NASA Aerospace Engineer Is The Drones(UAV's) Maker For INDIA! - Gokul Anandayuvraj
Venveli, a company startup at Chennai manufactures marvellous UAV's which is a great tool to check enemies during a fight or to record videos by cameras etc.. It was founded and resides only in Chennai and give UAV's to Special forces of India like National Security Guard, under Ministry of home affairs.
An aerospace engineer from the University of Texas, Gokul Anandayuvraj was working on several spacecraft projects with NASA JOHNSON SPACE CENTRE, NASA JET PROPULSION LAB and US AIRFORCE RESEARCH LAB where he realized that technologies developed at the research institutions needed to be commercialized.
'VINVELI' was founded in 2014 in Austin, Texas by 19-year-old Gokul, along with his college friends Yuan Qu and Eshan Halekote, to commercialize spacecraft technology. Later, towards the end of 2014, during the Lowa Startup Accelerator Programme, Vinveli pivoted to become a private Unmanned Aerial Vehicle(UAV) development and manufacturing company.
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or uncrewed aerial vehicle, commonly known as a drone is an aircraft without a human pilot onboard and a type of unmanned vehicle. UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS); which includes a UAV, a ground-based controller, and a system of communications between the two. The flight of UAVs may operate with various degrees of autonomy: either under remote control by a human operator, autonomously by onboard computers or piloted by an autonomous robot.
“The commercialization of spacecraft technology was still in nascent stages and is mostly dominated by the government to government contracts. For us youngsters, it was impossible to break into that market,” Gokul tells adding, “UAVs were being adopted at a fast pace in various sectors – right from agriculture to industrial inspections, search and rescue. ”
The startup of this UAV's or drones is registered with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Since.2016, these drones are also manufactured and supplied to special forces of India. Its clients include the National Security Guard and the Central Reserve Police Force under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Besides this, Vinveli also manufactures UAVs for the Ministry of Defence. “Trial and evaluations have been completed and they are now looking at procurement,” Gokul says.
ADVENT OF VINVELI
Gokul had founded a social media website, ROCKINFRNZ, during his high school days, prior to Vinveli. It was live between 2011 and 2012 and had received 1.7 million monthly hits at its peak. He, however, had to shut it down later.
Yuan is an Aerospace Engineer who served in the US Marine Corps for six years and later served as a System Engineer at Texas Spacecraft Laboratory.
Eshan is an Electrical Engineer major and has interned with Apple and NXP Semiconductors.
Focusing on manufacture, Gokul shifted to India in 2015 and established Vinveli's headquarters in Chennai. Yuan and Eshan stayed in the US to pursue a career and education respectively there. Currently, Gokul is the sole Founder and Director of Vinveli.
"He explains that Vinveli means ‘space’ in Tamil. Currently, the team has seven employees working out of Chennai. "
Vinveli makes UAV's when received orders from Special Forces. "We work with them to understand their needs and develop battle-ready solutions for their problems on the field, " he says.
There had been trials and evaluations which were successful after which, National Security Guard and Central Reserve Police Force placed orders for procurements.
“Our drones have helped save lives on the battlefield as the machine is placed in front of the commando, taking the first git while eliminating the enemy of the commando. " "The drone tech startup has two Indian patents. Its launcher and firing systems are completely indigenously designed and manufactured, with raw materials procured from India itself." Gokul explains.
THE MARKET OF DRONE TECH
According to Investindia.gov, a recent report by FICCI and EY projected that the Indian UAV industry is estimated to be around $885.7 million, while the global market size would touch $21.47 billion by 2021. Some of the drone tech startups to watch out for in the Indian ecosystem include IdeaForge, Aero360, BubbleFly, Asteria Aerospace, etc.
The team hopes to undertake larger volumes of orders from the government, and participate in programs like Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) by MoD, which recently announced that they would provide funding for R&D in Defence.
“We are working on other advanced drones for battlefield operations. Demonstrations have been completed with the Ministry of Defence and the Army, and we are expecting orders soon,” Gokul says.
However, Gokul says that Vinveli does not have any direct competitors. “Our closest competitors are those that make surveillance UAVs with cameras, but that is not our focus. We are making combat-proven UAVs. Our man-portable drones are weaponized,” he adds.
All these above knowledge urges us to say that the drone industry in India is still in its nascent stage.