Bollywood is a very dynamic industry. Whereas some films are nothing greater than a multitude, others are so phenomenal you couldn’t stop watching them and sometimes, getting inspired from them. And one such film is – 3 Idiots.
In the movie, the character of ‘Joy’ was quite a naïve one, who introduced us to a concept of quadcopters, which was unexplored till then, at least in India.
Taking inspiration from such a concept, a team of engineering students- named Zeppelin FC-26, from Shastri Park decided to develop an unmanned aerial system, or in simpler words, they made a drone. Not only this, the drone can also provide a live video feed even when it is 32 kilometers away from the person.
“We didn’t know whom to contact or what to do. Even our college did not support us in this. So we did our entire research over the internet and went ahead with it,” says Vaibhav Gangwar, one of the team members.
The group developed a system named Zephyr which has the following characteristics:
1. Capable of conducting successful missions by way of integrating mechanical, imagery and navigation systems.
2. The UAV frame is a High-Wing RC plane, which has been designed and modified on Solid Works, by taking help from plans available on the internet, and reinforced for better flight integrity and modified for carrying a payload.
3. Garmin VIRB Sports and Action camera is used for gathering imagery up to 1080 pixels.
4. Image telemetry is controlled onboard the aircraft through an AOMWAY TX1000, RX04 Receiver and Transmitter which can be remotely accessed through a 5.8GHz wireless bridge.
5. Images are sent through the 5.8GHz wireless bridge to a ground station computer running target detection software developed by ZeppelinFC-26 (the team).
6. The model also has an airdrop mechanism, which can drop an egg or a bomb or anything else, wherever you want, at a single click!
But, the characteristic that stands out is- the model is built on low cost, which is one-fifth of a regular model available in the market.
“While a similar model is available for Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000, our model costs just Rs. 5,000,” says Gangwar.
With all these achievements, the staff is now all set to take part in a contest named AUVSI Scholar Unmanned Air Methods (SUAS), that’s organized within the USA yearly. The army officers of the US Military decide the competitors, which is to be held from June 17 to June 22 this year.
In the future, they want to start their own manufacturing unit to make the drone technology more popular and affordable in India to potential hobbyists who cannot buy the expensive drone chassis available on Indian sites today.
Isn’t this just amazing and thoughtful? Taking inspiration from a movie and coming up with such a great model without anyone’s assistance requires a lot of dedication and support. If you wish to support them financially, here is their fundraiser video.
May the force be in their favor!