comscore Karnataka floods: An exclusive look at how drone technology helped rescue efforts in Kodagu
News

Karnataka floods: An exclusive look at how drone technology helped rescue efforts in Kodagu

Far beyond social-friendly drone footage, here's a noble use of drones by an Indian company during flood rescue.

  • Published: August 25, 2018 3:23 PM IST
kodagu ideaforge 7

Highlights

  • August witnessed heavy rainfall in the Kodagu district of Karnataka, as well as Kerala

  • Although Kerala suffered loss of over 300 lives, the situation in Karnataka was equally sombre

  • A Mumbai-based company that works with DRDO coordinated surveillance efforts with its indigenous drones

As the state of Kerala is observing its popular festival of Onam, the restrained celebration is a testament to the recent deluge witnessed by the state over the past week. Rehabilitation, rather than celebration, seems to be top priority of the people of Kerala. After a heartbreaking loss of over 300 lives, the state has come to a halt. But while, most of the world’s attention has been targeted at Kerala, the situation was equally grave in the neighboring state of Karnataka. The district of Kodagu, earlier known as Coorg, has been at the receiving end of heavy rains and resulting floods as well. Also Read - Swiggy to soon deliver your food order using drones in India

Also Read - DJI Mavic Air 2 takes 48MP photos and records 4K at 60fps: Check price, flight time and other features

The relief operation

Also Read - DJI to launch new product on April 27; could it be the Mavic Air 2?

The crisis began immediately after Independence Day. On the 17th and 18th August, ideaForge reached out to the Governments of Kerala and Karnataka, respectively. The company had already begun internal efforts on August 16 to prepare for operations when needed.

ideaForge team carrying out checks before embarking on its mission. Image: ideaForge

Since the situation in Kerala was worsening, the machinery was focussing on getting the defense forces active. Immediate need from Kerala was surveillance and supply drops. Typically in such disaster relief missions, surveillance refers to identifying and locating people stranded in inaccessible areas. Similarly, supply drops refer to airdropping medicines, food packets and other critical needs over inaccessible areas. For the mission, the company identified two of its products – Netra Pro and Q series.

Transporting drone batteries is a critical component of the whole operation. Since civil aviation rules do not currently allow transporting drone batteries, the company requested the two governments to allow transporting them through the military sorties that were being carried out from Mumbai.

In order to save time, the team boarded a bus from Mumbai to Bengaluru on Sunday, August 19, along with the batteries needed for the mission. The last leg from Bengaluru to Kodagu was done in a car.

The team reached Kodagu the next day on August 20. The team had received a request from the Kodagu district collector for drone surveillance to identify people stranded in remote places. The company sourced the relevant products, carried out necessary testing procedures and safety checks before embarking on the surveillance and airdrop mission.

Meanwhile, the District Collector in Madikeri needed help with post damage assessment. The team reached Coorg on Monday, and sought permissions to fly. The team did a recce while on standby. After receiving permissions, they carried out their first surveillance and mapping operation on Wednesday, August 22. The Q Series and Netra Pro drones were used for this purpose.

The Netra Pro Drone Image: ideaForge

In less than a day, the report was submitted to the District Collector. Currently, the Karnataka State Police Department, Commissioner’s Office, National Highway Authority of India, Tribal Welfare Department and the local PWD are collectively using the images for rebuilding and rehabilitation operations. Over Friday, August 24 and as of writing this report, drones are carrying out operations in the deeper tribal areas to survey and rescue any stranded victims.

The Netra Q Series Image: ideaForge

According to Ankit Mehta, co-founder of ideaForge, Being at the forefront of UAV technology, we will do our best to leverage this tech in times of need. For us it is about saving one life or at least helping one family in whatever way to recover from this natural disaster

There’s more to drones than toying around

ideaForge develops drones that has been used by DRDO for its unmanned aerial vehicle program. It is led by Ankit Mehta alongwith Ashish Bhat and Rahul Singh who are alumnis of IIT Bombay. As students, they were part of the Innovation Cell at IIT Bombay, and took a special interest in foraging broken down bikes and scooters to create a hovercraft. The idea back then was to fly over the Powai lake situated near the IIT Bombay campus. After a couple of failures, and some significant mishaps that included connection cables getting chopped by the propeller, they finally managed to get a working prototype up and running.

Mehta is glad he didn’t cease his efforts there. After the initial disappointments, they got an opportunity to build a data loggers for UAVs from the Department of Aerospace at IIT Bombay. One thing led to the other, and the initial idea of flying over Powai lake gave birth to the company ideaForge, which was created at the Innovation Hub of IIT Bombay. Years later, ideaForge built and handed over the world’s smallest and lightest autopilot to DRDO. After an agreement was signed with the DRDO, ideaForge has worked with DRDO and NDRF for collaborating in rescue efforts during natural calamities. During the 2015 earthquake that rocked Nepal, drones made by the company aided with rescue efforts, relaying critical geographical and infrastructure status reports and information to the rescue team to plan out operations.

Far beyond viral video footage, we’re used to seeing on Facebook and YouTube, this is one novel use of drones that has resulted in saving critical human lives. The relaying of valuable information despite ground level challenges has been invaluable. The company has also mentioned its channel partner Arista Risk and Corporate Solutions in enabling necessary connections with government bodies and law enforcement authorities to seek necessary permissions.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: August 25, 2018 3:23 PM IST



new arrivals in india

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F22
Samsung Galaxy F22

12,499

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite

21,999

Infinix Note 10 Pro
Infinix Note 10 Pro

16,999

Infinix Note 10
Infinix Note 10

10,999

Vivo Y73
Vivo Y73

20,990

OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 5G

22,999

iQOO Z3
iQOO Z3

19,990

Realme C25s
Realme C25s

9,999

Poco M3 Pro 5G
Poco M3 Pro 5G

13,999

Realme X7 Max 5G
Realme X7 Max 5G

26,999

Oppo F19
Oppo F19

18,990

Motorola Moto G40 Fusion
Motorola Moto G40 Fusion

13,999

POCO M2 Reloaded
POCO M2 Reloaded

9,499

OPPO A74 5G
OPPO A74 5G

17,990

Oppo A53s 5G
Oppo A53s 5G

14,990

Vivo V21 5G
Vivo V21 5G

29,990

Realme C25
Realme C25

9,499

Realme C21
Realme C21

7,999

Realme C20
Realme C20

6,799

Motorola Moto G60
Motorola Moto G60

17,999

iQOO 7
iQOO 7

31,990

Samsung Galaxy M42 5G
Samsung Galaxy M42 5G

21,999

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

69,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G
Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G

39,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X
Xiaomi Mi 11X

29,999

Realme 8 5G
Realme 8 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Tecno Spark 6 Go
Tecno Spark 6 Go

8,499

Vivo V20 2021
Vivo V20 2021

24,990

Vivo Y20A
Vivo Y20A

11,490

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G9 Power
Motorola Moto G9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G 5G
Motorola Moto G 5G

20,999

Vivo V20 Pro
Vivo V20 Pro

29,990

Xiaomi Mi 10T
Xiaomi Mi 10T

35,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9i
Xiaomi Redmi 9i

8,299

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Micromax In Note 1
Micromax In Note 1

10,999

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

13,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

16,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

22,999

Best Sellers