Drones in India: Introduction, Technology, Application, and Startups

(Last Updated On: October 31, 2018)

Drones in India_ Introduction, Technology, Application, and Startups

In recent years use of drones in India has flourished. Apart from the military and surveillance application, the technology is getting down to ordinary people. Nowadays everyone started using drones in India for recreation and covering local events with a camera attached drone.

Drones are technically known as Unmanned Ariel Vehicles or remotely piloted vehicles which are in many categories like Multi Rotor Drones, Fixed Wing Drones, Single Rotor Helicopter etc. Multirotor drones, mainly quadcopters are popular among the public.

The concept of the unmanned flying vehicle came into reality during the First World War by the United States of America’s army but further development of the technology was stopped after the war.

The term drone was first used by the British during the interwar period, they developed a number of radio controlled Arial vehicles, the word drone came from one of these models, the DH.82B Queen Bee.

This rapid growth in the use of drones in India is primarily because of the competition for developing robotics and artificial intelligence technology among the tech giants around the world.

You may wonder how the development of robotics and artificial intelligence make such a movement in a flying vehicle industry. By examining the area where the drones are used in India given answer to that question.

Military Drones in India

The DRDO Rustom is an Indian made unmanned combat Ariel vehicle used by India military, air force, and Navy. Rustom-I, Rustom H and Rustom-II are indigenously developed drones in India.
Dhaksha, Pawan UAV, ADE Nishant, Maraal, DRDO Kapothaka, DRDO Lakshya, DRDO Netra, DRDO Nishant are some of the indigenously developed drones in India.

Indian defense ministry recently purchased The Heron TP armed drones from Israel. The Heron drone can carry air to ground missiles and capable in the role of compact and support.

Indian air force already has a fleet of HARPY Unmanned Ariel Vehicles but these drones are not equipped with missiles. These drones are self-distractive drones primarily track the enemy radar systems.

The United States of America also agreed to supply a long-range combat UAV General Atomics MQ-9 Guardian/Predator-B. The MQ9 Guardian have both land and sea variants and both can be equipped with air to surface missiles.

India already bought and used 22 Guardian drone but which are unarmed which are used as surveillance drones.


Drone Startups in India

Drones are the technology of future by joining hand in hand with artificial intelligence and robotics the flying vehicles can perform a wide range of tasks like automated parcel delivery, bring internet connectivity to the rural areas and can be used as security and surveillance equipment in many areas man cannot directly involved.

Drona aviation, Aero 360, Asteria Aerospace are some of the famous startups in developing drone technology in India.

Drona Aviation design and develop drones for both civil and industrial use. The company was founded in 2014 the company’s primary focus not only on the design and development of UAV’s the company also have focus in the educational sector.

They conducted many workshops in different universities and colleges all over India.

Aero 360 is a Chennai based company which provide UAV services. The company provides an aerial image with high accurate topographic data, 3D digital elevation and digitals surface data.

Aero 360 also has a training arm which provides training in commercial applications of drones like aerial mapping Ariel inspection etc.

Asteria aerospace is also a service based company which provide drone based services like inspection and monitoring in industries like Oil and Gas, construction, agriculture, and Mining industry. The company’s headquarters is in Bangalore.

Use of Drone in India in the Civilian Sector

India is using drones or unmanned aerial vehicles form many decades in military applications but the civilian sector remain untouched recently the low cost easily available drones in the market make the people try the technology in different sectors like aerial photography for local events, survey for real estate purposes, inspection of high towers etc..

Now the drone used aerial photography is a common thing in India. Many people are using drones in India for local events like marriage and local festivals etc. The companies like DJI, Yuneec, Parrot, marketed many micro and mini type quadcopters this made attraction to the public.

Drones in India can make a positive impact on the countries agriculture sector. The drones are already been started influencing many sectors of agriculture like crop monitoring, water, and pesticide spraying, broadcasting seeds etc.

Some e-commerce companies like Amazon already started using drones for delivery purposes, soon these companies will start to implement such things in India because India is the biggest market for them.

Recently the government of India implemented some regulation in the usage of drones, it shows the increase in the use of drones in India as well as to guide the citizens to use it in a good way.


Rules and Regulations in Use of Drones in India

According to the National Drone policy released in August 2018, the use of drones in India became legal.

The policy will come in to effect from 1st December 2018. According to this policy, every drone user needs to register their name and the owner of the drone and the drone itself need to register with the authority.

To make the regulations manageable the drones are categorized according to their size. The drones less than or equal to 250 grams is considered as Nano drones.

Weight range from 250 grams to 2kilo grams is considered as Microdrones and Drones from 2 kg to 25 kg is considered as small drones in India.

The other two categories according to the regulation for usage of drones in India is Medium and large drones. The weight of these drones is 25 kg to 150 kg and above 150 kg respectively.

In these categories Nano drones flying below 50 feet in uncontrolled airspace or in enclosed premises no need to get registered from the authority.

Permission for flying the drones in India will be given through a mobile application called digital sky app.

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