Regular-article-logo Wednesday, 29 November 2023

Students race to make military-mission robots

Four school teams from Jharkhand qualify for IRC league nationals

Our Correspondent Jamshedpur Published 29.11.18, 07:10 PM
Students compete in the junior category of IRC School League qualifier at Jamshedpur Public School in Baridih on Thursday.

Students compete in the junior category of IRC School League qualifier at Jamshedpur Public School in Baridih on Thursday. Picture by Bhola Prasad

The word comes from the Slavic word rabota, meaning labour. The objective is to make human life both easier and safer. A bunch of students here just showed how robots have a cool quotient like no other.

The 16th city qualifier of Season 9 of IRC School League — a phenomenally popular challenge for young and creative minds — was held at Jamshedpur Public School in Baridih on Thursday by Delhi-based EdTech company Avishkaar in association with The Telegraph.


Seven schools from Jamshedpur, Bihar and Bengal, each with one or more teams in the fray, participated in this qualifying round of IRC League, the theme this year being the promotion of R-ME concept or “robots in missions and expeditions”.

The challenge for schoolchildren was to come up with highly advanced, yet functional, robots for various missions conducted by the army, navy and air force. The machines that seemed most capable of conducting sophisticated expeditions and rescue operations went home with top honours.

The daylong competition, which saw East Singhbhum district education officer (DEO) Shivendra Kumar and chief scientist of CSIR-NML Mita Tarafder as special guests, was divided into three categories. The juniors were up to 14 years of age; the sub-seniors up to 16 years; and seniors up to 18 years. Each team comprised four members.

Eight teams qualified for the nationals, which will be held in New Delhi on December 15-16.

While Jamshedpur Public School was the only team to qualify among seniors, Ramkrishna Mission Vidyapeeth (Purulia, Bengal) and Jamshedpur Public School cleared the sub-senior contest.

Five teams made it in the junior category. These are Jamshedpur Public School and Motilal Nehru Public School (both Jamshedpur), two teams from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (Bariyahi, Bihar) and Chaman Sah Saraswati Vidya Mandir (Jagatpur, Bihar).

The junior teams had to make remote-controlled but wired mechanical robots to aid setting up of an emergency IAF base. The robots had to follow commands of their masters to lift or shift objects.

“Points were given on the basis of how they moved their robots and how perfectly the work was done,” said Raja Kumar, instruction engineer, Avishkaar.

“All teams were given medals and certificates. Initially, we thought of selecting three teams from each category, but many teams could not reach the cut-off marks of 50 out of 100. So, we had select the best across categories,” said Vijay Gupta, a member of Avishkaar.

The sub-seniors had to use infrared sensors and make their robots dodge landmines. The seniors had the toughest job of making their robots follow command via Wi-Fi signals.

“It was a thrilling competition. Great fun too. Our robots had to be both disciplined and swift,” said Abhinav Raj, a Class IX student of Vidya Vihar Residential School in Purnea, Bihar.

Tarafder said most schools participating from the steel city had Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL), which helped them come out with flying colours. “But, the main ambition of schools should be to get as many patents as possible,” she added.

Avishkaar has already conducted 15 city qualifiers across the country, including in Ludhiana, Indore and Ahmedabad.

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