PESHAWAR: Sarhad University students have tamed the ruthless version of unmanned aircraft known to the people of the region and fashioned it as a rescue machine.
Developed by the varsity’s electrical engineering department, the drone was exhibited at the campus on Wednesday.
“The idea behind the project is to tell people that drone technology can be used for productive purposes and is not only meant for destruction,” project head Anisur Rehman, told The Express Tribune. “If developed further, the drone can be utilised by Rescue 1122, the meteorological department and disaster management authorities.”
The plane is a light-weight device that was flown at the height of a few thousand feet for fifteen minutes during the demonstration. It has been designed by a group of five students, Sardar Daud, Pasand Khan, Ijaz Ahmed, Junaid Anwar and Anisur Rehman, of the senior year. It took the eighth semester students six months to build the plane from scratch.
The drone weighs around 2.5 kilogrammes and can be controlled with a remote within a thousand-metre range.
We have also installed the GPS system in the plane so that it can work with efficiency and precision in disaster-hit areas, said Rehman, adding GPS navigation works in all weather conditions. “However, a camera is yet to be installed in the device.” He added the project costs lesser than the drones designed by foreign companies. “So far we have spent Rs0.1 million on the plane.”
To modify the drone and bring it into practical use, the students need support from the government. “If the government offers support, the project has a bright future,” said Daud. “In a congested city like ours, the drone can help a great deal.” He said if the drone is developed and built as a larger prototype, it can be sent to areas hit by floods for surveillance and transporting aid.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2015.