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First humanitarian drone put into use for medicine delivery at Malawi, Africa

If you are trapped in an inaccessible area during a natural crisis and need medicines, Midair Rescue Helicopters will instantly supply required medicine packets through a drone. The first humanitarian drone has been developed at IIT Kanpur in association with EndureAir.

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The Government of Malawi and UNICEF has launched an air corridor for potential humanitarian use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as ‘drones’. This is the first of its kind in Africa and unique in the world for the application of drone with a focus on humanitarian and developmental purpose.

The joint application of IIT Kanpur with EndureAir (sponsor and partner of IITK team for this activity) is approved by the Malawi Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for first humanitarian drone testing activity.

The solution based on Autonomous Helicopter has been developed by the students of Aerospace Engineering Department: Mr. Nidhish Raj (PhD), Mr. Sagar- Setu (PhD), Mr. Ankur Duhoon (Research Engineer, IITK alumni) and Mr. JoydeepBhowmik (PhD) under the guidance of Prof. Abhishek and Prof. Mangal Kothari, Department of Aerospace Engineering.

The current Rotary Wing Unmanned Air Vehicle (RUAV) developed at IIT Kanpur is capable of lifting 3 kg of useful payload and fly for over 2 hours. The best range speed of the RUAV is 75 km/hr and the top speed can easily reach 120 km/hr. The UAV uses regular petrol as its fuel, which enables it to achieve better performance than battery powered drones.

The autopilot which is “brains” of the RUAV for fully autonomous operations has been fully developed by the students. The IIT Kanpur team would visit Malawi for trials and demonstration in February.

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