Start-up at Maker Village develops drone to combat COVID-19

The drone named Garud developed by AI Aerial Dynamics of Maker Village, Kochi, spraying disinfectants on a street.  

A start-up company at Maker Village in Kochi has developed a drone powered with artificial intelligence that can help combat COVID-19 by monitoring body temperature, supplying essential commodities and spraying disinfectants.

The unmanned Garud has been designed and engineered by AI Aerial Dynamics at the Maker Village, India’s largest electronic hardware incubator and ESDM facility. The integrated solution was developed leveraging globally benchmarked labs and equipment besides product development software solutions available at Maker Village, said a communication.

The indigenously made drone is said to be efficient and effective than those imported from other countries, where the applicable payload is lower than that of Garud and the option for customisation is not possible, officials said.

Garud can monitor roads and bylanes besides residential pockets. Already, the Kerala Police are using the drones to ensure the efficacy of the shutdown.

Also, the aerial vehicle can collect thermal data by using an array of IR sensors and advanced digital technology called EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution), thus working as a means to combat the pandemic.

The vehicle can collect swabs and samples of people for COVID-19 test. It has the capacity to carry weight up to 60 kg, thus facilitating distribution of even essential commodities if there is an exigency. Further, Garud can feature a modern sprayer which can be used to shower disinfectants from above. It has also a loudspeaker for public announcements, according to AI Aerial Dynamics founder-CEO Vishnu V. Nath.

“Besides the AI-supported engine, the fully-automated Garud has a high-resolution camera, a facility to carry weight, a micro-sprayer and thermal scanner. The visuals it generates can zoom into specifics with centimetre-level accuracy. The images it capture will be simultaneously saved in the operating unit on the ground,” Mr Nath said. “If the vehicle loses range or exhausts battery (capacity: 150 minutes), it will fly down to the point of take-off.” The UAV uses a hybrid engine for its flight.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 2:18:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/start-up-at-maker-village-develops-drone-to-combat-covid-19/article31369556.ece

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