Mumbai Based Start-Up Hosts Its 90th Indian Drone Racing League
Drone technology has captivated the minds and curiosity of the younger generation, as the innovation can be used for security surveillance to weather monitoring and delivery services. But the critical technology has now taken the shape of an emerging entertainment in sports category as Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi hosted a drone racing league on Friday in its campus.
Start-up hub One Martian Way, headed by Mr. Karan Kamdar, organised its 90th Indian Drone Racing League here in New Delhi, with young drone pilots participating from different corners of the country. The start-up was launched in 2016 and had hosted its first IDRL at IIT Gandhinagar in the very same year. Over the years, the company has held a series of such events across India and at present has 4,000 members.
Speaking to Hans India during the IDRL, Kamdar explained that organising Drone based competitions is not only entertaining but also educational. The company, while organising these events, gives instructions to the drone pilots on robotics, building the instrument, controller, hardware and software.
“Drone sports is something which takes place globally. While we have conducted 90 IDRL in India, we’ve even sent a drone pilot from here to represent India in the FAI World Drone Racing Championship. This is relatively a new sport, but over a short span has cultivated a lot of attention and interest of people,” Kamdar said.
According to the founder of the One Martian Way, colleges request to host IDRL at their premises, and these competitions come with their own prize money to encourage participation amongst enthusiasts. The 90th IDRL was sponsored and supported by I-Hub Foundation for Robotics (IHFC), the Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) of IIT Delhi. With 15 drone pilots from Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and even Nepal, the latest drone league also saw an overwhelming audience of 300 plus students.
The start-up, during the pandemic period, continued to organise IDRL in a virtual mode, giving the convenience to drone enthusiasts and experts to continue with their passion. The company is set to host its next league at Manipal University later this month.
3rd year computer science student Dinesh Chandra from Chennai and 17-year-old Srivathsan, a class 12 student from Pondicherry, say that they first came across IDRL via YouTube and have been looking forward to participating at the league for three years. The two youngsters travelled all the way to Delhi to participate in-person, since in the last few years Covid restrictions kept them away from active competition in the IDRL.
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