If there were one item that could encapsulate the human condition in the 21st century, it would be drones. They are practically everywhere, from political rallies to that neighbour’s wedding photo shoot. They might raise concerns about privacy violation, but their appeal is undeniable.
A group of students from Anekal, Karnataka, have now managed to develop a drone which has the potential to save lives.
Digvijay Kumar, a second-year student of Sri Sairam Engineering College, and his classmates came together to build a drone that can help in fighting fire.
This drone consists of a “fire ball” that can be dropped on the accident site; the object explodes on impact to extinguish fire, reports Bangalore Mirror. This fire ball consists of sodium bicarbonate which releases carbon dioxide on impact. This sucks out the oxygen that is essential for the fire to burn and spread.
Speaking about the capacity of the drone, Digvijay mentioned its ability to fly at 40 kmph and its 4000 mah battery that can last for four hours. It cost the students around ₹40,000, and took six months to develop the prototype.
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The team now plans to approach the fire department to explore its potential. Apart from incidents in urban areas, there has been an alarming number of forest fires reported across India.
Nandini B, another student said, “Our main intention is to help both the department and the public in such fire accidents. In many cases, due to traffic or congested roads, the rescue team may not be able to reach the venue quickly. But this drone will reach much faster and work on saving lives.”
As Hindustan Times reports citing the satellite data from ISRO, 2,28,667 forest fires occurred between 2006 and 2015. In a nation where 55 per cent of forests are prone to recurrent fires, innovations of this kind can be extremely helpful.
Digvijay and his classmates’ drones will hopefully catch the eyes of ecologists and forest officials, whose efforts will be strengthened in their fight against climate change with such resources.