Igor Klymenko has won a $100,000 prize for his creation and hopes to have the device ready before the end of the year.
Igor Klymenko, a 17-year-old Ukrainian, has created a mine detection drone that he hopes will be ready for production before the end of the year and can be used both during and after the war to clear Ukraine of mines and prevent damage that this type of weapon produces once the armed conflicts are over .
The teenager is a native of Kiev and had to leave the Ukrainian capital with his family after the beginning of the invasion to hide in the basement of a house in the countryside. He has been working on this project ever since while the war has run its course. His work has allowed him to obtain the Global Student award that the American technology company for education Chegg awards and that entails an economic benefit of 100,000 dollars .
“I was living with eight people,” the young man explained to Smithsonian Magazine. “All this time we were hearing explosions, rockets, planes, and it was really hard to concentrate, just focus and not think about the war.”
Igor Klymenko working on his drone. PHOTO (Custom Credit) Courtesy of Igor Klymenko.
Klymenko, who is currently studying Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Alberta, Canada, and preparing for a degree at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute in automation of computer-integrated technologies, took up for this project one that had begun when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014. The then boy wanted to help both soldiers and civilians in the face of a scourge that causes around 7,000 victims a year between deaths and injuries and devised a prototype drone capable of detecting the position of a mine and sending its coordinates .
On this occasion, the young man has collaborated with scientists and programmers to develop his Quadcopter Mines Detector , of which he currently has two prototypes and has registered two patents in Ukraine. The device uses a commercially available drone model for less than a hundred euros, the 4DRC -branded F5 PRO , which Klymenko equips with a metal detector of his own design . The drone records its GPS position before starting the flight and the length and width of the area to be explored is established .
Already in flight, the drone has an autonomy of between 20 and 30 minutes and can travel up to 8 kilometers , when it detects a mine it sends an infrared signal to a phototransistor on an Arduino board , a programmable circuit board, in the control device of the drone This executes code written in the C++ programming language by Klymenko that calculates the coordinates of the mine from the recorded starting point and is accurate to within two centimeters .
According to the young engineer, Quadcopter Mines Detector needs two to three weeks to scan one square kilometer . He has tested it both in the lab and on the ground, in low-vegetation, low-wind conditions, and hopes to add capabilities in the future such as ground -penetrating radar , a spray-paint system to pinpoint the location of mines , software that provides even more precise location and detects the type of mine , anti-tank or anti-personnel, and a detonation system .
The most common methods to detect mines are metal detectors, animals that sniff explosives and landmine probes , but all of them entail a high risk for the personnel carrying out the task while the use of drones for the identification of mines allows do it remotely and without risk .
Kllymenko has stated that he will use part of the money from the Global Student prize in the development of his drone and that the recognition received “has given me the opportunity to show the world my history, the problem of land mining and how it affects people. It is a good opportunity to find people who also want to work with me on this device to create it and save lives.”