Harshwardhan Zala, 14, made three prototypes of a drone designed to detect landmines

A bespectacled boy dressed in a spiffy blue suit created a buzz at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit this week after he signed aRs 5 crore-worth memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state, bagging the deal for production of a drone designed by him.

Harshwardhan Zala, 14, signed a deal with the Department of Science and Technology to facilitate production of the drones that help detect and defuse land mines on war fields. Incidentally, the Class X student had been working on his business plan and had made three prototypes of the drone, while most children his age are fretting over the upcoming board exams.

Zala said he started work on the prototype of the landmine-detecting drone in 2016 and created a business plan too.

“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,” said the 14-year-old, who spent not less than Rs 5 lakh on the three prototypes. While his parents shelled out approximately Rs 2 lakh for the first two prototypes, he was gran- ted Rs 3 lakh from the state for the third.

Wired to locate and destroy, “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 as well”, explained 14-year-old.

The device is designed to send out waves that cover an eight sq metre area, flying two feet above the surface; The waves detect land mines and communicate their location with a base station.

“The drone also carries a bomb weighing 50 gms that can be used to destroy the landmine,” Zala, who was looking at manufacturing the drone and getting it tested by security agencies, added.

He has already registered for a patent and has set up his own company, ‘Aerobotics’.



The Times of India (Mumbai edition)

Dated: 14 Jan 2017

Ahmedabad Mirror

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