Skylark drones won the NASA Systems Award for developing UAVs, what are they upto?Aditya Bhushan Dwivedi
Drones are the current rage with discussions everywhere. The baggage of how drones have been used for military purposes weighs heavily on the various applications it can possibly have. Skylark Drones is one startup that is exploring different possibilities that was started earlier this year by Mughilan Thiru Ramaswamy and Mrinal Pai.
Their passion for Drones started as a hobby during their college days. Mughilan and Mrinal first got exposed to Drones when they were studying in RV College of Engineering, Bangalore. They started building Drones for competitions which gave them exposure to building different kinds of Drones ranging from Micro aerial vehicles (MAVs), Multirotors, and UAVs from composite materials. They also won the NASA Systems Award for developing the best Systems Engineering for developing UAVs. It involved breaking the problem statement in the logical statement, use of appropriate design techniques and analysis, cost estimation of the project and other things. Their team won the award from over 75 teams around the world. This gave them confidence to work on their dreams.
They have been working on Drones for over six years but it is only this year that they decided to formally start their company. Skylark Drones currently offers services to startups in different market segments, mainly real estate, land survey and inspection, advertisements, sports and events. They are looking at various use cases for Drones which can help businesses in different ways, especially Arial Panoramas, UltraHD Videos and Images for different purposes. They have also moved into advertisements using Drones for which they have applied for patent as well.
Other services which Skylark offers include Aerial Photogrammetry (creating 2D and 3D topographical maps using photography and other techniques) and Surface Mapping. They are also expanding in the field of Local Drone delivery, which could be a very attractive point for takers. Skylark operates in the B2B space and is looking to cater mainly to startups.
If a client request does not fit any of their customized solutions, the team comes up with custom Drones to suit the needs. At present, they have a team of 11 people, including interns taking care of activities such as sales and marketing, Drone operations, post production, research and development etc.
Related Read: Flying high with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in India
Talking about their future, market potential and opportunity, Mughilan says,
"The markets in which we operate are nascent, and in some of them we don’t have any competitors. In the few markets where we have some competition, we offer our clients a complete aerial solution and can provide with custom engineering solutions which none of our competitors provide. We don’t plan to exit at any point of time because we feel this is a billion dollar industry and building a Drone ecosystem is our dream."
The Drone ecosystem is not yet matured in India, mainly because of the security concerns it poses. This is one of the reasons Drones are mostly limited to only the hobby ecosystem in India. However, Governments have strict regulations on how and where such vehicles can be used. And only time can tell how startups will deal with it or if the laws will be relaxed or not.
Website: Skylark Drones