Drone technology startups of India which got success
Drones or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) have been in existence since the days of World War I. The earliest drones focused entirely on military applications. But, with technology becoming affordable, drone technology has filtered down into the lives of the common man too. Now, we have drone kits for children to play with and drone cameras are being used in wedding photography. And, pizzas are being delivered by drones! How cool is that! Even, Amazon and Flipkart have announced their intention of using drones for delivering in rural areas.
It seems the technology has unlimited potential. A few Indian startups have started manufacturing drones for both security and commercial purposes:
Here are some of the drone tech startups in India which are taking flight:
- Drona Aviation: Drona Aviation is a startup focusing on using drones for photography and cinematography. It was started by three IITians, Apurva Godbole, Prasanna Shevare and Dinesh Sain and incubated under SINE IIT Bombay. Drona Aviation builds drones for use in surveying, tourism, mining and agricultural applications. Their mission is to take drone technology from commercial and defense sectors and make it affordable enough to be used for everyday purposes. Safety and ease of use are some of the salient features of the drones currently being offered by the company. Their offerings include DIY drone kits and customized solutions. They also hold workshops on how to build and fly drones.
- Skylark Drones: Skylark Drones was started by Mughilan Ramaswamy and Mrinal Pai in early 2014. It subsequently won the NASA Systems Award for drones. The company offers services in the areas of surveying, inspection and advertising. They build fixed wing drones, multirotors and micro-aerial vehicles, and also customize solutions for various applications beyond just aerial photography. They are working in drone advertising too and have applied for a patent.
- Aarav Unmanned Systems (AUS): AUS founded in 2013 by Nikhil Upadhye, Suhas Banshiwala, Vipul Singh and Yeshwanth Reddy, is a startup that produces unmanned aerial vehicles focusing on agriculture, mapping and energy management. It was funded by Aaruha Technologies, an early stage technology fund started by Mohandas Pai, V Balakrishnan and BV Naidu.
- SSAI: Sree Sai Aerotech Innovations was started in 2007 when Sai Pattabiram and Venkatesh, a father-son duo, turned their hobby into a company. Drone controllers that are available off the shelf are often difficult to operate and cannot be easily customized for specific applications. The founders realized this opportunity and Eazypilot drone controller was born. Their initial drone was quite a success, selling nearly 3000 units. SSAI is looking to take Eazypilot global and has been approved for funding from Government of India.
- IdeaForge: IdeaForge was started by five IIT Bombay graduates: Ankit Mehta, Ashish Bhat, Rahul Singh, Vipul Joshi and Amardeep Singh in 2008. The DRDO Netra is a surveillance and reconnaissance UAV developed jointly by DRDO and IdeaForge. This UAV was used in the 2015 Nepal earthquake and the Uttrakhand floods for relief operations. Its current clients include the police forces of a few Indian states, the CRPF and the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force.
- EDALL Systems: EDALL Systems was founded by Pritam Sahu in 2011. This Bengaluru based company was started as a training facility, but is now also involved in drone consulting and deployment. The company doesn’t manufacture its own drones, but rather fits them with technology as per client’s requirement.
- AirPix: AirPix is another company that doesn’t actually manufacture drones, but instead provides solutions to other businesses. They help industries conduct data analysis using drones. It was started by four Mumbai college graduates. As of now, they provide services and solutions in creative aerial content, aerial surveying and inspection and monitoring.
Although drone tech startups are increasing in number in India and are leading innovations , there are many hindrances in their paths. Legal compliance is the biggest issue, as it needs to deal with security concern and invasion of privacy. The real question is whether these Indian startups can overcome the legal, commercial and technological challenges to provide sustainable solutions.