This Dubai student’s drone can save people trapped in fires

A 17-year old student from Dubai makes his mark in UAE’s Drones for Good Award, being the youngest finalist to date.


Dhruv Karthik, an Indian student at Dubai International Academy (DIA), impressed the judges with his Firefly drone – designed to autonomously enter buildings, and search for people who are left stranded during emergency situations.

Interestingly, it was the New Year’s Eve fire, which engulfed The Address Downtown back in 2015, that inspired Karthik’s drone concept. He saw a need for a rapid evacuation system, and invented one.

Built with thermal imaging, the Firefly can detect bodies through thick smoke, which will be able to help rescue teams save more lives, and decrease time allotted for evacuation.


17-year old Dhruv Karthik, DIA

The UAE Drones for Good Award was founded two years ago, to encourage us to think creatively yet practically, and come up with ideas on how civilian drones can be used to better peoples lives.

The competition has attracted entries from hundreds of students, professors and robotics professionals from all around the world.

Making the young student’s victory even more impressive is the fact that he is also the only individual finalist in the competition.

Karthik now moves on to the finals, taking place today and tomorrow, after which a grand cash prize of AED 1 million awaits the lucky winner.

“We are extremely proud of Dhruv Karthik for his achievement,” comments Poonam Bhojani, CEO of Innoventures Education, the mother company that runs DIA.

She adds: “He is a wonderful inspiration for our students and we are all rooting for his win.”

Entry to the UAE Drones for Good finals is free for all, so come on down and show your support!

The UAE Drones for Good Award take place on the 17th and 18th of February, at Dubai Internet City. More info at


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