Another first as KIYG has an eye in the sky courtesy the drone

Members of Quiddich Innovation tend to their 'bird' at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune

Major sports events across the world now depend on drones to bring the action close for their television viewers, and Khelo India Youth Games 2019 is no different, where it is being done for the first time at Khelo India.

With action shifting outdoors after two days of mostly indoors competition, “An eye in the sky” has has got down to work at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex here.

First up for Akool and his compact team of four was the opening day of the athletics event with their Aspire 2 drone climbing, swooping and hovering in turn as runners lined up for the 100-metre heats.

“We’ve all learnt on the job,” he notes with a smile as Ranjeet expertly manipulates the helicopter’s controls.

So far, their company, Quiddich Innovation Labs has done a fair share of aerial photography, most of it around sports. “We did the last IPL season, the recent Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneshwar and even the Premier Kabaddi League, with augmented reality graphics thrown into the mix for the indoor event,” Akool says. “It was a global first.”

Here in Pune, Ranjeet and Siddharth are the “glamour guys” as they do most of the actual flying while Prateek is the whiz who ties it all together – the graphics and the pictures from their eye in the sky.

Their ‘bird’ has a ceiling of 500 metres, but Indian rules limit drones to an altitude of 200 feet. “That’s mostly enough for our work,” Akool says. “The limitation is more in terms of battery life, which is about 20 minutes.”

So as the camera zooms in and pans away during outdoor action at the Games here, you now know how and where the picture came to you on the TV.