A Hyderabad Lab Designs KiteCam as Alternative to Drones

A kite camera (KiteCam) has been developed at an institute in Hyderabad, India which may be a cost-effective alternative to drones, says a news report in the Times of India.

Since a kite depends on wind, the team first conducted an in-depth study of its flight dynamics. (Photo: TOI)

In it’s first flight, the KiteCam reportedly “revealed its superiority over drones”. It flew for 35 minutes, during which a total of 4,356 images were captured, the report says.

An experimental quest for a low-cost daily solution to aerial photography led the research team at the institute’s Internet of Things lab to design a complete lightweight system that can be affixed to any ordinary kite for capturing images.

“The normal Indian kite has a weight of 10-15 gm. In order to lift it and anything else mounted on that, one requires appropriate wind force. We figured out that normal wind conditions can carry about 50 gm, of which 10 gm is the weight of the kite itself. So our entire system had to fit into approximately 40 gm,” said Aftab Hussain, the supervisor of the team.

Combining the two. Kite flying is centuries old sport in the Tropic of Cancer’s South Asia region.

The experiment involved using two ultra-light and flexible lithium polymer batteries that weigh only 4.65 gm each. The complete setup weighed 42gm, which was below the maximum limit required for lift-off.