City boy’s drone wins top prize at IIT-Bombay Techfest

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Thirteen-year-old Aarya Gadekar from the city has outsmarted around 150 teams of engineering students to claim the first prize in a drone-building competition at the IIT-Bombay Techfest. The festival, from December 29 to 31, saw teams participating from colleges and schools across the country in different competitions.

Aarya’s, drone built and designed by him in the OP Rahat competition under the aerostrike category, won the trophy and cash prize of Rs 25000.

Aarya, a std VIII student of Stepping Stones High School, has been building drones since he was 11. The teenager says that his curiosity to find out how different machines run from a very tender age drives his innovation skills.

Till date, Aarya has built a PC, several robots and drones all by himself. Asked where he learns the technicalities, the boy said that he seeks help from the internet. “I refer to the videos on YouTube to learn how to build drones. If I don’t find the answer to my query through videos or online tutorials, I drop a question on community forums and get an answer in a couple of days,” he said.

Proud parents Girish and Kshitija Gadekar, both doctors, say that they have only helped their son with moral support as they have little knowledge about technical things.

In the competition at the Techfest, Aarya had the challenge of designing a drone that can cross obstacles and wind patterns, carry and hover with the given load.
The idea of the competition was to encourage ideas for a machine that would drop first aid medical kits for victims of natural calamaties.
Aarya’s drone was able to scan a QR code and then deliver the object corresponding to the information given in the QR code in the fastest time of 41 seconds. The next best was 53 seconds.

 However, in the middle of the three-day competition, Aarya had to face a setback when his device developed a snag. However, the gritty teen repaired it overnight, made a comeback in the game and claimed the top prize.
 Aarya likes painting, swimming, tennis and playing the guitar and encourages younsters he knows to indulge in productive things.

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