Bengaluru: Aero enthusiasts from the Northeast got appreciation during the Drone Olympics held as part of the Aero India 2019 at Yelahanka Airbase here.

Drones prepared by Deepranjan Gupta (24) from Guwahati, along with two of his friends from the North-east, one from Imphal and the other from Assam, were appreciated by the visitors during the Olympics.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the 12th biennial edition of International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition ‘Aero India 2019’ at Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bengaluru on Thursday.
For the first time, the 2019 edition of Aero India combines the defence and civil aviation segments into a holistic event with the co-involvement of the defence and civil aviation ministries. The 12th edition of Aero India intends to be a “Runway to a billion opportunities” and put India on the Global map.

According to the organisers, more than 120 applications were received out of which 57 suitable applicants were invited to participate in the competition. The 17 shortlisted teams mainly comprising hi-tech start-ups, research institutes, students and individuals demonstrated their skills and innovation in the final event in five different categories.

Team ‘Dhaksha’ of Centre for Aerospace Research, MIT Campus, Anna University in Chennai dominated the competition and won the first place in the ‘surveillance hybrid design’ category. In the real world, ‘Dhaksha’ has already performed several missions for surveillance using their indigenously designed and developed UAVs for disaster management during the 2015 Chennai floods. Some other rescue operations in which it participated included Moulivakkam building collapse, Chennai oil spill, Kurangani hills forest fire, and crowd management activities in Marina Beach during new year.

The winners of the competition will be invited to demonstrate the best of human machine interaction during Lockheed Martin’s Alpha Pilot Race in United States later in 2019.

A team from Veltech University Chennai designed drones from scrap materials. Aluminium pipe, plywood and other waste materials were used to build the drone and fixed with araldite and cyno.

Total prize money of Rs 36 lakh were distributed among the winners and runner-ups of competition, organised by the union ministry of defence, Government of India.

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