A research group at IIT Kharagpur has designed the country's first indigenous superpower drone and named it after Mahabharata's epic warrior Bhima. Under a metre in length, BHIM's uniqueness lies in the unmanned aerial device's state-of-the-art protection shield, imagery and hitherto unknown abilities, say its creators.
BHIM can create a Wi-Fi zone within a nearly 1 km radius when it flies overhead. Aimed for conflict zones, the drone--which has a battery backup of seven hours-can fly into a disaster (or war) zone and create a seamless communication network for security forces, rescue personnel and even the common man. BHIM's special ability lies in maintaining long flight times and dropping emergency supplies by accurately using parachutes. It can also be used for rescue operations in remote areas. The drone can conduct integrity checks for boundary walls and find out breaches if any .
Designed especially for emergency situations, the automated drone has an actual vision-based guidance with built-in intelligence that helps it identify if an area is crowded or not. The researchers have made the drone lightweight but with strong body movements, made of off-the-shelf indigenous components, so that it costs just one-fourth the price of any average drone used for surveillance in India now.The completed drone has been shown to a Defence Research and Development Organisation team that visited the institute to inspect some network security solutions IITKgp had developed.