What started as a mere piece of imagination is now, after facing hurdles for years, a reality in India. Yes, we are talking about products delivery through drones.
Uttrakhand district hospital, in a first of its kind experiment, transported blood samples covering over 36 km in an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The drone delivery took a fraction of time in comparison to other means of transportation.
The blood samples were carried along with a cooling kit which ensured that they did not get spoilt, as per medical superintendent of Burari district hospital Tehri.
Nikhil Upadhye, who is the owner of CDSpace Robotics Limited which made the drone, said that his machine can carry 500 gm of weight and can travel up to 50 km on a single charge.
Buying one such drone might cost Rs 10 lakh, he told TOI.
The use of a drone can help solve delivery issues faced in remote and hilly areas and can prove handy in an emergency situation.
For the last three years, the government has been exploring ways to use drones for delivery. After being caught in regulation for years, in December last year, the govt had launched a digital portal Digital Sky for drone registration.
Last year, the DGCA had defined five different categories of drones ie Nano: Less than or equal to 250 grams, Micro: From 250 grams to 2 kg, Small: From 2kg to 25 kg, Medium: From 25 kg to 150 kg and Large: Greater than 150 kg.
As per the new drone policy, Nano drones that weigh less than 250 grams will not need to be registered. Anyone who wants to use the technology needs to pay a fee of Rs 1,000 to get UIN and Rs 25,000 to get a fresh Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP).
Suresh Prabhu earlier had said at the policy launch that the govt had planned to develop drone manufacturing not only for the domestic market but abroad as well. In India, the drone market is estimated to hold the potential of hitting over $1 Trillion.
Countries like the US and China are already doing delivery with drones. The move by Uttarakhand division will certainly encourage e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Flipkart to begin delivery with drones under the proposed rules.
However, experts raised concern over its impact on job creations. According to the latest estimates, there are 50,000 deliveries made by e-commerce companies like Amazon, Flipkart Dominos in Delhi alone every day.