Representational image
Representational image

IIT Madras students develop AI-based ‘Eye in the Sky’ for disaster relief, aid

  • Drones using AI to help identify disaster victims
  • What makes ‘Eye in the Sky’ unique is that its analytical modules are based on the latest available technology

New Delhi: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras students have developed an Artificial Intelligence(AI)-based solution called ‘Eye in the Sky’ for disaster management and aid services, utilizing drones with swarm intelligence for collecting data and analyzing it in real-time.

A team of engineering students is building drones enabled with AI and computer vision to develop an end-to-end solution for identifying accurate and critical information on people trapped in disaster-hit areas and communicate them to relief task force.

What makes ‘Eye in the Sky’ unique is that its analytical modules are based on the latest available technology with the team creating their own databases for some of the modules.

According to P.R. Shankar, faculty advisor of the team, and Professor of Practice, Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Madras: “The 'Eye in the Sky' is an innovation based on futuristic disruptive technologies. It will be a powerful tool for saving lives and providing succour during disaster relief and humanitarian aid operations." He added that with further marginal development it can be extensively used in surveillance operations. Moreover, the innovation is platform agnostic and has immense value.

‘Eye in the Sky’ can also help the Air Force and the Army to conduct an efficient aerial survey, to help provide food and water supplies and other medical and safety aids to marooned and trapped populations. It can also help them to rebuild a collapsed communication channel and can provide navigation support.

Additionally, the team plans to collaborate with hardware companies that can provide scalable drone technology to conduct the required spot surveillance of disaster struck areas. The ‘Eye in the Sky’ can also help local relief organizations and NGOs in documenting the findings of the assessments, identify available resources and capabilities and provide the information to the disaster administration to overcome vulnerabilities and address risks.

According to the students, the final aim of the startup is to make end-to-end drone software solutions which can be used by any disaster response force of the world and thus help in saving lives.

The project uses some innovative technologies that can help in among other things accurate detecting of people from high and low altitudes, detecting whether a person is able to move or not, detection of people buried under the debris where only a part of the body is visible to the outside world.