PUNE: Daksh, a remotely operated robotic vehicle used for detection and disposal of hazardous objects, on Sunday attracted the attention of visitors at an exhibition organised by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Pune.
The device is all set to get inducted into the armed forces and Bomb Detection and Disposal Squads (BDDS), including that in Pune.
The exhibition is a part of Karavaan 2010, a two-day annual fest of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pashan, which concluded on Sunday.
The completely indigenous robot, designed and developed by Research and Development Establishment (RDE) engineers at Dighi, has a Master Control Station, which can control it from a distance of 500 metres and across seven thick walls.
An X-Ray attachment is used by distant controller for detection of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), which are explosives along with its own detonating facility like timer and igniting device. Daksh uses a shot gun or a Water Jet Disrupter, which ‘fires’ water with speed of sound and can pierce into thick surfaces.
Developed by a 10-member team headed by Alok Mukherjee of RDE, battery operated Daksh has four different cameras and can run for four hours with all its movements once charged. “The robot has an arm, which has been designed exactly like that of a human arm. It can handle objects of 20 kg with arm length 2.5 metres and 9 kg with extended arm length of 4 metres,” explains Mridu Kant Pathak, a robotics scientist at RDE who has worked on the mechanical section of the robot. “Daksh can scale stairs, scan for explosives from beneath a car or similar vehicle and can also tow vehicles as heavy as a mini truck,” adds Pathak.
Twenty such pieces, worth Rs 1.6 crore each, inclusive of the control station, carrier vehicle other accessories and taxes too, are ready for induction into armed, paramilitary forces and BDDS of major Indian cities including that of Pune. On the other hand, imported robotic vehicles cost around Rs 3 crore with accessories.
There are also plans for export of this robot after the needs of Indian establishments are fulfilled. Officers from Sri Lankan and South African security forces are already said to have paid visit to the research establishment where Daksh was developed. “A very special feature of Daksh is that if it topples due to some reason it can stand up with the help of its arm just like a human being does,” says Pathak.
- A special break system which helps it stop and stand even at 40 degrees slope.
- Display of gas concentration and nuclear radiation, at the control station, during chemical or nuclear attack.
- Biometric sensing and authentication for operator identification.