India: At the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, KM Ramesh along with a team of researchers, has built a miniature remote controlled vehicle that can hover above farmland and gather data that helps monitor the growth of crops, detect diseases and estimate crop yield months ahead of the harvest.
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was used to collect data at tomato farms in Karnataka's Kolar district for three months at the end of 2013. The data collected by the drone, which cost of Rs 20,000 (approximately, $332) and about two months to build, is now being analysed by the team to estimate this season's yield.
In the past year, at least half a dozen startups that offer drone technology have been set up. These ventures, including Mumbai-based Airpix, Asteria Aerospace and Om UAV Systems, are building consumer-friendly applications. These have caught the attention of corporations like Reliance Industries and Raheja Corp that have used drones for aerial photography. In India, the market size for small UAVs is expected to reach $33.53 million by 2019, according to research firm Marketsandmarkets.
Source: Economic Times