‘Droning’ on about start-ups

Incubated at CIIE, Ambula Gopi Raja’s pesticide and seed spreading drone is en route to a patent, says Kiranmayi Tutika

Published: 05th December 2016 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd December 2016 10:15 PM   |  A+A-



Express News Service

Ambula Gopi Raja, a third year B Tech student in KL University, was upset when doctors told him that his father, a farmer, had got a lung infection after prolonged exposure to pesticide — having sprayed it in his fields at Kankipadu village on the outskirts of Vijayawada.

Dr K Raja Shekhar

Gopi thought that if a drone can be designed to spray pesticide over the fields, that would help a lot of farmers like his father. He discussed the idea with the researchers at the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and entrepreneurship (CIIE) at his university and before long, he, along with some friends, devised his dream project—the Fopple Drone.

The drone has proved useful not only for spraying pesticide, but also spreading seeds over crop fields.  Gopi has not only won several accolades for this prototype, but has also received approval from the Acharya NG Ranga Agriculture University, Hyderabad.

“For uninitiated viable start-up ideas, the centre provide support functions, mentorship and resources This enables them to get expert advice and technical guidance that they need to survive for a longer time, unlike the usual entrepreneurial ventures that fizzle out within months of their launch,” says Dr K Raja Shekhar, an associate dean at the CIIE.

More than 700 students are now working on ideas to develop into prototypes. The CIIE, thus far, has fostered four start-up prototypes in the technology sector and 25 more in the business and e-commerce sector. The centre is the first to come up with an education technology incubator.

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