New artificial intelligence technology could save lives in Ukraine by detecting mines and unexploded bombs.

Intelligence company Fenix Insights has teamed up with drone specialists to create an industry-first technology which can detect mines in real time with the help of AI.

It is hoped the system, dubbed Iris, will help make Ukraine safe once there is an end to fighting in the region following Russia's invasion

David Hewitson, chief executive the Copthorne-based company, said: “Iris marks a significant leap forward in supporting demining efforts in Ukraine, the most heavily mined country globally.

“Our commitment to innovation and safety is evident as Iris harnesses state-of-the-art AI algorithms and machine learning, allowing for faster, more accurate detection, identification, and mapping of unexploded ordnance threats.”

The technology, created in partnership with Ace High Drones Specialists, has created a visual surveillance drone which can detect unexploded munitions.

Tests took place in Kherson in Ukraine at the end of January where the new system was able to detect anti-tank mines in a live minefield.

Fenix says this level of real time accuracy has never been achieved in an active conflict area.

Robin Horsfall, director of Ace High Drone Specialists, said: “The importance of planning for the future peace of Ukraine cannot be overstated.

“While there is still a war to be won, preparing for the aftermath is crucial for the recovery of Ukraine and for world food supply. It is vital that Ukraine is able to restore all arable land.

“One undiscovered anti-tank mine will destroy heavy farm machinery as easily as it destroys a tank. Children will not return to school or play in the streets until unexploded submunitions and mines are completely removed.

“Drones, working with AI, will help engineers work safely and more quickly to make Ukraine safe for the long-term future. The rapid and efficient removal of explosive ordnance will speed up this process allowing Ukrainians to return home to restore their nation.”