There may soon be a robot designed by students that can fill potholes and clean city roads.
The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) launched its pan-India robotics competition, E-Yantra, on Tuesday, open to all undergraduate engineering students. The institute will provide teams with a robot and a programme created for the robots, which participants can improve upon. One such programme enables robots to fill potholes. “Why can’t we create a jhadoo-khatka robot that can be used at public and private spaces? An important part of this initiative is to inspire youth to solve the problems of the nation by leveraging innovative thinking,” said Kavi Arya, professor and coordinator of E-Yatra.
The project has been sponsored by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) under its National Mission for ICT in Education programme. It aims to provide hands-on learning infrastructure to students with limited access to labs and mentors.
“Traditionally, when students wished to do a robotics project, they had to first build a robot, then work on it, often faltering at the first hurdle,” said Arya. “Now, they have a commodity robot and an existing open source code base.”
About 120 robots will be given to participants, who have 12 weeks to programme it. The finals will be held at the institute’s annual technology festival, Techfest, in January 2013. To register log on to www.e-yantra.org/register.