IIT-B ushers robots into engineering colleges | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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IIT-B ushers robots into engineering colleges

The GenNext of technology will soon be accessible to many engineering student in the country, reports Snehal Rebello.

mumbai Updated: Jan 25, 2010 01:31 IST
Snehal Rebello

The GenNext of technology will soon be accessible to many engineering student in the country.

The basic technology of robotics will now be made available by the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) in engineering colleges.

The technology, comprising embedded systems, micro controllers and sensors, is found in everything from an electric kettle to an automobile.

After five years of development, IIT-B has developed a universal robotic research platform for educational use.

It’s a robot called Fire Bird V that allows engineering students to experiment, test and develop algorithms on their own.

The robot design has been licensed to NEX Robotics, a company started by a team in the Embedded Realtime Systems Lab at the institute. Through eYantra, a project by the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) to popularise the use of robotics in engineering colleges, students are now able to tinker with and develop their own robots.

“There is a huge need for automation in the Indian landscape and hence we are trying to push technology into small colleges,” said Professor Kavi Arya, project coordinator.

This work arose from our effort to teach Embedded Systems to students in remote engineering colleges through IIT-B’s Distance Education Programme.

“Our vision is to create a cadre of Indian engineers that is comfortable building machines and produces low-cost robotic implements and machines in any field,” said Arya.

Currently, while most colleges have an embedded systems course in their curriculum, students lack practical training.

Ten National Institutes of Technology and some state engineering colleges have been selected for the one-year pilot project where IIT-B will help set up small robotic laboratories.

Colleges have to use these robots for at least two courses in the curriculum. IIT-B will then scale up the project to 100 colleges in two years.

As an outcome of the project, the Vasantdada Patil College of Engineering, Sion, will soon set up a research and development department on robotics.