The government wants to ensure that security agencies can disable the drone remotely in case it turns rogue.

Govt asks drone companies to install safety chips in drones to enable remote disabling
Atom Tech Shorts Friday, January 18, 2019 - 17:01
Written by  S. Mahadevan

Your food order might get delivered by a drone soon as the government may allow these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to fly with a safety chip inserted in them. The safety chip permits security agencies to disable the drone remotely from making any further moves, if they suspect something is not right. The suggestion, according to an Economic Times report, came out of a meeting aviation minister Jayant Sinha has with several drone manufacturers during the Global Aviation Summit, which took place in Mumbai this week.

Security has been the main concern of the government for not giving a green signal to operate drones, though there has been a policy in place since December last year. Incidents like what happened at London’s Gatwick airport that practically brought the airport to a halt for several hours, seems to be pushing agencies back and they upgrade the risk potential of the drones.

Explaining the way the chip would work, an expert has said the chip can be added at the assembly level itself and if the security agency gets an alert that the machine is up to some mischief, they can cut the power to the drone or force it to ‘autoland’ on the spot.

The positive thing about the chip is that the technology is reportedly available domestically and is not difficult to implement.

Talking of the numbers, it is said that there are around 40,000 drones in the country and when fully operational the country could end up having more than a million UAVs. The policy in place puts the drones into 4 major categories. These are micro, small, medium and large. There is a fifth, the nano drones. Owners of drones of any of the four categories have to register their machines with the local security agency and obtain a licence to operate them. The grading or categorization is done based on their weight and the purpose for which they are sought to be registered.