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IIT Guwahati develops drones to aid sanitisation

BTech student said the system can be deployed and operated by just one person, eliminating the need for many cleaners

By Rokibuz Zaman in Guwahati
  • Published 1.04.20, 12:22 AM
  • Updated 1.04.20, 12:22 AM
  • a min read
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A drone sprays pesticide on an agricultural field Telegraph picture

Racerfly, a start-up by IIT Guwahati students, has developed a drone which can spray disinfectants to sanitise large areas and prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.

Anant Mittal, a BTech third year student, said the system can be deployed and operated by just one person, eliminating the need for many cleaners manually spraying disinfectants.

The drones can also be used to record videos.

“We have approached the Assam and Uttarakhand governments to join the fight against coronavirus with the drone sprayer which can accomplish the task in less than 15 minutes, which would take a worker around one-and-a-half-days,” Mittal said.

He said there was no response from the governments but hoped they would approach them.

“To fight the Covid-19 pandemic, we have reduced the price. Depending on the nature of the drones, the price may vary between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 18 lakh,” the 22-year-old student said.

“Social distancing is a must at present and we can carry out some very important tasks with these drones without using workers to clean large areas. Only one operator can cover a large area by monitoring from a spot. These drones have the capability to spray disinfectants over large areas (parks, roads, highways and footpaths, among others) with highest efficiency, precision and all-automated RTE (runtime environment) technology. On the other hand, these drones can also record videos and function as a surveillance tool,” Mittal said.

According to the five-member team, the drone can spray two to four litres of disinfectant per minute and can be filled twice with a single charge.

Mittal said they could manufacture 15 to 20 drones within 20 days.

“Each drone has a lifespan of five years and we will provide a 12-month warranty for each machine,” he said.

A 21-day nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 24 midnight to check the spread of coronavirus.

The significant features are:

  • The drones can spray two to four litres per minute and filled twice on a single charge.
  • The drones can cover over 1.2-hectare area in one flight.
  • One-and-a-half days’ of manual work can be done within 15 minutes.
  • Single drone can do the work of 20 cleaners.
  • Can spray at night as well.
  • Drone can adjust to terrain and avoid obstacles automatically.
  • Precision spraying, avoids overlap of spray, saving about 20-25% disinfectant.