The Homegrown Drone and the Story Behind It

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)’s Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) is the main organisation for analysis and growth in IT, electronics, and associated fields. The organisation is presently working in the fields of Exascale Computing, Quantum Computing, IoT, and Blockchain together with a number of others. 

Recently C-DAC launched its personal drone, Indus Copter, developed on a homegrown board—Indus IoT. C-DAC claims that the drone will help to find the contaminated areas in agriculture fields, to test on the well being of the lakes, and even assist test the air-quality at completely different ranges. To know extra, Analytics India Magazine reached out to C-DAC. 

AIM: What is the distinction between Indus IoT and different boards accessible in the market?

When you have a look at the variations between the present board that we’re providing and accessible boards in the market of comparable functionalities, the main distinction is available in the means that we help sensor interfaces. 

When you have a look at different market merchandise, if it’s important to combine a sensor with that board, it’s essential stack up one other board, which has the sensor on it. On the different hand, Indus IoT comes with six sensors which we’re providing at the aggressive worth that the market typically affords in different boards with out all these sensors onboard. So, that’s the main USP that our board comes with.

AIM: How did the drone get conceptualised? 

In October 2021, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the union minister in the Ministry of Electronics and IT, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship visited C-DAC’s Bangalore facility and occurred to launch our Indus IoT board throughout that point. 

While launching, he advised that why not make this board a drone controller. Acting on the suggestion, we began engaged on the drone. Keeping Indus IoT as the controller, we began on the lookout for potential purposes that the conventional drone builders at the time weren’t contemplating. 

As a outcome, we stumbled upon distributed water high quality in lakes in addition to the agriculture fields affected with infections. There was no utility to segregate such varieties of lakes or fields, and thus we began engaged on a drone maintaining such purposes in thoughts.

AIM: The drone has USB 2.0 as an alternative of USB 3.0 or USB C-type, why is that?

We want to know that for all the drones or any gear, there can be a number of use circumstances at the similar time. We shouldn’t use it simply because expertise is out there. It is predicated on the provide chain costing and necessities. 

While our system comes underneath micro drones, the utility platform doesn’t change. As we additionally need to make this a growth platform for folks to study drone purposes, it additionally needs to be as cost-effective as potential for folks to experiment.

The bandwidth requirement comes there after we transmit video via the drone, which we have now taken care of. The complete knowledge might be transmitted wi-fi by way of bluetooth. USB is barely required when the drone wants some improve, and therefore, the USB 2.0 is right in keeping with our necessities.

AIM: AI in drones is a fundamental expertise, why doesn’t Indus Copter have that?

You’re proper, AI is an important a part of the drone ecosystem these days. We have a mannequin developing in a few months which could have on board AI functionality. 

We are additionally engaged on two approaches, one is a sort of edge computing at the drone and then we have now a devoted server for different processing. So, it’s sort of two computer systems working collectively in sync to get higher inside from the knowledge in actual time. All that is developing in a short time and we’re additionally in dialogue with an IIT professor who’s working on this subject. 

AIM: You’re working in Blockchain elections as properly, what’s stopping you from implementing it?

It is just not solely the voting however the full course of which must be innovated, for instance, securing the candidate entry to voting, or the verification of their id. The blockchain will solely be certain that the integrity is maintained and there is no such thing as a query of no incorrect declare or something like that. The construction eliminates a single level of failure and inherently protects delicate citizen and authorities knowledge.

However, the execution half requires a variety of course of to be outlined which needs to be agreed upon by the Election Commission. When the administrative authorities agree on the massive, then solely it may possibly transfer ahead. Similar is the case of decentralised id. The idea is revolutionary however India has round 1.3 billion folks and it depends upon administration on how they proceed with it now.

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