Marut Drones was founded by Prem Kumar Vislawath, Suraj Peddi, and Saikumar Chinthala, IIT Guwahati alumni. The idea takes the help of drones for reforestation, sustainable agriculture, and tackling insect menace on lakes. While they had not anticipated a situation such as COVID-19, they still rose to the occasion to help the needy.
11 districts in Telangana has been disinfected by a Hyderabad-based start-up Marut Drones. They are helping authorities in surveillance too.
A multi-pronged approach is keenly required to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures are taken to minimize human contact and protect the police, health workers, sanitation staff, and those working at the front lines. This technology can be of use in such circumstances. In collaboration with authorities in Telangana since March, Marut Drones has employed 19 drones to carry out sanitization and disinfection in 11 districts, including Nalgonda, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Warangal, Sangareddy and Kamareddy.
Drones possess machine learning, data analytics, Artificial Intelligence AI, and Internet of Things IoT. It can carry approx.10L of disinfectant to cover around 20 km. Till now, the firm has disinfected 1900 km with 9800L of disinfectant.
Marut Drones, registered in 2019, was conceptualized at Hyderabad’s T-Hub and mentored by IIIT-Hyderabad and Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad. Very recently, the firm was featured in Forbes’ ‘The 30 Under 30 Asia’ list and is among the top 25 trending technologies listed by AGNIi (Accelerating Growth of New India’s Innovations) for fighting against COVID-19.
They had to re-engineer their drones for COVID-19 operations. Drones can now cover large areas in less time. They demonstrated how medical and essential supplies could be delivered to far-flung areas using drones. They are waiting for approval and clearance to be able to start functioning in full fledge.
Telangana hopes to ease lockdown measures in the coming months gradually, the company is planning to increase operations and work with the local authorities for night-time surveillance of various zones by using thermal cameras to spot infection clusters and supply emergency medical attention to the needy.
T-Hub start-ups in COVID-19
ByteForce: developed SafeVision, an AI-based computer vision solution, can be integrated into any CCTV or drone camera to monitor people in public places.
BlueSemi: built a wireless thermal sensor, monitors temperature in a crowd.
Cogni.Care: designed two types of ventilators, do not require an external oxygen cylinder.
Blockapps.ai: surveillance solutions for hotspots using drones.
Exprs: launched #ShieldMyCommunity campaign for gated communities, dedicated delivery executives.
Dimension NXG: large scale thermal scanning glasses.
Marut Drones is very keen to collaborate with like-minded start-ups, which use drones to help the public and private sector in the thermal analysis of crowds. Drones are being retrofitted with cameras to detect high body temperatures in people from a distance.
The Small Beginning
Prem tells that he had been interested in drones since 2012. In 2016, a personal need arose and made him think of using drones for public health service. His parents live in the outskirts of Hyderabad near to the lake with persistent mosquito menace. They had submitted a complaint to the Panchayat officer about this. The officer returned his letters. As they didn’t have resources to tackle the menace. The municipal staff could spray anti-larval medicines on the lakesides, but they had no access to the more substantial mid-portion of the lake. The thick water hyacinth was also acting as a deterrent. The Panchayat officer asked him if he could think of a solution. Prem could see a solution – using drones that could map the area and efficiently spray the anti-larva medicine over it. It was going to be an automated process with the capacity cover of 25 to 20 acres without human contact.
The firm reached out to RICH to get information about mosquito larvae species that were predominant in which regions of Hyderabad tackle malaria, dengue, filariasis, and chikungunya.
Marut Drones, this year during monsoon, intends to resume its mosquito anti-larvae campaign.
To use drones for seed sowing in a way to increase forest cover is also on the anvil. They have been testing by dispersing seed balls in the Veernapally forest zone of Sircilla. They can sow 15,000 seeds, which will be increased to 1 lakh.