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The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that grabbed eyeballs in the Aamir Khan-starrer 3 Idiots will soon be used

by the National Security Guard, the Indian Army ,the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for reconnaissance in anti-terror and counter-insurgency situations. The quadrotor used in the movie was the same as the one built by a company called IdeaForge founded by three IIT Bombay alumni. The UAV prototype was the joint winner at MAV in 2008 , an international competition of micro aerial vehicles but their idea became a sensation only after the movie was screened . As a result of which the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has tied up with IdeaForge for mass production for the Indian Security Forces of the UAV now named Netra. Netra has been demonstrated before almost all the Security forces of India and has drawn special attention from forces currently engaged in anti-Naxal operations. The Indian Security forces have been using UAVs for quite sometime but it was not much help as there were several discrepancies. It was only Netra rose above everyones expectations and became the news of time. It is designed specifically for anti-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations in forested areas. It can be used in hostage situations like the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, border infiltration monitoring, local law enforcement operations, search and rescue operations, disaster management and aerial photography. The manufacturers believe that apart from reconnaissance, scientific missions, and disaster management, the aircraft can be used for commercial purposes also. The vehicle can be used for brand building in a crowded area or showing the bird's view of a particular area to attract customers. A foreign institute has already placed an order for the UAV; they want prior information on snow conditions so that they can inform their employees on the ground once the avalanche begins, concludes Singh adding that the utilization of the aircraft is aplenty. Description

Weighing 1.5 kg, and having a surplus capacity of 300 g, Netra originally called Zeppelin and subsequently Carbon can perform Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) operations. It can fly in a radius of 1.5 km at altitudes of over 100 m, for 30 minutes per battery charge. Each unit costs between Rs 18 lakh and 20 lakh, but the price is expected to drop once it is manufactured in larger numbers. The UAV is fitted with a high resolution 2.5X zoom camera, which can be panned and tilted. It beams real-time live aerial images, and can record the footage. An in-built fail-safe mechanism ensures the UAV returns to its home position in case of loss of communication or low battery. While Netras design continues to be developed and refined by IdeaForge, DRDO has been collaborating to make the backpack case that is used by the operator to initiate the flight plan and serves as the base station.Also a great amout of reseach work is currently going for its working in indoor operation and the night operability. Specifications

Weight: 1.5 kg Dimensions: 90 cm x 90 cm Power source: External swappable Li-Po batteries Payload: Customized camera options with pan and tilt control, wireless video transmitter Performance Range: 1 km LOS Endurance: 30 min per battery charge Cruise speed: 25 kmph Maximum speed: 40 kmph Wind resistance: Up to 8 m/sec Maximum payload: 300 gm

Quadrotor robots are a hit with James Bond theme song

The University of Pennsylvania General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) GRASP lab who had earlier has done a number of impressive videos showing quadrotor flying robots working in formation or navigating in different ares have come up with a new application showing a group of small quadcopter performing the theme song to James Bond movies. This video shows about ten of the flying robots emerge from boxes on the floor and start playing different instruments. Miniature quad rotors as insect robots used in Minority Report Mini quad rotors in the shape of an insect have taken its flight at Harvard University. It weighs only 60 milligrams, with only three centimetres of wings. Its movements are modelled as if it is one of the real fly. However there is still a great amount of work to be done on its mechanical aspect it is believed that such small flying machines could one day be used as spies, or for detecting harmful chemicals. In the hollywood blockbuster sci-fi film Minority Report similar insect-like mechanical robots were used to find Tom Cruise in the middle of the movie. Later many research laboratories and universities were inspired by the idea of miniature insect-robot. The Arai Robotics Lab at Osaka University in Japan were one such laboratory which developed the Asterisk robot which was not as elegant as its film counterparts but resembled a big, mechanical bug with some interesting skills. After over a long research and development of about six years it was able perform vital tasks in numerous areas of society, including search and rescue and building maintenance.