The “Drone Scientist” is a 22-year-old genius named NM Prathap, who is on a mission to save lives with his drones, while preserving the planet by building them with e-waste. So far, he made over 600 drones and has already saved people’s lives during a massive flood incident.
Prathap was only 14 years old when he found his passion for drones. He built his first drone which could fly and capture photos when he was 16 years old. Prathap is a BSc graduate from JSS College of Arts and Commerce in Mysuru. He attended many drone projects such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for rescue operations, Drones for traffic management, and Telegraphy in Border Security. Additionally, he learned about drone networking’s cryptography to prevent them from being hacked.
During the recent devastating floods that attacked North Karnataka, thousands of people were stranded without food and injured. Prathap’s drones helped with disaster management by sending food and medicine to the helpless people.
When Prathap makes drones, he aims at minimizing e-waste by re-using components that he collects from broken drones like motors, capacitors, and other electronics. As a result, he not only lowers the production cost but also saves the planet.
Prathap has been acknowledged for his work and has received invitations to showcase his creations to 87 countries worldwide. In 2017 at the Tokyo International Robotics Exhibition, he won the gold and silver medal, along with $10,000 in cash. Then, in 2018 at the International Drone Expo in Germany, he received the Albert Einstein Innovation Gold Medal.
Recently, IISc and IIT-Bombay invited Prathap to give lectures to talk about drone applications in emergency situations.
Prathap talks about his skills Live on Edex:
I use very little money and a lot of e-waste to make my drones. Whenever I win competitions, I am awarded money, which I save for the future. And as far as e-waste goes, a lot of it is generated, and I get it from electrical shops in Mysuru, Visakhapatnam, Mumbai and a few other cities. For example, if there is a mixer-grinder that is defunct, I can remove the motor and use it in my drone. Similarly, I make use of chips and resistors from broken televisions to build my drones. It doesn’t matter what the prototype looks like. Proving the technical points of the drone is all that matters.
The “Drone Scientist” is currently working with India’s DRDO on a project that uses drones in more intense and critical national projects.