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How 15-year-old drone-builder from Ahmedabad is helping the Indian Army save lives

15-year-old drone-builder

Harshwardhan Zala with his anti-mine drone. (Source: Twitter)

Harshwardhan Zala with his anti-mine drone. (Source: Twitter)

Remember what you were doing at the age of 15? Probably, busy playing at a cricket ground with your colony friends or preparing for your board exams while your parents kept telling you how it will shape your future. Well, don’t be disappointed because that’s what most Indian kids do at the age of 15. Just that Harshwardhan Zala from Ahmedabad is not a usual Indian kid. Known as India’s drone wiz, he already has a handful of patents to his credit and is the CEO and founder of Aerobotics7 Tech Solutions.


At the age of 14, Zala designed a smart solution through which drones could not only detect but also defuse landmines in war fields. The youngster wants to make the world a better place to live. “Do you know there are more than 100 million active landmines across the globe? My goal is to create technological solutions to save thousands of lives across the world, and this is just the beginning,” he told The Better India.


Son of an accountant father and homemaker mother, Harshwardhan came up with his first invention at the age of 10. He made a remote-control which could be used to control and operate home appliances wirelessly.


There was no such device available in the market back then. It helped his parents realise Harshwardhan’s talent and encouraged him to take it further.


It was then that Harshwardhan began to think about his next creation. He would read books about various problems being faced by the world and visit cyber cafés and watch YouTube videos about these problems. Since he didn’t have access to the internet at home, Harshwardhan started to spend long hours in a cyber cafe. He was often accompanied by his grandfather as Harshwardhan was not allowed into the cafe without an adult.


One day at the cyber cafe, he came across a demonstrative video, which reflected how people die due to explosions in undetected land mines. After doing some research, the 15-year-old found that there is no solution to this problem. So he worked on a prototype and went to different companies to tell them about his solution.


He went to about 12 companies but was rejected by all of them which inspired Harshwardhan to found his own company with the money that his parents put together. After two years, Harshwardhan’s drone was ready to be unveiled.


The drone goes into the field, surveys the ground and sends real-time signals to the nearest army base. It is fitted with a wireless detonator, which can be activated without risk to any human life. “I am currently working with the Indian Army and CRPF to help clear all the landmines in the country. Once that is accomplished, I will share my technology with the rest of the world,” he said.

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