Monday, 30th October 2017

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IIT robot goes the distance

A robot-driven vehicle called Eklavya won IIT Kharagpur the runner-up position in the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, recently.

By Subhankar Chowdhury in Kharagpur
  • Published 9.06.18
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The team that won (left to right) Rahul Krantikiran, Indu Kan Deo, Sanskar Agarwal, Poojan Shah and Harsh Maheshwari; and robot-driven vehicle, Eklavya 

Kharagpur: A robot-driven vehicle called Eklavya won IIT Kharagpur the runner-up position in the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, recently.

The robots were ranked according to the distance they covered in the designated arena while keeping to the lanes given by GPS coordinates, all the while avoiding obstacles on the way.

Eklavya, designed by the Kharagpur institute's autonomous ground vehicle (AGV) team, covered 260 feet, said an official of the institute.

The AGV team is a multidisciplinary research group.

"For prototype purposes, we work on Eklavya which is a three-wheeled, front-driven and front-steered electric vehicle fitted with cluster wheels," an official of the institute said.

Work for building the robot started in December last year under the supervision of Debasish Chakravarty, a professor of mining engineering at IIT Kharagpur.

"Students were required to work on image perception, simultaneous localisation and mapping, path planning algorithm, mechanical design and electronic design to come up with the robot-driven vehicle," Chakravarty said.

Rahul Krantikiran, one of the five members of the participating team, said they were asked to cover a distance of 600 feet.

"We covered a distance of 260 feet. Though the time was not specified, I think we took around 2.5 minutes to 3.2 minutes to cover the distance. The only team that could outperform us was the team from CART (Center for Applied Research and Technology), Inc. from Bluefield State College, US," said the student of computer science and engineering.

The team is exploring whether Eklavya can be fitted to an existing fuel-run vehicle.

"It requires advanced research. If it can be fitted to fuel-driven car, it will gain popularity," Chakravarty said.

Seven teams from India, including ones from IIT Kanpur and IIT Madras, took part in the competition held from June 1 to 4.