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14-year-old Gujarat teen signs Rs 5-crore MoU for drones

Ahmedabad: A 14-year-old boy in Gujarat who created drone which can detect and defuse landmines in war fields has signed an agreement worth Rs. 5 crore memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government, for the production of a drone designed by him.

Harshwardhan Zala, the class 10 student of Sarvoday Vidhyamandir in Bapunagar signed a deal with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit.

Initially, Harsh started working on the prototype of the landmine-detecting drone and made three prototypes of the drone last year after reading in newspapers about high army casualties due to landmines.

He said.”I first created a land mine detecting robot but realised that since the weight is heavy it would trigger a blast and damage it so I thought of creating a drone which will be at a safe distance while detecting the mines.”

Harsh’s father who works as an accountant in a private firm has set up his own company – Aerobatics 7. He contributed Rs 2 lakh for the first two prototypes, later he was granted Rs 3 lakh from the state government for the third prototype.
The class 10 student explained that.”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.”

He added.”The drone also carries a bomb weighing 50 gram that can be used to destroy the landmine.”


Dr Narottam Sahu, head of Gujarat Council on Science and Technology (GUJCOST) said. “A MoU has been signed with him and in the coming days Gujarat government will work with him on this project.”

Harsh has already registered for a patent for his own company. He said, “I started making drones on my own and set up an interface with a base station but realised I need to do more. So I fixed payloads that detect landmines. I have several other plans that I want to execute once the patent for this drone is registered.”