A bespectacled boy dressed in a spiffy blue suit created a buzz at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit+ on Thursday after he signed a Rs 5 crore-worth (approximately 4 million dollars) memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government, bagging the deal for production of a drone designed by him.
Harshwardhan Zala, 14, signed a deal with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat, to facilitate production of the drones that help detect and defuse land mines on war fields.
Incidentally, the class 10 student had been working on his business plan and made three prototypes of the drone while most children of 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 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.
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 the class 10 student. The drone is designed to send out waves that cover eight sq mt area while 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 gram that can be used to destroy the landmine ,” explained Zala, who was looking at manufacturing the drone and getting it tested by security agencies.