With increased enthusiasm for unmanned air vehicles(or drones), we are currently waiting for the eventual roll-out of policies for appropriate usage of the technology in India. One should, however, remember that instead of being afraid we should embrace the technological advancements in this field as well.

Like every other new innovative tech, drones can also be used for peaceful as well as military purposes. And with this, the concept of ‘self-navigating’ drones has been established. Using this tech, the drones are  meant to follow the pilot on their own without any manual control.

With the challenges involved in the deployment of this technology, there is a very limited number of use-cases for the same in the current scenario. The drones can be given an exact location to deliver weapons, maps, messages and care packages to an off-shore fleet of soldiers caught in battle. Though limited to the western countries, some genius minds are working on porting and bringing something similar to India — Drone 2.0??

One such Indian startup, R2 Robotonics, is working on the development of a cloud-based navigation system for UAV’s. This drone swarm management platform enables enterprises to deploy drones without the need of a pilot. The entire system runs on a dual autopilot system, while ensuring flight safety and effective navigation, over a wireless network(or Internet).

Incubated by Jaarvis Accelerator, R2 Robotonics was recently given the opportunity to display their technology and main product at India International MSME Expo 2016. And the R2 team shined bright like a diamond and won the award for ”Best Innovative Tech Startup” at the expo.

Their stall was visited by a number of Govt. officials, including the Union Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, who had an in-depth discussion about the applications and safety mechanisms incorporated inside the system. He was impressed with the development of such a technology that can be scaled rapidly by an Indian startup.

They also had the opportunity to showcase their product and discuss different use-cases with Mr. Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, DIPP(Dept. of Industrial Policy and Promotion). The team chatted with him about the technology behind the navigation system and its uses in the Indian Civilian and Military sectors. They also discussed multiple other use-cases, including using it for surveillance in agricultural and industrial premises.

Growing by a CAGR of more than 50 per cent, the global drone industry is estimated to reach a size of US$13 billion by 2022. While the same in India is expected to be around US$1.1 billion, with 60 per cent of it invested with Defence sector. As drone technology propagates to capture the interest of varied users and investors, startups will also continue to grow and employ various use cases, such as monitoring, delivery, surveillance, planning and even disaster relief.

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