A group of students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, has developed a drone with an automated sprayer to sanitise large areas including roads, parks and footpaths, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The student group, which has a start-up called "Racerfly", has approached the Assam and Uttarakhand governments offering to join the fight against the coronavirus pandemic with their sprayer system which they claim can accomplish the task in less than 15 minutes which would otherwise take a person 1.5 days of work.
According to Anant Mittal, a Civil engineering student at IIT Guwahati, the sprayer system can be deployed and operated by just one operator sitting and monitoring at one spot, eliminating the need of many cleaners manually spraying disinfectants. Also, these drones can be used to record videos as as well.
"The drone will help in sanitizing large areas by just one person spraying and monitoring using a mobile app, hence eliminating the need for more cleaners who use manual spraying disinfectant. This will help in following social distancing guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to fight COVID-19. The drone which is crash proof, is equipped to adjust itself to terrain height and avoid obstacles," Mr Mittal said.
"The roads and areas can be selected on Google maps and the drone can be automated to perform the task within a signal range of 3 km. A drone can cover more than 1.2 hectare in one flight and more than 60 hectares in a day," he added.
According to the five-member team, the drone can spray two to four litres of disinfectant per minute and can be filled twice for one charge.
"A single drone can replace around 20 workers, which can be really helpful in the current situation. Once we get a go ahead, we can make 15 drones within 15-20 days and next 50 by the end of this month," Mr Mittal said.
The country reported 11 new deaths due to coronavirus on Monday and the government reported 227 fresh cases of infection nationwide -- the highest for a day.
A nationwide 21-day lockdown was imposed from March 24 midnight with an aim to check the spread of the coronavirus infection.