Drones to deliver your morning chai: IIT engineer takes doorstep delivery to a whole new level

In partnership with Online Kaka, a food delivery start-up, Tech Eagle invented a drone which will deliver tea up to 10 kms and has a capacity of holding 2 litres.

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Tech Eagle's drone in action.

While you may still be waiting for your pizza to be delivered in 30 minutes, a Lucknow-based startup TechEagle has come up with drones for an even quicker delivery. In partnership with Online Kaka, a food delivery start-up, TechEagle invented a drone which will deliver tea up to 10 kms and has a capacity of holding 2 litres. The orders will be taken through the online app and the tea will then be delivered to your doorstep.

These drones will be installed with a GPS tracking device and the address for the delivery will be fed in it. Talking about this innovative step, Vikram Singh, CEO and Founder, TechEagle, said that as soon as the Directorate General of Civil Aviation comes up with the guidelines, they will take permission and start delivering drones to companies like Online Kaka for food delivery, and other logistics like medicine delivery.

Vikram founded TechEagle in 2015 which is recognised as a startup by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotions(DIPP). It specialises in developing drones/UAVs of 1-5 meter (wingspan), 1-10kg (Payload), 1-5 Hours (Flight Time), and Modular for Companies, Research Institutes and individuals.

Interestingly, TechEagle’s journey began in a garage at the IIT Kanpur hostel. “We started working on various types of drones since 2015 late in the garage of IIT-K Hostel and incorporated TechEagle Innovations Pvt. Ltd. in Jan-2017. We are a B2B tech startup which provides custom drone development(from designing to Manufacturing) to other businesses. Our startup develops custom drones of both type, rotary wing and fixed wing (60cm to 5 meter wingspan, 30 min to 2 hour flight time, 500gm to 5kg payload),” Vikram told

When asked why they chose tea above other things, Vikram said that it is very popular in India and also the volume that has to be delivered is very less. Delving into details about the drone that will be used for delivery, Vikram said, “It is a Quadcopter. We are also developing Hexacopters for different capacities. The current capacity of this drone is 2 litres and the range is 10 kilometres. However, it can be increased up to 50 kilometres.”

These drones are battery powered and completely autonomous to complete the mission. Once the box is loaded into the drone, it will take off from the ground with a single click and follow the shortest path to deliver the package at the desired location.

“Autonomous control is supported by onboard GPS. Live data is transmitted to ground control station, where operator can see the current flight status and can handle it if anything goes wrong. Once the drone reaches to desired location from a safe height it will drop the package and will return to the launch base,” he said. There will be redundancy system to tackle the failure in any onboard component.

There are currently 8 people working at TechEagle who look after all the departments. Its aim is to bridge the gap between students’ theoretical and practical knowledge thus providing them with a head-start in the UAV/Drone Industry.

However, the startup faces a funding challenge in stepping up the manufacturing facility. Vikram said that skilled manpower in every field is a big issue but said he remains optimistic. He said they are in talks with investors, state governments and other businesses for collaborations to launch products and services.

TechEagle has also started a drone training-cum-internship to meet the manpower challenge. “To Handle the skilled manpower problem, TechEagle has brought top companies together and planned one Industrial drone training cum internship in which candidates will get professional skills of DRONE designing, manufacturing, flying, operating and making autonomous drones. Top companies will directly hire candidates from this programme for various profiles like DRONE Pilot, Operator, drone Designer, Manufacturer etc,” Vikram added.

The start-up was recently recognised by DIPP and also won the Startup India Yatra-UP edition and got the grants from UP govt and incubation from IB Hubs. It was recently selected in Grand Agriculture challenge by Invest India to provide solutions for precision agriculture in India.

TechEagle have also partnered with RI Innovations (Uttrakhand company) to develop disaster management drones (Forest Fire control, Medicine Delivery). “We are doing research on batteries to increase the payload capacity and flight time,” Vikram said.

He believes that the industry has evolved in the last few years and is about to grow at an exponential pace once rules and regulations are framed by DGCA in India.

According to Goldman Sachs, the drone industry is expected to be worth $125 billion till 2020. In a few years, every industry will see significant use of drones. “We are about to see the big changes in the Technological world because of DRONEs, IOT and AI,” Vikram concluded.

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First published on: 25-05-2018 at 15:48 IST