A team of students from Delhi College of Engineering (DCE), which designed and developed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), won an international award at the Aerial Robotics Competition organised by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) in association with the US army.
The team was awarded the most innovative vehicle design award.
The DCE's UAV is capable of lifting 24 kg and is equipped with surveillance cameras, wireless sensors, artificial vision, GPS navigation and long-range wireless communication capabilities.
The competition was held at Fort Benning, US Army Base in Georgia from July 24 to July 27.
The aerial robots that participated in the US competition were expected to perform a mission that is beyond the capability of any system in existence.
Nothing in the US arsenal of robots is currently capable of completing the mission to fly 3 km, find a village, identify a specific building from within that village, identify all actual openings in that building, fly in or send in a sub-robot to the building through one of those openings, search the interior for a specific target, and transmit or relay still or video pictures of the target back to the launch point of 3 km — all without human intervention.
The UAV comprises two large UAV and a miniature UAV. The latter initially sits on the large vehicle and takes off from the orbiting mother UAV after a chosen target has been identified, for area mapping and surveillance.
The team members were supervised by Prof. Asok De, M. Kulkarni and headed by Jayant Ratti, a final-year student of electronics and communication engineering.
The UAV project is multi-disciplinary and uses different aspects of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, long distance communication, control systems as well as artificial vision processing to achieve the objective.
The vehicle is equipped with small and light-weight critical sensors for inertial systems which measure angular velocities, accelerations, wind velocities, along the three coordinates.
It also has altitude sensors with pressure gauges and GPS system to give information about the heading with respect to the earth's magnetic field, height and GPS coordinates.
These sensors have been utilised to ensure that the vehicle remains balanced, aware of its position with respect to a base station as well as its heading, attitude, and height.
Among the 24 teams, DCE team was the only team from India to compete with top ranking universities.