Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that Indian StartUp “Botlabs” , funded by Technology Development Board (TDB) under Union Ministry of Science & Technology and led by IIT Delhi alumni, will fly 1,000 Drones in “Beating Retreat” ceremony tomorrow evening, as a part of the Light Show marking the conclusion of nearly week long programmes related to Republic Day.
This will make India the fourth country, after China, Russia and UK, to carry out such a large-scale show with 1,000 drones, he informed.
At a demonstration of the Drone presentation today, the Minister interacted with the “Botlabs” StartUp team members at his residence including Tanmay Bunkar, Sarita Ahlawat, Sujit Rana, Mohit Sharma, Harshit Batra, Kunal Meena and others. The Managing Director and Engineers of Botlabs Dynamics Private Limited were visibly excited by the thought of being the first in India to light up the sky with 1,000 Drones, in one go.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Start-Up, Boatlab Dynamics was given an initial seed fund of Rs One crore rupees for R&D by Department of Science & Technology (DST) and subsequently Rs Rs 2.5 crore for scale up and commercialisation by Technology Development Board to develop first of its kind technological project in India. The Minister reiterated the government’s commitment to support more of such innovative and sustainable Start-ups to fulfil Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making India a Global Hub of Start-up Ecosystem.
Dr Sarita Ahlawat, MD of Boatlab Dynamics said that the Drone Project could become successful only due to full financial support provided by the Ministry of Science and Technology, as Private Sector was reluctant to hand-hold the hardware Start-up. She also thanked the engineers associated with the project for letting go the lucrative MNC offers and owning up the idea.
Dr Ahlawat thanked the Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh for all the support and encouragement for the project “Design and Development of a Reconfigurable Swarming System Consisting of 500-1000 Drones for 3D Choreographed Drone Light Shows”.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, he was pleased to note that Boatlab Dynamics incubated at Indian Institute of Technology was able to develop a fleet 1000 swarm drones in 6 months after getting financial support from TDB. He also felt proud that that the project was developed indigenously within the country, comprising development of all the necessary components, including both hardware and software such as the flight controller (brain of the drone); precision GPS; motor controller; Ground Control Station (GCS) algorithms etc.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Botlabs in association with the Ministry of Defence has conceptualised the novel ‘DRONE SHOW’ to commemorate the 75th year of Independence. He said, the drone show will be of 10 minutes duration and will showcase government achievements @75 through many creative formations in the dark sky.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the success of this project is a perfect example of inter-Ministerial coordination wherein everyone from Senior Officials to the last executing official of MoD, DST TDB and IIT Delhi all worked together to make this program a success and supporting the company in demonstrating the accomplishment of Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission.
The Minister said, the Technology Development Board, a statutory body of Department of Science and Technology has been instrumental in building conducive ecosystems by bringing in new opportunities and horizons for various ecosystems in India. TDB’s belief is that, new technologies have an essential role to play in the future decade, contributing to country’s economic, scientific and technological growth.
With its unique mandate, TDB provides financial assistance to Indian industrial concerns and other agencies, attempting development and commercial application of indigenous technologies, or adapting imported technologies to wider domestic applications. The other aspect which makes TDB funding different from other financial bodies is that it also funds companies which involve high-risk technologies.
Sh. Rajesh Kumar Pathak, IP&TAFS, Secretary, TDB stated that, “Due to paucity of time, the project came as a challenge to TDB but considering the innovation involved and contribution it would make to nation building. TDB took this up and we are glad that we could provide the assistance on time. Also, I would also like to thank Prof.Ashutosh Sharma (Former Chairperson, TDB & Former Secretary, DST) for his timely support for the project and my predecessor Dr.Neeraj Sharma (Former Secretary, TDB) for understanding the project’s national importance.”