The famous proverb by Greek philosopher Plato – Necessity is the mother of invention – has once again come true in these times with the development of an innovative strategy to combat novel coronavirus.
Delhi-based robotics start up, Indian Robotics Solution (IRS) Pvt Ltd, has designed the Corona Combat Drone (CCD) to sanitise the Capital’s over-congested slums and colonies. Through these drones, the IRS has sprayed disinfectant liquid and covered large areas in minimum-possible time. The CCD is equipped with geo-fencing technology, which means it can autonomously cover any remote area. It’s inbuilt carrier has a capacity of over 5-20 litres of sanitising liquid that can go up to a height of 20-55 metres, and can cover a 1.5-2km stretch with a 10m periphery in one go.
Set up four years ago by two engineering graduates Sagar Gupta Naugriya and Prashant Pillai, the organisation had initially developed a drone to assist in agricultural purposes. It was when the Covid-19 cases started to escalate and the need to sanitise colonies arose, that its founders decided to remodel the drone so that it could be used for sanitisation purposes.
“The CCD is a safe option amid the rising cases of coronavirus. Through it, we can sanitise a large number of areas in a limited time frame, and prevent the virus from spreading,” says Naugriya. After it was remodelled, a demo was given before North Delhi Municipal Corporation Deputy Commissioner Ira Singhal who immediately called for their services. “The pilot run was done at Shakurpur, and 15 colonies have been covered so far. These include Karol Bagh, Patel Nagar, Lal Bagh, Sadar Bazar, Ashok Vihar, Narela Bagh, Paschim Vihar and many areas of Pahar Ganj,” he adds.
“We also sanitised a quarantine camp in Narela that has over 2,000 people living in it. Our pilots were brave enough to hover their drone in and around the quarantine area,” says Pillai.“We target those areas that are remotely located and are not easily accessible through the MCD sanitising tanks. If an area has high number of infected patients and the sanitation team is sceptical to go, CCD can do the job,” Pillai informs, adding while the drone is given free of charge, the fuel and medicine cost is borne by the employing agency.“Requisitions have also come in from Gaya in Bihar and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. But as of now, those places cannot be taken up due to lack of funds. Talks are on with Gurugram and Noida administrations too,” informs Naugriya.
The duo has also developed a thermal imaging CCD. “This is India’s first multipurpose drone with thermal imaging that can detect, take a record for the authority, as well as the body temperature of the person in the frame,” explains Pillai.This drone is transformable and can accommodate a medicine box to carry essentials like portable corona testing kits and medicines, spotlight for night utility, speaker for giving instructions as well as a disinfectant tank in addition to a thermal imaging camera. “If we come across a person with high temperature, he can be taken away by the authority and the area around him can be sanitised at the same time using the same drone,” says Pillai, adding that talks are on with Delhi health ministry and Chandigarh police, both of who have evinced interest in these services.
In a nutshell
Set up four years ago, IRS had initially developed a drone to assist in agricultural purposes. It was when the Covid-19 cases started to escalate and the need to sanitise colonies arose, that its founders decided to remodel the drone to use it for sanitisation purposes.