Ahmedabad: A 14-year-old boy in Gujarat has signed an agreement worth 50 million rupees to explore the possibility of commercial production of a drone created by him which can help in detecting and defusing landmines in war fields.
Harshwardhan Zala, who is studying in Class 10, started work on the prototype of the landmine-detecting drone last year after reading in newspapers about high army casualties due to landmines.
“I first created a land mine 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 which will be at a safe distance while detecting the mines,” said Harshwardhan, who signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the recently-concluding Vibrant Gujarat summit in Ahmedabad.
The state government had even part financed his final prototype which cost him around Rs. 500,000. Now the government experts will explore the possibility of its commercial production.
“An MoU has been signed with him and in the coming days Gujarat government will work with him on this project,” said Dr Narottam Sahu, head of Gujarat Council on Science and Technology (GUJCOST).
Explaining the concept, Harshwardhan said that once the mine was detected by the drone through an infrared sensor, a 50 gram detonator will complete the task of defusing it.
So how much does his drone cost. “For the final prototype that I created it cost me around Rs. 320,000 and improving it further may increase the cost a little but it will be still cheaper than the present system which are used in army,” the 14-year-old claimed.
Harshwardhan, whose father is an accountant, has set up his own company – Aerobatics 7 – and plans to create more such gadgets. A student of Sarvoday Vidhyamandi, he says he has been interested in science and innovation for several years now.