New Delhi/Moscow: The world’s first hybrid ‘’aeroboat’’ has been built by an Indo-Russian joint venture was unveiled in Moscow on Tuesday at a start-ups event which was organized by Russia’s state-run Skolkovo Foundation. This ‘’aeroboat’’ is capable of travelling on land, water, snow and sand.
It is designed to access difficult terrains that include flooded or marshy areas as these areas make the use of regular boats difficult because of shallow water, patches of dry land or by marine vegetation.
This ‘’aeroboat’’ is designed by IIAAT Holding which is a joint venture between the International Institute for Advanced Aerospace Technologies and Indian Firm Millennium Aerodynamics.
A two day Startup Village annual event is held in Moscow in which this aeroboat is on demonstration in and around a pond. IIAAT holding member, Sukrit Sharan, who is in Moscow said in an interview that they have orders for more than 25 aeroboat units from private and government buyers in India of which they have already dispatched five for use in disaster management. He added that these aeroboats are much faster and robust than the comparable hovercrafts.
‘’ We have already exported around five units to India, both for transportation and disaster management applications. These delivered products are poised to have save hundred lives in India during the monsoon season when the regions experience floods,’’ Sharan said. He added ‘’after our success with Indian disaster management authorities, Russia’s Ministry of emergency Situations has shown very strong interest in these vehicles.’’
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Sharan even said that the aeroboat is more robust than Hovercrafts, with an estimated maintenance cost of $400 to $600 per year and is cheaper to maintain and fuel. He metioned that it runs on a ‘’hybrid’’ engine, which means it can run on either petrol or electricity, enabling users to reduce carbon emissions and increase efficiency. He told the sources that they will soon be equipping their aeroboats with IoT (Internet of things) technology as it will allow them to remotely monitor and control and diagnose the equipment as well as select faults.
According to makers, with room for 10 passengers and one crew member, the 6.5 m long aeroboat can handle steep slopes and embankments and does not require any infrastructure such as jetties, since it is amphibious. Sharan said, ‘’It’s possible to use hovercrafts, but they have speed limits and are very expensive to operate. Our amphibious aeroboats can provide high-speed year-round navigation, even when bodies of water are frozen like in Russia.’’