IIT-G inks pact with industry partners to promote drone tech in NE

Guwahati: The Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) here has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Assam Electronics Development Corporation Ltd (AMTRON) and RC Hobbytech Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (RCH) with an aim to strengthen and expand drone-based technology in the Northeast.

The MoU which also covers research and development, and manufacturing for varied sectors such as agriculture, disaster management, wildlife conservation and health care, was signed by Prof. Parameswar K. Iyer, officiating director, IIT-G, S. Sundar, managing director, AMTRON and Biswajit Dey, co-founder of RC Hobbytech Solutions Pvt Ltd.

Speaking at the MoU signing event Prof. Iyer said, “The three organisations will work in tandem to actively engage in research and development activities and the esteemed members of IIT Guwahati Drone Centre and Technology Incubation Hub will be integral parts in this endeavour for the greater good of the region.”

The scope of operations under the new collaboration will include the establishment of a commercial drone flying school at the IIT-G campus which will offer commercial drone flying fresher courses and other related advisory and consultancy services such as renewing drone flying licenses, securing necessary commercial drone permits and help prepare students for drone flying tests.

Along with this, the school will also connect the students with organisations that need professional drone flyers.

The MoU will also facilitate professional courses in the field of drones that will offer a wide range of services such as drone-based survey and mapping; Geographic Information Systems courses; coding and AI (artificial intelligence) related courses, and other related courses. The classes for these courses will take place at the IIT Guwahati campus.

The agreement also has under its ambit research and development for the initial development of a few prototype drones for agriculture and surveillance purposes

IIT Guwahati along with the industry partners will work on initially developing a few prototype drones with the aim of getting them certified by the Quality Council of India (QCI) which will be used in activities including agriculture; spraying/ seeding and crop health monitoring, and vertical take-off and landing fixed-wing drone for payload delivery, mapping and surveillance.

The institute will provide all the necessary machinery, software, related hardware and other utilities for the same.

Besides, the MoU will pave the way for the development of a disaster response management system to identify and actuate any disaster response within the state of Assam.

By utilising the expertise of all stakeholders, a disaster response management system will be developed to address, identify and actuate any disaster in Assam. For the same, a team of students, and professionals along with ready-to-fly surveillance and payload delivery drones will be set up for an emergency response.

As part of the tripartite pact, IIT Guwahati will develop drones to cater to the needs of the state to contain disasters, AMTRON will provide communication support, and RCH will provide the necessary technical expertise in developing the drones and associated systems.

Along with this, a disaster response cell will be established at IIT Guwahati which will be operated by the drone helpline student volunteer team of the institute and the AMTRON drone team.

Speaking about the objective of the tri-party agreement, Biswajit Dey said, “Our mission is to train youths of the Northeastern region in emerging technology so that they can upskill themselves and find relevance in the ever-growing technological landscape of the current world. We are quite optimistic about this endeavour that our efforts will bear fruit and youths of this region will be able to take the self-employment route at large scale.”

Notably, IIT Guwahati is progressively working on developing a network of industry and academic experts to work on disaster risk reduction.

The recent collaboration will lead towards strengthening the disaster management strategy for Assam.

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