India Police investigate pizza deliveries by drone




Police in the Indian city of Mumbai are reportedly looking into why a restaurant started using a drone to deliver pizzas without letting them know.

Francesco’s Pizzeria says it successfully used a remote-controlled four-rotored drone to send an order to a skyscraper about 1.5km (1 mile) away, the Economic Times reports. In a city that’s famous for its snarling traffic jams, the restaurant says drone deliveries could be a green solution that saves on time too. A video the pizzeria put together seems to show footage from one of the test flights.

But the city police now say they’re checking whether the restaurant asked permission from the civil aviation authorities. “As per norms, permission must be taken for flying any such object,” an air traffic control official says. A local police chief told the told the PTI news agency: “We are very sensitive towards anything that flies in the sky with the help of remote control.”

Indian security forces are nervous about the possibility of terror attacks using paragliders or drones, according to sources quoted by IBN Live. But Francesco’s insists the experiment was safe. A source told the Economic Times the drone never went higher than 130m (400ft) to avoid interfering with other traffic, and the craft was never out of the reach of the controller. Last year, Amazon said it was testing unmanned drones for deliveries, but said it could take up to five years for the service to actually start.

Source: WorldNewsChannel and Francesco’s Pizzeria

India. SCB Medical College and Hospital introduced robotic surgery

Cuttack, May 13: Robotic surgery will be introduced by year-end at the state-run SCB Medical College and Hospital here. Robots will assist doctors during advanced surgical procedures at the hospital.

Though the facility will be installed in the urology department, it will also be available for cardiac, general surgery, gastro-intestinal, and gynaecological surgery, an official of the hospital said.

In robotic surgery, a surgeon sits at a computer and directs the movements of the robot — an electro-magnetic machine — to use small surgical tools attached to its arms. The surgeon makes small cuts to insert instruments into the patient’s body. A thin tube with a camera at its end (an endoscope) allows the surgeon to view enlarged 3D images of the body during the surgery.

The robot matches the doctor’s hand movements to perform the procedure using the tiny instruments.

The head of urology Dateswar Hota told The Telegraph today that the state government’s Standing Finance Committee after exploring feasibility in terms of cost and benefits had approved the installation of robot-assisted surgery system for Rs 14 crore. He said tenders would be invited once the election code of conduct came to an end.

The hospital wants to install the robotic surgery unit by October or November.

“The aim is to not only provide state-of-the-art technology for medical services at the hospital, but also make them affordable to the common man. The average cost per patient will be between Rs 25,000 and Rs 30,000, whereas patients have to spend between Rs 1.5 and Rs 2 lakh at a private hospital,” Hota said.

“At present, robotic surgery facility is available in eastern India only at Apollo Hospital in Calcutta,” he said.

“SCB Medical College and Hospital will be the third government hospital in the country to have the facility after All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), New Delhi, and Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh,” he added.

Robotic surgeries involve considerably less incisions than standard operations, because the instruments can be inserted in the body through much smaller cuts. Robotic instruments can access hard-to-reach places in the patient’s body through minor surgical cuts.

“It will enable pin-point precision with magnified 3D images and enable the surgeons to accurately deal with problems in the most inaccessible parts of the body. The procedure will involve smaller incisions than laparoscopy, causing not only far less trauma and blood loss, but also result in quick recovery of the patient,” Hota said.

Robotic surgery may be used for prostrate operations, including removal of the tumour, gall bladder, and kidney operations and gynaecological surgeries related to ovaries, uterus and pelvis. It can also be used in kidney transplant procedures, coronary artery bypass, hip replacement and to cut away cancer tissue from sensitive parts of the body such as blood vessels, nerves or important body organs.

Source: India Telegraph

VIT University students develop robot that can climb up and down the stairs

Students of VIT University in Vellore have developed an autonomous robot that can climb up and down the stairs. The students hope that it can be used to deliver packages in multi-storey buildings.

Multi-storey office buildings require a number of human couriers to transfer files and packages. Using a robot to perform this task would reduce the cost of operation of businesses housed in such buildings.

The students said that it was a challenge to build a robot that can climb up and down the stairs without falling while simultaneously following a line on the floor for guidance.

Final year project students at VIT University Ayush Kumar from the school of electrical engineering and Pallavi Bhamare from the school of electronic engineering developed the robot under the guidance of faculty member Mathew Mithra Noel.

“Our caterpillar robot has been designed to climb the stairs by employing an artificial neural network (ANN)-based design. ANNs are simplified models of the human nervous system that can learn an arbitrary mapping between inputs and outputs,” said Kumar.

Pallavi said, “In this case, an ANN in the robot learned the mapping between its sensor inputs and control decisions (left, right and straight ahead) from a human trainer to smoothly follow curves and climb stairs.”

Built at a cost of Rs 25,000 with an additional Rs 12,000 for manufacturing, the robot is based on a supervised model. “So, the robot was trained to follow a white line track. It is energy efficient and takes about 15 cm steps and can easily carry a load of 1.5kg,” said Noel. The robot is 55cm tall and 18cm in breadth.

VIT chancellor G Viswanathan said that the university encouraged its students to invent, innovate and become entrepreneurs.

Source: Penmai

Borewell. Robot with a human touch

With three separate incidents of children falling into open borewells across the State since April 7, the Madurai Rescue Team, with its borewell robot, has been on its toes.

The team, led by M. Manikandan, a faculty of the Electrical and Plumbing Department at the TVS Community College, armed with its ingenious ‘Borewell robot’ played a vital role in the successful rescue of 4-year-old G. Harshan who was trapped in a borewell near Sankarankoil.

Visibly upset about the fact that they could not save 18-month-old Sujith, who had fallen into a borewell in Tiruvannamalai, the team says the robot was unable grip the hands of the baby due the position he was trapped in.

“Borewells these days are dug at great depth and when abandoned, are simply covered with gunny sacks. In most cases, the abandoned borewells do not have the inner pipe which results in the children getting trapped under mud from the sides of the pit which fall,” says Mr. Vallarasu, a mechanical engineer in a private firm, who is part of the team.

Say in case, people spend about Rs.40,000 for digging a borewell and then when they find no water, they retrieve the inner pipes that help them recover a portion of the money, the team says. And this often becomes the death trap as the slush and mud complicate the rescue operations.

The team members say that parents should refrain from panicking and should keep talking constantly to the child.

“The child should be immediately given oxygen. Any action which scrapes the sides of the pit and loosens the mud should be avoided,” they say. The robot is fitted with a high resolution camera, which is first lowered down into the borewell to monitor the position and movements of the child which is viewed on a mini TV.

“The robot has an ‘arm’ at the end of the structure which is lowered into a borewell through a rope and pulley. I have fashioned different kinds of arms which can be fitted to pull out the child depending on what position he or she is trapped in,” explains M. Thirunavukkarasu, another member and also a faculty member at the TVS College.

P. Rajkumar, a driver with a travels company, is the other member of the team.

The team was felicitated by the Rotary Club of Madurai West with the ‘Vocational Excellence Award’ on Friday where they said that the government should step in and equip the fire and rescue departments across the State with the robot.

“Even though I’ve stated many times that I’ve nurtured this idea and had to work for years to give it a shape, I pray each day that a need for the borewell robot should not arise and that children should stay safe,” Mr Manikandan said, accepting the award.

Source: The Hindu