Published: 09th May 2018
This drone will help elephants find their way back into forests, stay protected from poachers
The UAV is a specially designed multi-propeller system inside a drone that makes the device highly independent
Garuda Aerospace, a company formed by the students from the Agni College of Technology in Chennai, has designed a first-of-its-kind unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that acts as repeller to elephants when they enter human territories like plantations.
The device scares the mammals and sends that back into the forests, the students said.
"We got the idea of creating something like this after reading news articles about elephants coming out of Coimbatore forest region and destroying plantations. Based on further research we came to know that as farms and plantations have expanded into the traditional homes of elephants, they are forced to come out of forests in search of fodder. To the elephants, crops are easy and nutritious meals. Elephants destroy huts, standing crops and whatever comes in their way in search of fodder. Sometimes people are killed. So we came up with an idea to equip an amplifier in a drone to drive back the elephants to the forest," said Vimal Raj V, CEO of the company.
Drone for jumbos: Chennai engineering students create a first-of-its-kind unmanned aerial vehicle to repel elephants
Garuda Aerospace has already supplied two such devices to the state forest department. "The two drones with an amplifier is working as expected. We are getting a positive response from the forest department," added Vimal.
Training has also been provided to around ten department officials and the company is quite confident that their drone would resolve the problem of villages close to the forests.
How does the UAV work?
The UAV is a specially designed multi-propeller system inside a drone that makes the device highly independent and also assists in the reduction of failures.
"One important thing to note about this multi-propeller system is that even if any motor inside this device stops working; it will keep on flying as it gets support from propellers that are working in a group. Drones that possess a large number of motors inside are able to gain more control over their elevation and hence can carry more loads during flight. These propellers get their power from a dedicated source and most of these devices contain removable batteries so that it can stay in the air for the long run. The flight time can be extended with the use of powerful batteries in design," explained Vimal.
What can the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle be used for various purposes apart from being an elephant repeller? It can potentially bring an end to human encroachment and poaching since it is equipped with a night vision enabled zoom camera. The device can also be used for wildlife monitoring and can be a great aid as an alert system during forest fires, which will help to put out a fire the minute it starts.