About Me

Pilani, Rajasthan, India
I am an engineering student currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Electronics & Instrumentation from BITS Pilani, Pilani campus. My hobbies are reading novels- fiction and non-fiction alike, playing and watching football, dabbling with new software and going through blogs. I love reading Electronics For You. It has helped me a lot in my college life. And sometimes, people around me.

Hope you find this blog useful. Thank you.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

About Robotics and Techfests

Hello everyone. In this post, I will be sharing basic generalized information for robotics events in major technical festivals and also a list of some of the major technical festivals (more popularly, “techfest”) in Indian engineering colleges.

Technical festival – briefest info 

One of the parameters on which an engineering college is judged by people is the quality of its technical festival. You will notice that the technical festivals of the top engineering colleges in India are very reputed. The IITian techfests are all very well known and well-attended by colleges from all over India. The major features of a good techfest are the quality of their workshops, guest lectures and the diversity in events. Events range from technical to non-technical and further, the events may be multi-disciplinary which cranks up the participation.

Robotics in techfests

All the major techfests feature robotics events which generally have a pre-declared problem statement. The teams or individuals are supposed to register for the event online. Some techfests also require the teams to submit a Team Description Paper (TDP) or some other similar document, at least a month before the event. In the TDP, apart from the team description, the teams also have to let the organisers know as to how they are going to tackle the problem statement, a photograph/video of the robot progress, the brief list of inventory used etc. The TDP deadline also acts as a wake-up call to the teams that had conveniently registered in full enthusiasm and forgotten all about it on-campus (Talking from experience :P).

General problem statements

Generally the problem statements require the team to make a manual robot or/and an autonomous robot

The manual robot problem statements generally revolve around picking up objects and storing it on the bot itself. Generally, there are restrictions in terms of the bot dimensions apart from others. Other types of manual robot statements are also possible – like building a ‘climbing robot’ that climbs up a flight of stairs or a vertical stack of rods. It depends from event to event and techfest to techfest.

As far as the autonomous robots statements are concerned, generally the teams are supposed to build an obstacle-avoiding robot or a line-follower robot. An obstacle-avoider is supposed to go from one point on the arena to another without colliding with any obstacle placed purposefully by the organisers. The line-follower robots are supposed to do the same but instead of obstacle-avoidance, the constraint here is that the robot has to move on a given circuit without stepping outside the track. These are the general cases. The other variety of autonomous robot very commonly a part of robotics events is the ‘IP-based robots’. IP is Image Processing. The task generally involves either number-recognition, character-recongnition or simply color recognition. And once this is done, the robot moves according to the required movements. Here too, there are restrictions based on dimensions generally.

The events that involve both manual and autonomous robot generally involve the transfer of contents lifted/collected by the manual robot to the autonomous robot following which the autonomous bot has to start moving. Such events are considered quite tough and also carry a large prize money.

One important restriction – many techfests require you to solder the circuits yourself or if you are getting the circuits printed, you are required to provide the Gerber files (they are like the blueprint of your PCB) of that circuit to the concerned organisers.

Links to technical festivals

Given below are major technical festivals, their organizing colleges and links to their websites.

      a)      The order of the under-mentioned fests is random and does not indicate ranking or anything else.
      b)      The source of the following information is Shubham Sharmathis is his e-pensieve J - I have just formatted the data and presented.

Sr. No. - Name – College - Link
1) Techfest - IIT Bombay – www.techfest.org
2) Tryst – IIT Delhi – www.tryst2011.com
3) Techniche – IIT Guwahati – www.techniche.org    
4) Techkriti – IIT Kanpur – www.techkriti.org
5) Kshitij – IIT Kharagpur – www.ktj.in
6) Shaastra – IIT Madras – www.shaastra.org
7) Technozion – NIT Warangal – www.technozion.org
8) Mindbend – NIT Surat – www.mindbend.in
9) Tathva – NIT Calicut – www.tathva.org  
10) Pragyan – NIT Trichy – www.pragyan.org
11) Engineer – NIT Surathkal – www.engineer.org.in
12) Renaissance – DCE, Delhi – www.rentech.in
13) Kurukshetra – COE Guindy, Anna University – www.kurukshetra.org.in
14) Felicity - IIIT Hyderabad – www.felicity.iiit.ac.in
15) Neuron – MNIT, Jaipur - www.neuronmnit.in
16) APOGEE - BITS Pilani, Pilani campus - www.bits-apogee.org
17) Quark - BITS Pilani, Goa campus - www.bits-quark.org 

Mind you all, the list is not comprehensive or restrictive or suggestive. It is only indicative. :P 

So what are you waiting for? Search for the event of your choice and start preparing!

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