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The SkyKrafts drone. Inset: Founder-CEO Srinivasulu Reddy
 
 
Drones set to revolutionize agriculture in India

Finally the Government is ready to  legalize civilian drone use -- and agriculture will be the first beneficiary
Bangalore, November 28 2017: Two years after  lightweight  drones  became available to  lay customers worldwide, the Indian government has taken the first steps to legalize their civilian use in this country.
The Civil Aviation Ministry published the draft regulations for  the Civilian Use of Drones  or Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).   The drones have been classified on the basis of their maximum take-off weight : Nano (less than or equal to 250 gm); Micro (  250 grams to 2 kg); mini ( 2 kg to 25 kg); small ( 25 kg to 150 kg) and large ( greater than 1250 kg).
All drones are proposed to be operated in visual line of sight, during day time only and below 200 feet.   Nano drones  require no license. The other four  categories will require registration with DGCA and a  Unique Identification Number (UIN). However model aircraft up to maximum take-off weight of 2 Kgs flown below 200 feet inside educational institution premises will not require such registration or UIN.  Fuller details are available in this PDF document.  The regulations are likely to be finalized by end 2017.

Indian innovation
In India the most significant civilian application in India is expected to be in the area of agriculture. Drones offer a cost efficient way of  spraying crops.  The  University of Agricultural Sciences in Dharwad, Karnataka  and the KLE Technological University, Hubballi, Karnataka, have joined to support the development of drones for agricultural applications. They are partnering a startup--  SkyKrafts  --  which has developed a drone for spraying fields, that can carry a maximum liquid payload of 20 litres.   The drone can spray one acre per hour and approximately 10 acres per day, explains  SkyKrafts  founder - CEO Srinivasulu Reddy.   This will save the labour of two persons minimum.    
While the prototype agri-drone costs around Rs 29 lakhs,  Mr Reddy said  his team, helped by students of  UAS and KLETU  is already at work to deliver a smaller  -- more affordable -- drone capable of delivering 2 litres. The new version will be completely  made in India.  Full details here

 

 




    


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