Teen bags $ 733,000 deal to design anti-landmine drones in western India

A 14-year-old boy bags INR 50 million (USD 733,000) deal with government of India’s western Gujarat state for production of anti-landmine drones designed by him.

AHMEDABAD, GUJARAT, INDIA (JANUARY 13, 2017) (ANI) – A 14-year-old boy bagged INR 50 million (USD 733,000) deal with government of India’s western Gujarat state on Friday (January 13) for production of anti-landmine drones designed by him.

The tenth standard student, Harshwardhan Zala, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state-run Department of Science and Technology during the global investors’ summit, Vibrant Gujarat, which concluded on Friday.

Zala said he designed the device to help armed forces in detecting and defusing landmines. Every year, scores of soldiers die due to landmine blasts or while defusing them manually.

“I first created a robot to detect landmines but realised that since the weight is heavy it would trigger a blast and damage it. So I researched on drones and thought of creating a flying object to help in the objective,” said Zala.

The bespectacled teenager said that he made three prototypes of the drone, which was finally approved by the science and technology experts.

“Our drone will remain two feet above the ground-level and will be used to detect landmines. The drone also carries a detonator weighing 50 gram, which automatically blasts, subsequently destroying the landmine,” said Zala.

Head of Gujarat Council on Science and Technology (GUJCOST), Dr. Narottam Sahu, said the government planned to explore the possibility of its commercial production depending on the success of prototypes.

“An MoU (memorandum of understanding) has been signed with him and in the coming days he will be working on this project with Gujarat government,” said Sahu.

He said that the deal has been signed to encourage more such young talents to come forward with innovative ideas to help the society.