Harshwardhan Zala, the young man referred to as India’s drone whizz, says he has been interested in electronics and technology since childhood.
He is all of 15.
Now he is back in the news thanks to his new drone. It was a YouTube video on landmines that prompted Harshwardhan to work on making a drone that could detect and diffuse them.
Between 2009 and 2013, there have been 752 documented fatalities in mining operations in India, according to the Office of Directorate General of Mines Safety, Ministry of Labour and Employment.
“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,”
Harswardhan spent not less than Rs 5 lakh on the three prototypes of the drone. While the teen’s parents shelled out approximately Rs 2 lakh for the first two prototypes, he was granted Rs 3 lakh from the state for the third prototype, as reported by Times of India.
How does it work?
The drone is equipped with infrared, RGB sensors and a thermal meter along with a 21-megapixel camera with a mechanical shutter that can click high-resolution pictures. The drone detects landmines and covers an eight square meter area while flying at the height of two feet while sending a signal to the base station.
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The drone is also capable of carrying a bomb weighing 50 grams that can be used to destroy the landmine.
According to a UN report, it would take 33 billion dollars to diffuse all the landmines across the globe.
In pursuit of making this idea bigger and better, Harshwardhan founded Aerobotics7, which is a Technological Startup. The main focus of this company is designing and developing life-saving drones.
In 2017, Harshwardhan signed a Rs 5 crore-worth memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government of Gujarat, bagging the deal for production of a drone designed by him.
His father Pradhyumansinh Zala is an accountant with a plastic company in Naroda while his mother Nishaba Zala is a homemaker. Harwardhan’s desire to get his product patented and produced was fuelled during a visit to the headquarters of Google, Inc. headquarters in the US where he shared a project idea with several investors after observing the way they work, reported the publication.
(Edited By Vinayak Hegde)