Introducing Octocopter for Uttarakhand relief

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Bangalore, July 26: No, it is neither a helicoptor nor a drone not even a hybrid of Octopus, it is an unmanned device designed by a final year BE student in Davangere, Karnataka. Tuned for rough terrains and capable of facing the harshest climatic conditions, the device could be of great use in rescue operations in Uttarakhand, thinks Hemantha HI (the designer behind this masterpiece).

The Uttarakhand flood victims were stranded in rough terrains constituting narrow valleys, steep mountains and damaged roads. The climate was hazardous in many cases for the helicopters to persue tracking of stranded victims, leave alone rescue operations. Reaching these places on foot is equally dangerous.

This 3 kg device seems to be a solution for all problems. Built at a cost of Rs 5 lakh, it is powered by 8 brushless motors fitted with eight propellers. The structure is made of carbon fiber, which is about eight times stronger and 12 times lighter than steel. Working on preset commands, the device is powered by software and integrated with GPS programming.

Sure about its functionality in national calamities, Hemanth explains,"Three factors decide its flight: Speed, height and turning angle. Once this data is fed into the laptop, the device takes off, records live footage at set points (that are predetermined) and returns to the same point from where it took off. It can fly continuously for ten minutes, but it is better to back it up with batteries for longer flight timing and distance. It is a comprehensive device and survive a brush with bad weather, which helicopters cannot."

Right now, the device is being used for aerial shootings, but Hemanth is awaiting approval from the civil aviation and the airforce authorities for using it in Uttarakhand.

Accolading his efforts and engineering skills was M N Subramani, a former Indian Air Force staff and President of Air Force Friends Association. " THis is certainly an innovative solution from a young engineer. It could be useful in relief operations, but he has to seek permission from the aviation authorities," said Subramani.

Way to go Hemanth and all the best!

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