blasts.
This leaves a lot of agricultural land unusable because people cannot go on the land
until it has been declared safe.
Previously the clearing job had to be done painstakingly by people using scythes. They
had to work very slowly in case they activated a landmine.
Large, expensive machines can be brought in to clear the land, but they are not widely
available because of the cost.
Engineers at DTW set out to build a cheaper machine that could be built and maintained
Their first plan was for a small radio-controlled device that was very cheap and could
be blown up by a mine and easily replaced.
But following consultation with people who would be using the machines, the plans were
The wheels are now designed to withstand a blast from an anti-personnel mine the
most common in Cambodia.
If it suffers damage from a more powerful anti-tank mine only the wheel will be
Tests in Cambodia proved very successful, when the Tempest set off an explosion but
carried on clearing unscathed.
The machine was formally launched in May 1998 by Independent MP and former BBC war
correspondent Martin Bell, who is an anti-landmine campaigner.
Now the Tempest is in frequent use in Cambodia and helps clear land quickly, while
other models have been ordered for Bosnia.