Bart Weetjens

Product developer
The founder of Apopo, Bart Weet­jens, is train­ing rats to detect landmine explosives in minute amounts.

Why you should listen

Dutch product designer Bart Weetjens works with locals in Morogoro, Tanzania, to 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 and are now applying a similar approach to other fields, training rats to diagnose tuber­cu­lo­sis in hospitals.

Bart Weetjens’ TED talk