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IIT Guwahati Club to engineer indigenous multi-purpose “smart drones”

‘Warehouse drones’ for warehouse management, ‘Reaper drones’ for military and law enforcement and ‘Ornithopter’ based on the design of birds for surveillance in tight spaces are among the various drones developed by the aeromodelling club at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati. The club is encouraging students to harness creativity, technology and innovation in aeromodelling and develop smart drones with an easy interface for common people, an official said.

“The club has developed different types of drones, including ‘Warehouse drones’ for warehouse management, ‘Reaper drones’ for military and law enforcement, ‘Ornithopter’ based on the design of birds that can be used for surveillance in tight spaces, for wildlife photography, and ‘RAVEN’, an indigenously developed VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) capable fixed-winged aircraft,” said Chivukula Vasudeva Sastri, a professor at the Department of Chemistry, IIT Guwahati.

“Apart from these projects, students have also developed a drone capable of firing at targets with high precision. The firing mechanism is designed in such a way that it returns to its previous position waiting for the pilot’s command for the next firing,” he added.

Sastri explained that in a real-world scenario, warehouses were one of the most difficult places to maintain with various repetitive tasks such as inventory management or moving objects to different places. Any failure in doing these tasks on time can cause heavy financial losses. To avoid human inefficiency, the innovators have developed a drone to eliminate such labour-intensive duties that involve time-consuming repetitive physical work.

“With a little bit of tweaking in the programme, for future scope, the utility of the drone can be modified from understanding the flow of water in agricultural lands to delivery of goods within a city by using line following algorithms along roads, it can also be used for faster identification of items in the inventory of industries,” Sastri said.

‘Reaper’ is an indigenously developed unmanned aerial vehicle designed primarily for military and law enforcement uses such as patrolling, target identification and tracking, among others. “The drone can also be used during natural disasters like floods or earthquakes, helping disaster management teams search for injured/trapped people by making use of hyperspectral imaging. Another use is that it can collect data on animals in any national parks/wildlife sanctuaries and study their behaviour,” Sastri added. NDTV

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