In this modern age of voice recognition, chatbots, and machine learning, a man from Lucknow, India has demonstrated yet another practical application for artificial intelligence—saving lives.
Milind Raj, 27, heard the cry of an animal last month during one of his usual morning walks. On closer inspection, he found a stray puppy trapped inside of a drain in the middle of a road. However, as Raj recounts to NDTV, the poor condition of the drain did not allow for safe access for a human to physically retrieve the puppy. Moreover, the puppy, which Raj later learned, had been stuck in the drain for two days. For any other passerby, any subsequent efforts to retrieve the puppy might have ended there.
But Raj’s retrieval efforts did not end there. Raj, who builds robots for a living in his lab, thought of a creative workaround to the problem. This workaround—a drone with an AI-controlled robotic arm and a heartbeat sensor—was used to successfully lift the puppy out of the drain six hours later.
According to Raj, the inclusion of a heartbeat sensor attached to the drone was designed to monitor the puppy’s heartbeat to ensure that the puppy wouldn’t suffocate from the robotic arm’s grip.
Thankfully, the puppy was unharmed in the incident. However, the puppy did vomit plastic packets that were thrown into the drain. The puppy was later adopted by Raj, which Raj later named “Lifted” in reference to the incident.
Raj’s rescue efforts not only showcase the ingenuity and selflessness of humanity in times of need, but it also opens the door for more AI to be used in similar applications for saving lives in the future. One thing for certain is that the prospect of AI is becoming increasingly more intermingled in our everyday lives.
Raj’s drone is not the only AI that Raj has created. In February, Raj introduced a trilingual robot with knowledge of Hindi, Sanskrit, and English at the Uttar Pradesh Investor’s Summit. The bot was presented before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at the summit.