Bengaluru startup to deploy drones to aid Uttarkashi tunnel …

Rescue workers sending food through pipes for the trapped labourers inside the tunnel, near Silkyara in Uttarakhand, on November 21, 2023.
| Photo Credit: Shashi Shekhar Kashyap

Squadrone Infra and Mining Private Limited, a Bengaluru-based startup that specialises in aerial intelligence for mineral exploration, mining, tunnelling and infrastructure, has joined the rescue operations in Uttarkashi where 41 workers are trapped in a tunnel.

The company is set to deploy two advanced drones, operated by a team of six skilled mining engineers, drone pilots and geotechnical experts. They are capable of manoeuvering drones within tunnels to map the area and assess the probabilities for safe rescue of 41 labourers trapped since November 12.

Squadrone will employ its drone-based geophysical and Emesent Hovermap technology that is used for underground applications and for mapping remote and inaccessible areas.

The company stepped in following a request by Brigadier Vishal Varma, DDG, Border Roads Organisation, who is spearheading the Silkyara Tunnel rescue mission.

Squadrone will employ its drone-based geophysical and Emesent Hovermap technology that is used for underground applications and for mapping remote and inaccessible areas.

Squadrone will employ its drone-based geophysical and Emesent Hovermap technology that is used for underground applications and for mapping remote and inaccessible areas.

Cyriac Joseph, founder and CEO, Squadrone, said, “The deployed drones are equipped with cutting-edge Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) technology, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities. These features enable the generation of comprehensive data on the structure and geotechnical disturbances within tunnels and mines. This technology is utilised for underground and tunnel geotechnical applications, and it is instrumental in mapping the tunnel site to formulate an effective rescue plan.”

The integration of drone technology with AI and Machine Learning ensures accurate and enhanced visualization, enabling swift and effective decision-making for tunnelling operations.

“This innovative approach not only expedites the rescue process, but also enhances overall operational efficiency,” Mr. Joseph said.

Squadrone’s onsite team will work in tandem with a dedicated backend team that will operate from the company’s headquarters in Bengaluru to provide crucial support and coordination to ensure seamless integration of data and insights.

The team will provide real-time feedback to the geotechnical and rescue teams.

Indian Air Force is transporting special equipment from Bengaluru.

”Op #UttarkashiRescue.Today the #IAF flew in a further 18 tonnes of load from Rourkela to Dehradun. Specialist equipment is also being flown in from Bengaluru,” IAF posted on X (formerly Twitter).

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