New AI-driven UAV drone to combat Covid-19

Kochi, April 17 (IANS): A startup at a village in Kochi has developed an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ( UAV) drone supported with artificial intelligence that can help combat Covid-19 by monitoring body temperature, supplying essential commodities and spraying disinfectants.

The unmanned ‘Garud’ has been designed and engineered by AI Aerial Dynamics at the Maker village, which is India’s largest electronic hardware incubator.

The indigenously made drone can monitor roads and bylanes, besides residential pockets and aerodromes that have been locked down across the country since March 25 in an effort to check the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Also, the aerial vehicle can collect thermal data by using an array of IR sensors and advanced digital technology called EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution), thus working as a means to combating the pandemic.

The vehicle can collect swabs and samples of people for Covid-19 test.

It has the capacity to carry weight up to 60 kg, thus facilitating distribution of even essential commodities if there is an exigency.

‘Garud’ features a modern sprayer which can be used to shower disinfectants from above. It has also a loudspeaker for public announcements.

AI Aerial Dynamics founder-CEO Vishnu V Nath said besides the AI-supported engine, the fully-automated Garud has a high-resolution camera, a facility to carry weight and thermal scanner.

“The visuals it generates can zoom into specifics with centimetre-level accuracy. The images it captures will be simultaneously saved in the operating unit on the ground. If the vehicle loses range or exhausts battery (capacity: 150 minutes), it will fly down to the point of take-off,” said Nath.

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