Ukrainian Teen Invents Life-Saving Drone

Nikhil Sabnis, age 10

Landmines killed or injured more than 7,000 people across the globe in 2020 alone, the majority of whom were civilians, according to Landmine Monitor. Igor Klymenko, a 17-year-old from Kyiv, has invented a unique solution to find and deactivate these explosive devices which are buried underground.

In its war against Ukraine, the Russian military has planted these explosive devices throughout Ukrainian farmland, turning crop fields into minefields. While sheltering in a crowded basement in war-torn Ukraine with eight others, Klymenko invented a drone that scans the ground for landmines. “All … we heard [were] explosions, rockets, planes, and it was really hard to concentrate [and] not to think about the war,” Klymenko said to Smithsonian magazine.

Once a mine is spotted, the drone issues a signal to the military containing the GPS coordinates of the mine’s location. Klymenko’s invention will also save lives of people who currently work to locate these explosives, as for every 5,000 mines removed, one worker dies and two are injured. Igor’s ingenuity earned him the Global Student Prize, a $100,000 award, for positively affecting society and saving countless lives in war-torn countries.

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