Kerala startup develops a unique UAV to help combat Coronavirus Spread

To protect against coronavirus infection, a startup in Kerala, India, has developed an AI-powered drone that can monitor body temperature, supply essential commodities, and spray disinfectants.

The unmanned drone, called “Garud,” was designed and engineered by AI Aerial Dynamics at the Maker Village. It is equipped with a high-resolution camera, facility to carry weight, micro-sprayer, and thermal scanner. The indigenously-made drone is claimed to be highly efficient & effective than those currently imported from other countries, where the applicable payload is lower than that of Garud, and the option for the customization is not possible.

The drone can collect thermal data using an array of IR sensors and advanced digital technology called EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution). Swabs and samples of people for the COVID-19 test can also be collected using this vehicle.

It has the capacity to carry weight up to 60 kg, feature a modern sprayer which can be used to shower disinfectants from above, and also has a loudspeaker for public announcements.

Kerala Police is already using the drones to ensure the efficacy of the lockdown across the state. This Garuda drone equipped with pesticides is also served to sanitize heavily populated areas of Madanpura of Varanasi, which has emerged as a hotspot of Coronavirus. This method of sanitizing coronavirus-affected areas with drones is considered much better than the traditional method, as it carries many risks.

“If the vehicle loses range or exhausts battery (capacity: 150 minutes), it will fly down to the point of take-off,” said AI Aerial Dynamics founder-CEO Vishnu V Nath. It uses a hybrid engine for its flight.

With its high payload capacity, the drone is a unique platform for integration of sensors and provisions such as sanitizer and pickup mechanism besides the AI engine, makes the solution one-of-its-kind in combating the pandemic.

With the drone, it will be able to make the affected areas free of infection without using much manpower and also reach the areas which are usually difficult to reach. The UAV was also widely used for relief activities during the flood in the year 2019.

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