India’s first underwater robotic drone developed at Maker Village here, which can send real-time video of ships and other underwater structures to help with their repair and maintenance, was launched and handed over to the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of DRDO today.
The first commercial Remotedly Operated Vehicle (ROV)/ underwater drone, EYEROVTUNA, was developed by EyeROV Technologies, a company incubating at Maker Village which is the largest hardware incubator in the country. NPOL, a laboratory of Delhi-headquartered Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), made the first order of the product.
The development of the product of EyeRov was largely supported by Kerala Start up Mission (KSUM) through various schemes.
C Balagopal, Founder, Terumo Panpol launched the product. NPOL Director S Kedarnath Shenoy received the ROV from Dr Saji Gopinath, CEO Kerala Startup Mission. The drone will be used by NPOL for research and development activities which in turn would result in commercial product for defence purposes.
S Kedarnath Shenoy said that the underwater drone was co-developed by NPOL to meet their specifications. “ Apart from being an buying of a product, this is aimed to energize the start-up ecosystem in this place,” he pointed out.
The robotic drone, developed by Johns T Mathai and Kannappa Palaniappan P of EyeROV Technologies, can be navigated up to a depth of 50 meters to take real-time HD video images to examine ship hulls or undersea cables or bridge moorings, eliminating the need for costlier and riskier manual inspection by divers.
Prasad Balakrishnan Nair, CEO, Maker Village; and senior officers from Cochin Shipyard Ltd, Cochin Port Trust, KSEB, Fire & Rescue department, KSIDC, KFC, SFO Technologies, Waves Electronics, Tie and KMA attended the launch event.
This product had won at the prestigious US-centered hardware startup competition, Alphalab gear hardware cup co-hosted by US Consulate, that was held in India for the first time at Maker Village.
EyeROV, which was tested on India’s first solar ferry in Kerala’s Vaikom, offers high manoeuvring capability at low cost and can be put to uses ranging from inspections of ship hulls, ports, dams and nuclear power plants, to search and rescue, naval mine detection and ocean studies.
Currently 60 hardware companies from across the country working on cutting edge technologies are incubating from the 30000 sqft area of Maker Village. Maker Village offers comprehensive facilities, support services and related enablers under one roof to facilitate the entrepreneurial journey from ideation to product. EyeROV belongs to the first batch of 5 start-ups which started incubating at Maker Village. At least half a dozen companies from Maker Village shall launch their products in the next 6 months’ time.