Indian company enters Japanese market with swarm tech solution for disaster management 

New Delhi: Bengaluru-based aerospace and defence company NewSpace Research & Technologies Pvt Ltd (NRT) has tied up with Japan’s Autonomy HD helmed by leading robotics scientist Kenzo Nonami to create the Autonomous Swarm Systems for Intelligent and Swift Turnaround (ASSIST) initiative for disaster management. 

Defence industry sources explained to ThePrint that NRT’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with proprietary intelligent swarm technology enables optimal first response by identifying survivors, assessing damage, large-scale data collection, mapping, restoration of connectivity and monitoring. 

NRT’s heterogenous swarms are designed for varied endurance requirements and can distribute tasks amongst themselves based on requirement for over multiple hours. The company conducted the first swarm demonstration in Japan on 1 August at the Kinugawa riverbed at Oyama in Tochigi Prefecture.  

These swarm drones are the civil version of those developed for military purposes. 

The company demonstrated ASSIST missions and capabilities to government officials, senior members from the drone industry, and disaster management experts from Japan. The missions focused on rapid detecting, rescue operations, precise data collection, efficient logistics, and medical aid transportation. 

Sources explained that early and effective first response efforts in disaster management are essential for saving lives and property. 

The first 36 hours are the most critical for saving human lives and decades of research on disaster management clearly shows that saving time in each phase of a disaster has a 10X reduction in time for the next phase, sources said.

 “The demonstration by NRT was a historic event, and we are very proud of collaborating with NRT, which has built world-class swarming technologies. We will work with NRT now for developing technologies for applications in Japan,” Nonami said in a short statement. 

Julius Amrit, chief operating officer of NRT, added: “We are excited to work with Nonami sensei and the team from Autonomy HD to develop new technologies and applications of our collaborative autonomy stack”.

The Army has already inducted NRT’s swarm drones. In 2021, the firm had won Indian Air Force’s Mehar Baba Swarm Drone Competition for Best Swarm Architecture.

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)

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