In today’s date most of the teenagers will be either worried about their exams or will be obsessed with mobile, games or television. But unlikely to most of the teenagers, the 14 year old class 10th student Harshwardhan Zala is a very young entrepreneur, coder and a drone maker. The Ahmedabad born child prodigy, son of Pradhumanish Zala and Nishaba Zala, signed a Rs 5 crore Memoranda of Understanding(MoU) with the Gujarat government for making Mine detecting and defusing drones at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit held on 12th January 2017. The boy now owns a company of his own where he works on drones and has named his company ‘Aerobatics’.
Zala started working on this project in 2016 and has been making business plans too. The 14 year old was inspired to make a drone detecting and defusing machine while he learnt about the high number of casualties in Indian Army due to manual detection and defusing of mines. He first planned to make a drone detecting robot, but because of its weight it could have damaged itself by triggering a blast while the process of detection. Then he switched to the idea of making drones that can detect mines from a safer distance and also could detonate it. The boy has spent about 5 lakhs in making his first two prototypes the first one was funded by his parents and second was funded by the state.
According to Harshvardhan the drone designed by him is equipped with thermal meter, Infrared , RGB sensors and a 21 megapixel camera with a mechanical shutter for taking high resolution camera. Along with these the drone is also equipped with a 50 gram bomb that can destroy the mine. When in operation the drone sends waves up to an area of eight square meter from a height of 2 feet from the ground. The drone then receives the waves back and detects the mines and communicates the location of mines with the linked base station.
Harshvardhan has already tested the drones with security agencies and has told that he will be making some changes in the drone to make it smarter like adding payloads to the drones that will eliminate the need to send signals to base stations. In an interview Zala stated that it cost him about 3.2 lakhs to make his final prototype and will be making some more investments on it for a better design and he claimed that it will be cheaper than the present systems used by army for the purpose.
Times of India- article dated 13 jan 2017
Ndtv.com- article dated January 13 2017
Indianexpress.com- article dated January 13 2017