Be it the iconic scene from 3 Idiots or the technology’s use by the army in URI: A Surgical Strike, drones have proven to be an industry with limitless potential. Though India is still progressing on the appropriate set of policies for drone limitations, there are a few startups that continue to create products and enhance the status of drone market. Here’s a list of five such startups that look extremely promising:
1 Martian Way Corporation
Based in Mumbai, 1 Martian Way uses artificial intelligence to manufacture customized drones based on the usage. This includes photography, education, advertising, gaming, branding, etc. There are three major products of the company: 1MW Backduck, 1MW Geospatial Intel Suite, and 1MW xFleetY. Apart from this, the company is the initiator of Indian Drone Racing League, a globally acclaimed event.
Aarav Unmanned Systems (AUS)
Focused on the domain of survey, inspection, and efficiency measure, AUS creates UAVs based on Post-Processing Kinematics technology. The startup was founded by Nikhil Upadhye, Suhas Banshiwala, Vipul Singh, and Yeshwanth Reddy in 2013. Under the mentorship and guidance of Prof. Bharath Lohani and Prof. AK Ghosh, AUS has bagged funding from premier investors like 3 One 4 Capital, StartupXseed Ventures, etc.
Based in Bangalore, Asteria was founded by Neel Mehta and Nihar Vartak. Their flagship product, a400, capitalizes on the data received from aerial intelligence and proves to be an ideal solution for surveying and inspecting mines, agriculture fields, underground sites, etc. Boundary Holding, a Luxembourg-based investment company founded by Rajat Khare, provided an undisclosed amount of funding to Asteria at the end of 2018.
Founded in 2014 by Apurva Godbole, Prasanna Shevare, and Dinesh Sain, Drona offers drones for commercial as well as educational purposes. Their leading product, Pluto, is a DIY nano-drone that can be programmed, built, and used by an individual. Pluto can also be controlled with the help of Pluto Controller app available on Apple store and Play store. The advanced version of Pluto is called PlutoX. A nano drone like the previous version, it functions on Cygnus Ide, provides increased flight time, and comes with a camera.
The company made a name for itself in 2008 when IIT Bombay won an international UAV competition. Originally incubated in SINE, IIT Bombay, IdeaForge was founded by Ankit Mehta, Ashish Bhat, Rahul Singh, and Vipul Joshi. Their clientele expanded to the Indian Armed Forces with NETRAv2, a unique micro UAV that offers a 500 m zoom, flies over the height of 400 m, and covers a maximum distance of 10 km.
The idea, investments, and hard work of such companies is certainly an inspiration for upcoming startups as well as students looking forward to contributing something towards drone technology. With the proper legal structure in nearly five years, the global drone market is expected to cross $100 billion evaluation.