(Source: India Times, Economic Times)
Heralding a second wave of drone-making in India, a few startups have advanced to commercializing the brain that controls these remote-controlled flying robots.
Making drones these days is akin to assembling Lego blocks, which could take a day or two. But getting the pieces to work in harmony takes a couple of years – precious currency for startups. To that end, aerospace startups such as NavStik Autonomous Systems, Edall Systems and Aero360 are building software and hardware solutions, plug-and-play units that could condense research and development time by a couple of years.
While drones are banned for commercial use in India, the unmanned aerial vehicles are used largely by government organizations and police forces for applications such as surveillance in disaster management, wildlife surveys, and during tournaments such as the Indian Premier League. Startups are pushing the envelope for drone applications in India with deeper analytical and decision-making capabilities, while crunching development time.
With a readymade controlling unit and software to sell to drone-makers, Pune’s NavStik counts almost all premier aerial-robotics research labs in India as clients, including those at the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation, National Aerospace Laboratories and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institute of Science.
“Customers are excited about getting started with development immediately. It saves them at least a couple of years,” said CEO Nitin Gupta, whose year-old company clocked in Rs 40 lakh in revenue in 2014-15. “Our USP is that our hardware is one of the lightest in the world,” said the 34-year-old Gupta, who has published white papers related to UAVs in several international journals.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com