The Young Scientist Lab at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Hyderabad, one of the five youth labs inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi, is making remarkable progress in the development of cutting-edge weapon systems, including 'swarm drones' with artificial intelligence capabilities for intelligent enemy attacks. Led by Parvathaneni Sivaprasad, the DRDO youth lab is also involved in projects such as 'Gun on Drone' and 'Rat Cyborg'.
The lab's research on 'asymmetric technologies' focuses on developing a fleet of intelligent drones called 'swarm drones' that work together as a unified force to engage enemy targets. Their innovative capabilities were showcased during a performance at the 'Rashtra Raksha Samarpan Parv' event in November 2021, leaving the nation impressed.
Additionally, the lab is working on a 'Gun on Drone' system, equipped with a Joint Venture Protective Carbine (JVPC), which can identify and accurately fire upon targets with intelligence-guided precision. This drone also possesses an 'evading trajectory' feature that allows it to escape enemy counterattacks.
The lab's endeavors extend beyond aerial warfare, with the development of an underwater autonomous vehicle capable of launching underwater attacks.
Another intriguing project is the creation of a 'Rat Cyborg', which involves controlling and utilizing a mouse's brain as a surveillance tool for ground operations. The lab is dedicated to advancing future-generation weapon systems.
The swarm drones developed by the lab operate autonomously, distinguishing them from conventional drones that require human operators. Leveraging artificial intelligence and remarkable coordination, these drones exhibit the capabilities of a well-trained army, enabling them to execute coordinated attacks.
In the event of an enemy attack leading to the destruction of some drones, the remaining drones can adapt and alter their strategy accordingly. This technology is currently limited to only a few countries worldwide.
The atmosphere within the young scientists' team at the DRDO lab resembles that of a college canteen. The lab's environment fosters an entrepreneurial spirit akin to a start-up incubation center, juxtaposed with the military discipline and commitment that DRDO is renowned for.
Prime Minister Modi envisioned this youth team to operate with the freedom and intellectual curiosity of college students, embarking on new intellectual adventures.
On January 2, 2020, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the five young scientist labs to harness the potential of young minds in technological advancement and research, recognizing that senior scientists may not possess the same level of zeal.
These labs include an artificial intelligence lab at IISC Bangalore, a quantum technologies lab at IIT-Bombay, a cognitive technologies lab at IIT-Madras, and two labs in Hyderabad.
The DRDO lab specifically recruits individuals below the age of 35 from various DRDO departments, focusing on their passion and willingness to explore new frontiers rather than promotions.
The young scientists in the lab enjoy complete freedom compared to traditional labs. The asymmetric principle guides their research, aiming to maximize damage to the enemy at minimal cost.
Their primary objective is to contribute to the defense sector through advanced technology areas such as artificial intelligence and robotics, encompassing the development of drones, robots, cyborgs, and network-centric weapons capable of mounting large-scale attacks on land, air, and water.