Future Tech

Drones fly into all directions as industry adopts the technology

Drones are revolutionizing agriculture and defense sectors with their advanced capabilities. Healthcare is also benefitting from these technologies.

In agtech, drones provide precise aerial imaging to monitor crop health, manage irrigation, and apply pesticides, significantly enhancing efficiency and yield?. They help farmers make data-driven decisions, reducing resource wastage and boosting productivity.

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This month, AVPL International, drone company tied up with the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) to introduce drone spray operations across an expansive 50 lakh acres, spanning eight key states: Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh.

IFFCO also tied up with Drone Destination, an Indian Drone-as-a-Service provider to collaborate for drone spray over an area of up to 30 lakh acres with the aim of enhancing agricultural productivity and efficiency.

Alok Sharma, Chairman, Drone Destination, said, “Drones have a wide range of applications and their influence on agriculture, which is basic to human survival is revolutionary. Drones will bring efficiency, scalability, cost competitiveness, and speed to agricultural practices in India, enabling the sector to increase its contribution to GDP. As a leading player, spearheading the adoption of drones across multiple sectors, this is an important milestone for us in the journey towards drone adoption in the country.”

A New Kinda Warfare with Drones

Drones have become a staple in today’s warfare. Drones offer critical surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition, providing real-time intelligence and reducing the risk to human soldiers. They are used for border patrol, search and rescue missions, and strategic strikes, proving indispensable in modern military operations??. This dual utility underscores the transformative impact of drone technology.

In March, Reuters reported that two former Microsoft executives and team of engineers are producing military drones that can travel over long distances and carry large payloads at an unassuming industrial estate in northern Ukraine. In January, North Korea tested a new nuclear-capable underwater attack drone, as a protest against joint military drills by South Korea and the US.

It’s no wonder that companies are building drones with more and more capabilities. In December, DroneAcharya Aerial Innovations Limited inaugurated an innovative DGCA certified drone pilot training program for senior officials of Maharashtra Police, the first-ever for the department. This initiative equips police officials with expertise to effectively deploy drones as an ‘Eye in the Sky,’ enabling unparalleled capabilities in surveillance, site reconnaissance, target locking, and swift response strategies.

Prateek Srivastava, the Founder and Managing Director of DroneAcharya, said, “This training marks a pivotal step in harnessing drones as a force multiplier for law enforcement.”

“This training holds immense significance for Maharashtra Police, enabling them to leverage drone technology for swift and efficient operations, bolstering public safety across the state”, mentions Amit Takte, the Chief Technology Officer of DroneAcharya. “The scalable nature of this program aims to train 1,95,000 officials within the Maharashtra Police Department, ensuring widespread proficiency in utilizing drone capabilities”, he adds.

DroneAcharya plans to extend this groundbreaking training model to collaborate with other State Police Departments, fostering technological advancement and operational efficiency nationwide.

With drones becoming the norm. anti-drone tech is also developing. According to a recent report, the global anti-drone is projected to increase from USD 1.47 billion by 2023 to USD 3.8 billion by 2027, driven by a robust 24.41% annual growth rate from 2023-2027. The collaboration underscores the growing importance of homegrown solutions while addressing the emerging security challenges posed by drones.

In September, Indrajaal, an autonomous wide area anti-drone/Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Solutions firm tied up with Sigma Advanced Systems (SAS), a defence technology manufacturer based out of Hyderabad. Through the tie up, Indrajaal will manufacture indigenous anti-drone defence systems in India, while Sigma will be responsible for indigenously manufacturing critical hardware systems.

Flying Medicines

Healthcare is another sector where drones are proliferating. In January, Skye Air Mobility, an Indian SaaS-based autonomous logistics solution provider, acquired seven transformative contracts with government healthcare service providers across the nation, including AIIMS Jodhpur (Rajasthan), AIIMS Rajkot (Gujarat), AIIMS Bhubaneswar (Odisha), AIIHPH Kolkata (West Bengal), CLTR Chengalpattu (Tamil Nadu), RLTRI Bankura (West Bengal), and RLTRI Aska (Odisha).

Employing their flagship StarLiner and Artemis drone models, Skye Air ensures the safe and timely transport of medical supplies using temperature-controlled boxes. In tandem with their drone technology, Skye Air will leverage its Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) software system, Skye UTM. This system facilitates seamless coordination with multiple Air Traffic Controls (ATCs) in both rural and urban settings, offering real-time tracking and ultra-fast communication.

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Similarly, Drone tech startup TSAW Drones tied up with Kanhaiya Life Care Medicine to initiate a first-of-its-kind B2C medicine drone delivery service in Kolkata.

“The B2C medicine drone delivery service will initially be rolled out in handpicked areas of Kolkata, with plans to serve other locales in the near future. Buyers will be able to place orders through our website and tele caller facility and can expect delivery within minutes” said Satyajit Roy, Consultant, Kanhaiya Life Care Medicine.

Navanwita Bora Sachdev

Navanwita is the editor of The Tech Panda who also frequently publishes stories in news outlets such as The Indian Express, Entrepreneur India, and The Business Standard

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