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Drone and Dusted: Dronaid’s Keynote’17


In the event of disasters or accidents, immediate aid is paramount to saving lives, but the lack of infrastructure in many parts of India means that that help does not always reach those who need it. Dronaid aims to remedy the situation with the development of an autonomous drone to provide healthcare to places inaccessible by road. This ambitious student project marked one year of a successful collaboration between KMC and MIT students with Keynote’17.

Image Courtesy: Dronaid

With their recruitments right around the corner, Dronaid made use of the platform to talk about their ideas and the work that goes into turning these ideas into reality. The team’s current focus is on advanced drone research and artificial intelligence. They are also in the process of developing a mobile application that can monitor and track diseases by analyzing information like medical records, case studies, and past diagnoses. Dronaid’s Team Leader, Neelesh Nayan, talked about how Indian healthcare, that makes up a market worth 200 billion dollars, can be revolutionized by the use of autonomous drones. Artificial intelligence in healthcare would, according to him, transform the current slow-paced medical care system. The lack of local competitors and the easy availability of the data needed to get the AI running meant that this would not be too difficult a task.

Dronaid also introduced activeAI, Manipal’s first open artificial intelligence research community. The team intends to integrate AI into healthcare, using a series of algorithms to assist doctors in diagnoses. “The world around us can be represented by complex equations, and research in this sector can redefine humanity,” said activeAI’s Head of Research, Siddhartha Rao Kamalakara.

While Keynote’17 did not draw a large audience, those who did attend were impressed by the possibilities that the project offered. Dr GK Prabhu, the Director of MIT, talked about the perseverance and courage shown by this team in the past year. He appreciated how the students of KMC and MIT, bringing to the table their knowledge about medical care and their technical expertise respectively, have come together to build innovative solutions for this communal cause.

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