Hyderabad: After successfully deploying drones in agri-operations, city-based drone technology company Thanos, which has now readied a prototype of a delivery drone, is hopeful of getting an opportunity to work with the armed forces as well as the e-commerce companies as supply chain partners.
“Having expertise in heavy payloads and high endurance, supply drop segment was an obvious choice for us. We wanted to build something that might take us a little closer towards having a market ready product for the future. It could find a use in delivery of spares and medical supplies to the battlefront or to remote places,” said Palleli Pradeep, Founder, Thanos.
In the e-commerce segment, the delivery drone could find a use in last mile connectivity or to reach places where on road travel is not possible or is difficult. It can also be used to speed up delivery, he said adding that it is working on a commercial version of the prototype.
The prototype delivery drone has been showcased at the recently held Drone Olympics, organised by the Defence Innovation Organisation in association with the Drone Federation of India, from Feb 18-21 at Bengaluru as part of the biennial Air Show.
The CIE-incubated Thanos won the Supply Drop Challenge of the Drone Olympics wherein a 2 Kg payload was required to be delivered autonomously- without any operator inputs, over a travel distance of 2 km. The event also had surveillance and drone swarm or formation challenges.
The objective of the event was to identify startups/innovators in India with capabilities that can be leveraged for critical applications such as medicine and organ delivery, last mile connectivity, disaster relief management and others, he said.
Thanos team comprising its Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer Prathyush Akepati and Technical Engineer Suman Sekhar put together the prototype in two days reusing components from other drones.
“We were evaluated on parameters like weight of the drone, safety features and accuracy of drone landing and payload delivery location and others. There were multiple tests for reliability of mechanical fixtures of our drone,” said Pradeep. His team scored the highest 49 out of 50 to secure the first place.
Thanos has recently added drone repairs and designing of battery packs to its offerings. It had also won a grant to develop a high endurance multi-copter that has potential for government as well as consumer applications, he said.
“We are positioning ourselves as a drone-technology company with focus on manufacturing and product service in about three years,” he said.
Thanos is now into pesticides spraying, aerial surveillance and mapping services, predominantly for agro-chemical companies and individual farmers in Telangana. He declined to divulge more details on company’s clients citing non-disclosure agreements.
It is also betting on drone repairs and servicing space. “There are already 1000s of drones in India and the number will grow multiple-fold in three years,” he said.