Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory gets country's first underwater drone
Kochi: The country'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 on Friday.
The first commercial Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) 'EYEROVTUNA' was developed by EyeROV Technologies, a company incubating at the Kalamassery-based 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.
The robotic drone 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.
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 30,000 sqft area of Maker Village.