IIT-Kanpur’s drone-catcher to keep an eye on PM Modi’s rally venue

A small helicopter developed by the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) will be disposed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally on March 8 to detect any unauthorized flying objects at the venue.

“The police department had approached the institute seeking our assistance to ensure hi-tech security for PM Modi’s rally. We have offered them a drone-catcher, a small hi-tech helicopter, to keep unauthorized drones away,” deputy director, IIT-K, Prof Manindra Agarwal said.

He stated the small unmanned helicopter could remain in the air for about three hours.

“It can detect any unauthorized drone within a fixed territory and can trap it using its spring mechanism. The helicopter weighs 12 kilograms and can lift a weight of up to five kilograms,” he told.

The body and blades of the helicopter are made of carbon fiber and it can fly at a speed of 120 kilometers per hour. The sensors and the cameras fitted in the helicopter are based on artificial intelligence module which can detect unauthorized drones or other objects in a specified area.

A professor at the aerospace department of IIT-K, on condition of anonymity, stated: “The drone is being used for the PM’s security after it gave successful results during tests in the laboratory and at the airstrip.”

Senior superintendent of police, Kanpur, Anant Deo Tiwari said besides the drone-catcher, 12 snipers and heavy security force would be deployed near the rally ground.

“People who own drones have been asked to deposit their drones at police stations. No one will be allowed to fly drones for any purpose for two days,” he added. He said for security reasons, the local market adjacent to the rally ground would remain closed from Thursday evening till the rally ends on Friday (March 8).

Traffic movement would remain restricted in the area around the rally venue from 7 am on Friday, he added. Due to the restrictions, UP Board examinees may have to face problems in reaching their examination centers on Friday.


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