Lucknow to host first National Drone Competition this month | education$higher-studies | Hindustan Times
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Lucknow to host first National Drone Competition this month

More than 100 drone enthusiasts from across the country will be in Lucknow to take part in a unique event, which aims to provide them with hands-on experience on how to fly a drone.

education Updated: Jun 07, 2017 17:30 IST
Rajeev Mullick
More than 100 drone enthusiasts from across the country will be in Lucknow to take part in a unique event, which aims to provide them with hands-on experience on how to fly a drone.
More than 100 drone enthusiasts from across the country will be in Lucknow to take part in a unique event, which aims to provide them with hands-on experience on how to fly a drone.(Deepak Gupta/HT photo)

No flight of fancy this. It’s real and there for sure as the Lucknow plays host to the first National Drone Competition later this month.

To be held on June 19, the event is being organised by Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur alumni with the support of engineering graduates of other institutions.

More than 100 drone enthusiasts from across the country will be in Lucknow to take part in the unique event, which aims to provide them with hands-on experience on how to fly a drone/unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and guide them to make a career in the field.

“We are conducting a summer UAV/drone training programme from June 12 to 18 in Lucknow where students will have an option to fly their own aircraft or use our drones. They can then participate in the competition and win the prize money worth Rs 40,000,” said Vikram Singh Meena, a 2016 IIT-K graduate and presently CEO and founder of TechEagle Innovations.

The training will be held at Ansal Institute of Technology and Management here. “We are offering four kinds of drone training. Students from any school or college can participate in the programme,” he said.

“So far we have conducted more than 50 free-of-cost seminars in Uttar Pradesh to spread drone technical skills among students. We have trained over 1,000 students in drone skills country-wide,” said Vikram.

Earlier, TechEagle had collaborated with TechKriti-IIT-Kanpur in 2016 and 2017 to organize workshops on ‘TriCopter Drone’ and ‘Flying Wing UAV’ in which enthusiasts for foreign countries participated.

“In December 2016, our start-up conducted a TriCopter Drone workshop at IIT-Bombay. More than 170 participants learned about drones and UAVs. With Kshitij-IIT-Kharagpur, TechEagle organized a ‘Drone Simulation Flying’ event, which was the major highlight of the workshop,” he said.

TechEagle has even trained a 12-year-old and a 65-year-old. There is no age limit, he said.

Besides manufacturing drones, Vikram’s startup educates students. “We have a team to build palm-size to four-metre (wing span) UAVs. We use advanced composite materials like carbon fiber, glass fiber etc to build UAVs and drones,” he said.

Highlights
  • The organisers have asked participants to fly drones below 200 feet as mentioned in the draft of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
  • Navniet Sekera, the inspector general of police in-charge of the 1090 Women Powerline said, “Drone flying rules are not very clear yet. The Act has to be changed as drone is a new phenomenon. But organisers should ensure that they do not fly in strategic locations like around Vidhan Sabha, airport, etc.”
  • SSP Lucknow Deepak Kumar, “If they are flying drones at a relatively low height and it is not conflicting with radio signals, there should not be much of a problem. The intention should be to promote scientific temper among students and not to create any panic among people.”

The technocrat added: “We are building UAVs for researchers and companies (for mapping, delivery, surveillance) etc.” He said the drone industry was new but had a lot of career opportunities worldwide.

Vikram has participated in various national and international competitions like Aero Design in Texas, USA.

He said a drone-trainee’s prospects are bright as “drones are used in journalism, filming, aerial photography, shipping, delivery of goods, disaster management, search and rescue, healthcare, mapping, military operations and wildlife monitoring/poaching.”

“These days it is also used in law enforcement, border patrollling, building construction, storm tracking/forecasting and as fun and hobby. We want to provide practical and technical skills to the country’s youth,” he said.