‘Made in AP’ drones from March

Come March, and the city-based drone-manufacturing company — Research & Skill Development Centre (RSDC) — would be manufacturing ‘Made In Andhra Pradesh’ drones in bulk. The drones would be sold to state-owned departments like police, municipal administration & urban development for various tasks and operations like mapping of cities and towns, besides being an effective surveillance system for the police as part of security arrangements for public meetings, gatherings, and festivals among others.

One such drone, developed on experimental basis, was handed over to the Panchayati Raj department recently by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. The department plans to use the drone for mapping of villages in the state. Now, the AP Innovation Society (APIS), which is the guiding force behind the manufacturing of drones in the city-based lab RSDC, says it can manufacture 25 drones in a month from March 2018. Confirming this, V Valli Kumari, chief executive officer of APIS, said all arrangements are being made to go for mass manufacturing of drones in the Vizag lab.

“We plan to develop four-five models of drones. One of the models was recently launched. We will be finalising the second model soon. All our models have unique features and are better and cheaper than the imported models from China. The cost of each drone also differs from the imported models. For example, the cost of our first model was Rs 3.5 lakh where as the privately developed model with the same set of features cost around Rs 5 lakh to 5.5 lakh,” Valli Kumari said.

She said as per the government’s instructions, the APIS, with help from technical teams of various start-up companies including from Delhi, put in a joint effort to develop the unique ‘Make in AP’ drone models. “The testing of the first model drone was made at the Incubation Centre in Vizag before it was officially handed over to the Panchayati Raj department,” she added.

Valli Kumari said one of the unique features of the ‘Made in AP’ drones is their solid battery back-up. “The battery back-up of our drone is much better than the ones available in the market. Our drones are fitted with 24 megapixel cameras as against the 20 mp optics of the imported drones. More importantly, our drones have a tracking system like mobile phones, and can work efficiently even if any of its wings is broken or damaged during operation. Repair services would also be available in Vizag,” she explained.