“Engineering is all about isolating a problem, then testing various solutions,” said Milind Raj. “In this case, the problem was the puppy stuck in in the drain. The solution we tested was a modified six-rotor drone. It happened to work on the first trial run, luckily.”

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An engineer in New Delhi named Milind Raj has saved a puppy using a drone he equipped with a giant claw.

Here’s the scoop from our friends at The Verge:

Raj was out for a morning walk in New Delhi when he heard whimpering and traced the sound to a puppy that had become stuck in a boggy drain between two roads. Raj said the condition of the puppy was “miserable” and tells The Verge that local residents had heard the animal crying for two days. Others hadn’t stepped up to the task of trying to rescue the pup because “the drain was so filthy,” says Raj. “It was not possible for a human to rescue the puppy without endangering their own life.”

Raj decided to take up the task himself, and immediately set to work constructing a drone capable of rescuing the pup. Even though Raj has an extensive history in both AI and robotics, he said building the right tools was a challenging exercise. Within a few hours, he had strapped a robotic arm with a claw of sorts to a six-rotor drone, both custom-made in his lab, located in the city of Lucknow.

While he had built the drone itself two years ago, the arm he equipped it with was something he specifically created for this rescue, installing sensors to track heartbeat and breathing patterns to keep tabs on the wellness of the puppy.

“The AI helped me monitor the animal’s heart rate,” he said. “If the grip was too tight, the pup would suffocate.”

Once the drone was complete, he returned to the site. Raj says “The puppy was traumatized and hence he did not react much,” so he was able to maneuver a loop around the puppy’s neck and safely close the claw around its torso.

In the video, the drone can be seen lifting the tiny animal out of the muck as it looks around, entirely nonplussed about the entire situation. Operation Get The Poor Puppy Out Of The Ditch was a success.

The story has a really great ending as well. Not only was the puppy rescued, Raj decided to adopt the pup and name him Lifted.

A natural conclusion since dogs are, after all, a heavenly blessing every time, right?

Have you ever rescued a dog or cat?

Or adopted an animal from a shelter?