Dhruv Karthik, a 17 yr previous scholar in Dubai, is the youngest finalist within the historical past of the ‘Drones for Good’ competitors, and he’s going it alone. Karthik is the one particular person finalist, competing in opposition to groups made up of professors, grad college students, and enterprise startups for the $1m prize.
Dhruv’s entry is FIREFLY, a search and rescue drone that may search for folks stranded after fires or pure disasters. Dhruv says his inspiration got here after witnessing a devastating hearth in Dubai on New Year’s Eve a number of years in the past.
“The biggest problem fire-fighters face is lack of knowledge,” says Dhruv in his clarification of FIREFLY. “They don’t know which floor still has occupied people, which floor has safely evacuated itself, and which floor is occupied by someone may be in grave danger.”
“FIREFLY is an Artificial Intelligence and computer vision platform that allows a drone to autonomously and efficiently navigate through apartments in search of stranded people. It has zero prior knowledge about the apartment it enters, and traverses through its environment with extremely minimal outside help,” says Dhruv. “…FIREFLY is a drone that incorporates the technology necessary to inform a firefighter about the status of every apartment in a skyscraper in a rapid and efficient manner. This is information that they greatly need to minimise time wasted through searching empty apartments, when they could rather be evacuating an injured person in another apartment.”
FIREFLY makes use of “a cheap commercial drone” modified with an Arduino Mini to make it autonomous. Dhruv explains that FIREFLY is a drone agnostic platform primarily based on pc imaginative and prescient and AI programming.
The year-long contest is sponsored by the federal government of the UAE. “The UAE Government invite the most innovative and creative minds to find solutions that will improve people’s lives and provide positive technological solutions to modern day issues,” says the competition’s mission assertion: the numerous prize cash attracts the perfect and brightest from world wide. The contest finals might be held in Dubai on February 17th and 18th.
Next yr, Dhruv hopes to attend college within the US to pursue a profession in AI and robotics.