Captain Samrat Gaikwad, who lost half of his right leg after he stepped by mistake on a ‘friendly’ mine in Kargil, has developed a ‘Smart Mine Field’ application, along with fellow engineers from the Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME) here. It will pinpoint the location of friendly mines, whose position might have shifted over a period of time.

“Mines are usually placed in several locations at a strategic site and left there for long. Sometimes, owing to rain or for some other reason, their location shift. This is what happened to me at Kargil in 2008, because we could not anticipate that the location of the mine could have changed,” Captain Gaikwad said at the MCEME convocation on Thursday.

The application attracted a lot of attention at a special exhibition of projects by the passing-out graduates.

The former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who was the chief guest, spent a substantial amount of time with the group of engineers, enquiring about the ‘Smart Mine Field.’

Almost all injuries Indian soldiers suffered in mine-related incidents were due to friendly mines, Captain Gaikwad said. “The irony is that we are stepping on our own mines. To address this issue, we have developed this project. We are proposing that mines used by the Indian Army be fitted with radio frequency tags, which will help in easy detection through a computer or even a tablet. This is easier than carrying a metal detector…”

A team of Major Rabin Thapa and Captain Ashish Singh and Gaikwad worked on the concept for three months.

“We have created a database of maps of areas where the friendly minefields are located in the country. Whenever troupes move in a particular region…, they can use our application to ascertain whether any mine has accidentally changed its position,” they said.

Unique ideas

There was no dearth of such unique ideas at the exhibition. A group of electronic engineers developed a wireless-controlled robot to detect human presence.

“There are tactical situations wherein troupes can’t go in person to check for humans like a hostage or terrorist. In such a scenario, we can send this robot, which is also fitted with a camera to take pictures and beam a live video,” said Capitan Ajeet Singh, Manmeet Singh, Rahul Singh and Arun Kumar.


  • Kalam make enquiries about the ‘Smart Mine Field’

  • Team of three worked on the concept for 3 months