Dubai student is youngest to vie for 'Drones for Good' Dh1m prize

An exceptional 17 year old Dubai student of Indian heritage, Dhruv Karthik, recently became the youngest finalist in the history of the ‘Drones for Good’ competition. Competing against hundreds of teams composed of university professors, graduate students, and robotics professionals, Karthik was selected as the only individual finalist in the competition.

Entrants from around the world will compete for a Dh1 million grand prize at the finals on 17 and 18 February.

The inspiration for Dhruv’s revolutionary drone ‘FIREFLY’ came after he witnessed the devastating fire at The Address Downtown Burj Dubai on New Year’s Eve in 2015.

This innovative drone can autonomously enter unknown apartments and search for stranded persons.

The project was recognized as one of the Top 50 engineering projects from over 12,000 entries around the world for the Google Science Fair.

Dhruv was the only finalist selected from the UAE, and one of three from the Middle East.

Karthik is an inspiring technology entrepreneur that hopes to pursue his passion for computer science, robotics and artificial intelligence as an undergraduate student at a leading university in the US. He comments: “For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to study in an environment where everyone is motivated to build on their ideas, no matter how big or revolutionary they may be, and would expose me to an array of different intellectual perspectives and viewpoints.”

Dhruv was mentored and guided through his university application process by Peter Davos, the Managing Director of Hale Education Group, who describes him as a “genius”.

Peter Davos said: “It truly is a privilege to play a small role in helping Dhruv reach the next level of his studies and to financially support his competitive endeavors. His excitement for his projects is infectious, and although I may understand only a fraction of the technical jargon he uses, I am fully confident that Dhruv is destined for a bright future in the US.”

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