The drone-acharyas: Four friends and drones that spot terrorists, help in disaster relief and more

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The drone-acharyas: Four friends and drones that spot terrorists, help in disaster relief and more

Ideaforge Technologies

PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE

Mehta worked in Pune. Mehta and Vipul Joshi, who are friends, joined hands with Rahul Singh and Ashish Bhat to launch the company. While Joshi is an MBA, the others are technocrats

WORKING IN

Mumbai and Delhi

Similar interests and the habit of dabbling with ideas brought the four together. Initially, they produced mobile phone chargers and sold them in sizeable numbers, but they wanted to do something more impactful. The turning point came when they won the first place in a robotics competition held by the defence ministries of India and the US in 2008. It was a moment when the door of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) production was opened for them. They aimed to build technology from scratch and developed India’s first micro UAV, which was later modified to the existing UAV Netra. Today, their drones are being used by all major security forces, including the army, navy, air force as well as the Natural Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) to rescue people in situations of calamity.

“Whenever there is a big security or rescue operation, I can say with conviction that our UAVs are involved in it,” says Singh. Whether it is the manning of the Amarnath Yatra or locating terrorists’ hideout in the Pathankot air base, their UAVs did a perfect job.

“Our UAVs have helped Uttarakhand’s forest officials locate a killer tigress in a day,” says Mehta. The UAVs can take off and land vertically on a small space like the terrace of a building. They can get close to a target 12.5 km away and have a maximum flying capacity of up to 2.5 hours. The founders will be happier seeing UAVs used for improving crop yield and managing public assets such as water pipelines and power grids.

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