Published: 26th December 2017
Can you make drones? Hackadrone 2018 is an event you wouldn't want to miss
Hackadrone 2018 is inviting people from far and wide to come up with innovative solutions using drone technology
Students, developers, entrepreneurs — everyone’s invited to Cyient's Hackadrone 2018, India's first ever UAV hackathon. But before we start thinking of it as a competition for the making and racing of drones, Jan Radtke, Vice-President and Head, Business Accelerator, clears the air and tells us that "the search is for innovative commercial and industrial solutions using the latest in drone technology." The Hyderabad-based IT firm, DJI — a Chinese technology company, Microsoft and the Government of Telangana have come together to organise this competition that has a two-stage shortlisting process that will end in a finale on February 5-9 in Hyderabad.
Not only do they have cash rewards for winners, but also a special cash prize for an all-women team. So, if you have a passion for drones, apply to this nationwide contest before January 10, 2018 and your idea might get selected. In a chat with Radtke, we find out the three critical points that they are looking for while evaluating ideas — uniqueness, scalability and demonstrability. Excerpts from the chat:
We are very excited to see how the limits of innovation will be pushed when India’s brightest take on the challenge and put their imagination to work
Jan Radtke, Vice-President and Head, Business Accelerator, Cyient
What is the importance of drone technology?
Living in this age of technology, we are seeing that drones are providing an impetus to various industrial functions. And this trend will increase further because of its ability to be used for anything and everything.
Wherever we see today, drones are helping us find solutions to our everyday life challenges. It is because of this ever-expanding landscape that we cannot even imagine how drones will be used in the future. Therefore, the focus of this hackathon is to develop new UAV-based software applications.
The organisers at Cyient and the DJI partner team decided the criteria and the flow of Hackadrone. They will help the teams realise their ideas and with the execution during the final leg of the competition
A special award for an all-women team is a wonderful move. But do you think the number of women opting for STEM courses has increased and the mindset has changed?
Despite the efforts of governments and various organisations, the under-representation of women in STEM remains a burning issue in India. According to a recent Economic Forum Report, in India, only 14.3 per cent of researchers in Science are women, when even in countries like Bahrain, more than 40 per cent of researchers are women. The double burden syndrome of the struggle of balance between work and family is one of the main reasons for mid-career dropouts in India.
We believe that women are equally capable in STEM. Hackadrone 2018 is an attempt to encourage these women and provide the best platform for them to showcase their knowledge and skills. There is a special cash prize for an all-women team of rupees 50,000.
Two levels: Cyient believes that the two-stage process is a pragmatic solution for all
You are extending support in the form of mentorship. Who are the mentors?
This will depend on the nature of the needs of individual initiatives. We will support the teams during the application phase by advising them on what needs to be addressed in a proposal. In some cases, we will also connect candidates with experts within Cyient for suggestions. For instance, if a team wants to work on an idea in the geospatial domain, we have experts who can provide guidance. Ultimately, we believe that the success of the teams will be our success too.