At the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit held this year, a 14-year-old boy, Harshwardhan Zala, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth Rs 5 crore with the Department of Science and Technology of the Gujarat government. The agreement is to explore the possibility of using drones developed by Harshwardhan for commercial purposes. Studying in the 10th standard, the young lad has already designed three prototypes for his drone.
The drone built by him can help save lives by detecting and defusing landmines in battle areas. While talking about how he came up with the idea for the business plan he has been working on, he told India Times,
The inspiration struck when I was watching television and learned that a large number of soldiers succumb to injuries sustained due to landmine blasts while defusing them manually.
While talking about his work with NDTV, he said,
I first created a landmine detecting robot, but realised that since the weight is heavy, it would trigger a blast and damage it. So, I thought of creating a drone that would be at a safe distance while detecting the mines.
The project he has been working on, which involved the development of three prototypes, has costed him around Rs 5 lakh till now. Two of the prototypes together cost him around Rs 2 lakh and were funded by his parents, while the third, which cost Rs 3 lakh, was funded by the state.
While describing his work to India Times, he said,
The drone has been equipped with infrared, RGB sensor, and thermal meter, along with a 21-megapixel camera with a mechanical shutter that can take high resolution pictures. The drone also carries a bomb weighing 50 gram that can be used to destroy the landmine.
Waves up till the range of eight square meters can be sent out by the drone while flying two feet above the ground. Once it detects a land mine, it will communicate the location to a base station. Harshwardhan has already established his own company, known as ‘Aerobotics’, and has also registered for a patent. Harshwardhan, whose father is an accountant and mother a homemaker, decided to get a patent when he visited the Google headquarters in the United States.
This teenager from Gujarat, through his passion for science and inspiration, has made something beautiful, a device that will truly help save lives. His incredible dedication and hard work are truly an inspiration for all of us.