Chennai: The hashtag #ThalaAjith is trending since Wednesday and it’s not due to the success of his recent venture Viswasam, but because of the Drone Taxi which was mentored by him and developed by team Dhaksha of MIT Campus, Anna University.
The prototype of the Drone Taxi was kept on display at the second edition of the Tamilnadu Global Investors Meet 2019. Ajith fans shared photos of the drone and heaped laurels on the actor for his contribution in the project. While several companies exhibited their products at the meet, the onlookers were in awe of the drone, which is said to be the first of its kind in India.
MIT, Centre for Aerospace Research (CASR),reserach scientist, Vasantha Raj, said on the first day alone there were close to 1,500 enquiries about the drone..
“A few companies even offered funding for the project. We are overwhelmed by the response that we have received. But we are looking forward to associate with an automobile company which has production facility,” he said.
Further talking about the drone, he said it has the capacity to carry 90 kgs upto 30 kms and can also fly for about 45 minutes. The prototype was in the designing phase for one year and the production took six months, he said and added the vehicle will also come in handy during emergencies when people have to be transported immediately from a particular spot.
“Hovering test of the drone was done for 13 minutes. We have asked permission from the government to test the drone for the 30 minutes flight,” he said.
He further said they want to take the vehicle for commercial purpose thus reducing the road traffic. “In the next three years, Drone Taxi will be a necessity in India and we are sure it will be implemented by then,” he added.
Explaining about the drone, Vasantha Raj said it will have a single seat with double doors. “It will be flying at an altitude of about 300m thus avoiding the highrises. The drone will fly autonomous and will make use of sensors to avoid trees and wires during the time of landing and take-off. It will need an area of 1,000 square feet for landing and take off,” he added.
It may be noted that the team Dhaksha won the second prize in final rounds of “UAV Challenge medical Express 2018′ held in Australia.
Speaking about the contribution made by Ajith in the project, a member of the team said, ‘He is a technically sound person and is our test pilot. He makes sure that all the systems are functioning properly.”
Ajith Kumar was appointed as the Helicopter Test Pilot and UAV system advisor for the team in May 2018.