EyeROV TUNA, India’s first underwater robotic drone
India’s first underwater robotic drone which can send real-time videos of ships and other underwater structures to help with their repair and maintenance, was launched on September 14, 2018 and handed over to the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of DRDO.
The first commercial Remotedly Operated Vehicle (ROV)/underwater drone, named EyeROV TUNA, was developed by EyeROV Technologies, a company incubating at Kalamassery-based Maker Village, Kochi.It is said to be the largest hardware incubator in the country.
NPOL, a laboratory of Delhi-headquartered Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), made the first order of the product.
- The robotic drone, developed by Johns T Mathai and Kannappa Palaniappan P of EyeROV Technologies, can be navigated up to a depth of 50 metres to take real-time HD video images to examine ship hulls or undersea cables or bridge moorings, eliminating the need for costlier and riskier manual inspection by divers, the release said
- The remotely operated underwater vehicle, EyeROV TUNA, weighs less than 10 kilogram and can be used for inspection of ship hulls, ports, dams and nuclear power plants
- EyeROV is a light rover which can be easily accessed and controlled with the supporting attached and connected hardware such as laptops and joysticks
IROV Technologies Pvt Ltd is backed by Kerala Start-Up Mission, oil and gas firm BPCL and Department of Science and Technology. It has been founded by ohns T Mathai, an IIT-Delhi alumnus and Kannappa Palaniappan P (IIT-Madras). The company also has mentors and advisors who were earlier with DRDO, Indian Navy and marine industry. It is now incubated at Maker Village, Kochi, an initiative of Union Government and Kerala Government.
The drone will be used by NPOL for research and development activities which in turn would result in a commercial product for defense purposes.The product is also useful in various underwater research operations and is expected to be sold to research institutes in this field. The development of the product of EyeROV was largely supported by Kerala Start Up Mission (KSUM) through various schemes.