Drones have given people a new and improved way to look at the world. Drones have allowed us to explore the world from heights and angles many didn’t think would be possible for them. Since being released and used by the public, they have certainly caused a stir within the technology industry. To the military, these “Drones” are called UAVs, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Drones are often used for military situations where manned flight is considered too risky or difficult. They are able to provide troops with a 24-hour eye at all hours. A few years ago, the word Drone didn’t have a very positive connotation to it. When there was normal talk of drones, it often involved situations of terrorism and or spying. These days, drones are used to capture live events, deliver items, shoot movies, watch animals, and are often used by law enforcement. However, one man gave drones another positive use as he used one to save a puppy that had fallen in a drain, and was running out of time.
Milind Raj is an engineer who lives in New Delhi, India. He decided one morning to put his brains to the test when he was out on his daily morning walk and came across a pup who seriously needed his help. While walking one morning, he heard whimpering, after deciding to trace the sound to the source, he found a puppy that had become stuck in a drain between two roads.
The Puppy’s Condition
In an interview with The Verge, Raj talks about the condition of the pup when he first found him. He says that, “the condition of the puppy was miserable”, and that local residents had heard the animal crying for two days. He said that the residents didn’t want to try to rescue the pup because the drain itself was so filthy. He said, “It was not possible for a human to rescue the puppy without endangering their own life.”
Feeling sorry for the animal, Raj decided to take matters into his own hands. Using his knowledge in engineering, he knew he had to come up with a way to get the animal from down inside the drain without endangering his own life. The first thing that came to mind? He was going to use a remote control drone.
Putting It Together
The idea of it was simple, just using the drone to pick up the dog from within the drain and carry him out. However, putting it together was more complex. How in fact was he going to carry the dog out? Raj had an extensive history in both Ai and robotics and so within the next few hours, he attached a robotic arm with a type of claw, and attached it to a six-rotor drone. He handmade this invention within his lab, located in the city of Lucknow. Although he had the drone already made, he was able to create the robotic arm and attach it to the drone within a few hours.
The arm itself had a few nifty features that he created especially for this rescue mission. He installed sensors within the arm to track the heartbeat and breathing patterns of the dog, so he could keep an eye on him during the lift. The computer within the arm also had a certain software within that could detect an animal. Once the arm had a grip on the dog, he would keep a close eye on it’s vitals to make sure the grip on the pup wasn’t too tight.
Begin The Mission
Once the drone was completed, he returned to the site to begin the mission. He told The Verge, “the puppy was traumatized and hence, he did not react much.” Because of the pups incredible stillness, he was able to maneuver a loop around the puppy’s neck and was able to close the claw around the dogs tiny and malnourished body.
In the video that was posted amongst numerous social media sites, and news agency ANI, you can see the drone lifting the icy puppy out of the drain, and it looks around confused by it’s surroundings. The audience can see the initial puppy’s reaction by finally being back above the surface.
Seeing as the animal had been trapped in the drain for over two days, the only thing it had to eat were plastic bags and garbage that had been thrown away by the local residents. After being rescued, the small puppy began vomiting plastic packets and the filth it had ingested while being trapped in the 20-foot drain.
When the story was posted online, obviously the internet had a lot to say about it. Many were convinced that the video itself had been doctored. One twitter user named Siddharth Singh questioned the authenticity of the video, and the motive behind it. The user wrote, “Look at the video: a ladder would have sufficed. My bet is that the dog was placed there for the video.” He further tweeted, “Even a bucket and a rope would have sufficed. But I guess you don’t get to meet the Chief Minister with a bucket and rope. The puppy– which was in the drain for two days supposedly is absolutely clean, and they make no attempts to give it food or water or even get it back on land after “rescuing” it. They keep flying it around.”