Bart Weetjens

Product developer
Bart Weet­jens is developing a new approach to the land ­mine detection problem: train­ing giant pouched rats to detect explosives in minute amounts.

Why you should listen

Bart Weetjens works with locals in Morogoro, Tanzania to run a world-class facility that trains rats to do something astonishing: sniff out land mines. (The African giant pouched rat, the species used in the project, is wide­spread in the region.) The rats that pass the train­ing -- and the same rigorous testing applied to land mine-sniffing canines -- become what Weetjens calls "HeroRATS."

Weet­jens is now applying a similar approach to other fields, training rats to diagnose tuber­cu­lo­sis in hospitals.

Bart Weetjens’ TED talk