India: Desperate state seeks spy drones and mind-reading robots to quash the rebellious people

Drone robots to add more teeth to anti-Maoist operations

The Times of India, February 4, 2013

KHARAGPUR: After drone missiles of the US military, drone robots will come to the help of Indian security forces in anti-insurgency operations. The robots are being developed at a research institution in Delhi’s Karol Bagh, which has already developed another land surveillance robot and a mind sensing robot that can read the human mind.

Once ready, the drone robot can be used as an effective surveillance tool by the armed and security forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations. The robot can spy over a battle zone while flying over it. Enemy positions, camps and even soldiers or rebels hiding behind bushes within a 50 km radius can be captured on its camera which even has night vision. “Information sent by the robot can help the security forces plan their operations with greater precision,” said Diwakar Vaish, head of robotics and research at the Delhi-based A-Set Institute of Training and Research, that is working on the project.

Work on developing the robot is at an advanced stage at the A-Set Institute. The drone apart, Vaish from the 20-year-old institute demonstrated several other robots at the three-day KSHIT technology fest that began at IIT-Kharagpur (IIT-Kgp) on Friday.

Among them are the spider robot and another surveillance robot developed by the A-Set, which took to robotics three years ago. The Spider robot resembles a spider and can operate in inhospitable terrains — hills, forests and grasslands — and collect information over a 2 km radius around it. “Unlike the drone robot that will fly, the spider robot moves along a surface,” Vaish said.

The spider robot is very useful for security forces operating in Maoist zones, the scientist added. The robot moves like a spider as it spies over hostile territories. The cost of this robot is Rs 30 lakh. Vaish also said talks have begun between A-Set and the home and defence ministries for transfer of the technology.

Besides these surveillance robots, A-Set has also developed what it calls a mind sensing robot, said Vaish. This robot can read certain facets of a human mind like a person’s sensory nerves. He also demonstrated the humanoid robots developed by the institute.

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