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The Inauguration of the Drone Research Centre

February 22, 2021
- Spandan, Sanjana, Nishitha

The Center for Drone Research was inaugurated on 18th February, 2021 in an online event. The main objective of the drive is to stimulate cutting edge research and innovation in the drone segment.

The inaugural event began with Prof. Gurjar, Dean of Resources and Alumni Affairs(DORA), congratulating and appreciating the alumni of the 1994 batch for such a creative and visionary idea of the Drone Research centre and for providing a seed funding of INR 100.38 lakhs for the same

Who attended the event?

The virtual event witnessed the presence of the Chief Guest Dr. V. K. Saraswat, Former Director General of DRDO as well as the Guest of Honor Dr. R. K. Tyagi, distinguished alumnus of IIT Roorkee and Ex Chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Mr. BVR Mohan Reddy, Chairman of the Board of Governors; Director IITR, Prof. Ajit K. Chaturvedi; Deputy Director Prof. Manoranjan Parida; Mr. Amit Sinha, representative of the 1994 batch; Dean Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy (Dean SIRC), Prof Manish Shrikhande; Coordinator of the centre , Prof. Dharmendra Singh; Co-Coordinator Prof. Rahul Dev Garg; and Dean of Resources and Alumni Affairs Prof. Bhola Ram Gurjar also bestowed their presence to the event.

The Onset:

Mr. Amit Sinha, representative of Class 1994 recalled how this journey started when he along with other fellow batchmates visited the campus for an event and had the chance of interacting with the Director. He mentioned that the Director inspired and motivated the 1994 batch to come up with an idea to give back to the institute’s tech foundation. After careful discussions, the idea of building a drone center was born. Roorkee being situated at the foot of the Garhwal Himalayas had a natural advantage towards the survey, and testing of the drone under various climato-terrestrial conditions.

He further added how the growth in the usage of drone technologies helped the Uttarakhand government at the time of the Chamoli disaster in 2021, emphasising the importance of research on drone technologies for further improvement in rescue operations. “The 1994 batch were all keen to do this. We are also thinking of an advisory council which will keep on mentoring/ helping the institute through this drone research center and later request other alumni to join. This would help in the complete holistic development of the institute.”

Student Involvement, Offerings and scope:

Mr. BVR Mohan Reddy added,”This is a field which has an enormous amount of interdisciplinary nature.”

“Very few products have this amount of diversity. We should promote an interdisciplinary nature in our curriculum as well, and potentially have courses which can be fungible between departments to make sure we harness this opportunity.”

Mr. Reddy also emphasized the importance of proper business models for commercial use of drones and suggested involving business school students as well to look at how this application can be moved to the market. “We should focus on innovation as well as entrepreneurship”.

In Director Prof.Ajit K Chaturvedi’s words “ Professor R. D. Garg and Prof. Dharmendra Singh came forward and accepted this responsibility and are living up to it. Our next step will be to get more funding, more innovative problems to solve and team expansion. One of the biggest assets in this is our student community. There would be an open call for IIT-R students who wish to get actively associated with the center. Participation of students is highly encouraged, from a simple hobby to the level of pursuing their B.Tech projects or M.Tech Thesis and development of products to solve real life problems and participating in national and international competitions. To make coordination easier we are proposing a coordination committee consisting of Dean SRIC, DORA , coordinators of the center and members of the 1994 batch ensuring a shared vision, so that this drone research center flies like true drones”.

Future hub and Research:

In his address, Dr. R. K. Tyagi said, “It’s of absolutely no doubt that drone technology is impacting every area of activity like transport, medical,construction, mining, pipeline, agriculture and defence. In fact, next to the internet and GPS, the drone and anti-drone technology is making a transformative effect and impact on mankind. India will become a drone hub by 2030 and drones and anti-drones will define the core combat capabilities of tomorrow.”

Prof. Dharmendra Singh said, “The drone industry is one of the fastest emerging fields worldwide both in terms of research and application and is expected to grow to approximately a 63 billion dollars market by 2025. It is an ever emerging industry which requires continuous exploration and experimentation, therefore, the center is expected to evolve as a unique facility at the national level where state of art research would be conducted on several aspects of drone technology and its applications. Our student oriented drone research center is particularly dedicated to incubating groundbreaking ideas which can contribute to the growth of drone technology and its application leading us to technological empowerment.”

According to Chief Guest, Dr. V. K. Saraswat , “The drone segment is harnessed by 50-60 academic institutions for developing a variety of applications.Many components required for drone manufacturing are imported and the center should undertake an initiative in terms of imparting education to students for various elements of drone design, development, testing, manufacturing, certification,etc. It would be a good step towards indigenization of the whole manufacturing and design process and will be a boost to our dream of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.” He further stressed on the fact that the center should further work in unison with national laboratories like DRDO and with the civilian industry which are manufacturing drones to achieve all round development.

The ceremony concluded with a vote of thanks delivered by Prof. Manoranjan Parida, Deputy Director, IIT Roorkee.



Inauguration Ceremony of Drone Research Centre