Aarav Unmanned Systems (AUS) a Bangalore-based Commercial Drone Technology startup was the first to build and deploy PPK GPS-based Survey grade fully autonomous drones in India. It is also providing not only faster but also cost effective UAV-based land surveying solutions to various enterprises across GIS Surveying/Mapping, Industrial inspection & Precision agriculture.
Vipul Singh, CEO, and Co-founder of AUS, discusses with Huma Siddiqui, various aspects of usage of drones and his startup’s vision and plans.
Following are excerpts:
Discovering the Role of Automation and AI
There is a massive role already being played by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Drones are well on the way to being used in every nook and corner of our country for fundamental use cases around agriculture, boosting our rural areas’ infrastructure, and so forth. Automation plays an important role in making these operations scalable, reliable, and secure. Drones have to be made smarter and more intelligent to reduce their dependence on humans. Adapting drone technology to individual use cases and requirements will become vertical-specific capabilities in the coming years. These capabilities can be fine-tuned, learned, improved, and adapted only through AI, ML, or deep learning and automation. Drones will be collecting massive amounts of data, and AI and automation will have a big role to play in extracting value from these data sets.
The company’s vision and plan
AUS’s vision is to enable prosperous and sustainable lives, ecosystems, and enterprises across the world by embracing innovation and excellence in technology platforms. We plan to expand as much as possible and use drone technology to add value to enterprises and ordinary people’s lives. We want to help enterprises and governments achieve ESG principles and targets. Also, we want to offer a sustainable approach to implementing Government projects and running private enterprises. So solutions that enable a better world by improving industrial efficiency, increasing the efficiency of solar energy, improving the design and implementation of critical infrastructure in an economy, making our environment cleaner, reducing carbon footprint, making our forests and wildlife more healthy, making agriculture produce more consumable, increasing farmers income – these are top of mind for us.
More about the drones used in mining processes like Mine planning, site surveys, Environment analysis, Asset mapping, and others.
We at AUS create a 3D twin of the mine with a very high level of detail and accuracy. This model reflects the smallest features (as small as 3 cm) on the ground, with a global positioning accuracy of about 10 cm. Since the mining sites are always at a high activity level, we collect data with high accuracy and high resolution at regular intervals. Our proprietary systems at the back end analyze this data and find changes at the mining site That impact parameters like performance and efficiency, maintaining safety and compliance, planning, and in fact, how to make these sites more environmentally friendly. Our technology and systems lend overall sustainability and productivity to client operations and provide insights and business intelligence on the various parameters to improve efficiency, safety, and productivity. Extracting these parameters and tracking them at a very detailed level is the main offering of our solution.
Drones in Urban development
Drones can obtain data with a resolution of 3 cm and an accuracy of 10 cm, but the satellite data currently available only provides a resolution of about 50 cm. You can almost create a 3D twin of a city with dimensions, colors, and texture details. Many analyses can be performed on these models, including traffic movements, future infrastructure expansion, critical utilities, and permitted and unauthorized construction tracking. You can also simulate floods, rain, traffic movements, large vehicles, and disaster scenarios. This makes it easier to plan city expansion.
You can also simulate different conditions that may occur in the future to make your city more resilient. The drone data and analysis we provide can help plan macro and micro-projects with minimal deviation and damage or disruptions in the city. It also accommodates cities in certain regions that are more energy-efficient and self-sufficient. Imagine the possibilities. If you know every corner of the city where every small alley and every house is mapped, you can plan and execute the project in great detail and efficiently.
AUS Drones – Autonomous drones that can be operated by any user without specialized training
Drones are automated, but they require specially trained people to operate them. A drone operator would monitor and adjust operations according to the environment. Whether it is a hilly area, a densely populated or sparse area, the weather conditions, obstacles, etc. Since an autonomous infrastructure does not yet exist, manual intervention is required to exchange the collected data. Drone operators also have many duties related to maintenance, inspection, data security, and security. Human resources need to be properly trained to achieve scalability, reliability, and efficiency.
In the future, we believe drones will be intelligent enough to handle these scenarios. However, for now, considering various operating conditions, monitoring the performance of the drone in flight, and making sure that the machine is in good condition, the operator plays an important role.
Do the drones of your company work in the construction and utility fields?
Wherever there is a lot of movement on earth if you know the right data parameters to be monitored and collected and the technique by which this should be done, then combining these together can create a lot of potential for drone tech. In construction, drone data is used to make design and planning more accurate and productive, without missing out on any data. With drones, you can collect almost all types of data that are available with a very high degree of accuracy, which is not the case for conventional methods. This reduces field time for planning and decision making – some of this can be automated and are already being automated with algorithms. Progress can be tracked both quantitatively and qualitatively – productivity, financial efficiency, quality, and safety.
Drones can be used in Infra projects?
Infra projects can be made time-efficient and cost-efficient. Development of roadways gets delayed because of inadequate or ineffective surveys. Some of the pertinent factors of conditions may be missed out for various reasons – human limitations, changing conditions by the time surveying is complete, and so on. When these conditions are revealed during construction, it causes delays. With drone technology, we are eliminating these scenarios. As discussed in the previous question, the impact that we create is multi-dimensional, as far as a project is concerned. Additionally, the data that drones provide can also be used for the upkeep of roadways as well. Many times, improper use, encroachment, etc. leads to deteriorating road conditions. With drone technology, we are able to identify these feature changes since the latest data is regularly available. At AUS we are able to move into a mode of taking preventive measures rather than reactive measures.
Drone pilot jobs in India and hiring
Currently, there is a huge shortage of drone pilots. There are over 7,000 vacancies for drone pilots nationwide. There is a big mismatch between the supply and demand of talent in this space. With an emphasis on drone adoption and agricultural applications in rural areas, there is potential for over 100,000 job opportunities over the next three years. This presents an opportunity for rural youth to find a career in the world of technology. All one needs is a high school degree, a technical understanding, and the ability to speak a common language and English. Governments, academia, businesses like us, and drone users need to make more efforts to disseminate the knowledge needed to educate, certify, and hire young people, and to create infrastructure and hiring pipelines. Drone pilots earn anywhere between Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000 per month, depending on complexity and location. The aptitude, right attitude, and training can get the youth into a rewarding career in the drone sector.