THE FUTURE STARS
Two standout student projects at BITS Pilani have caught everyone’s attention. By Mridu Rai
Innovate, Achieve, Lead’ is the motto of Birla Institute of Technology ( BITS), Pilani and staying true to this slogan, two groups of students at BITS have developed projects which have been getting a whole lot of attention.
In 2007, a group of engineering students bound by a common interest in automobiles came together to form Inspired Karters and went on to build a Formula One car and an All-terrain vehicle. “We’re not into racing per se but are interested in the technical aspects of building a car from scratch,” says Saket Nihal, team captain, All-Terrain Vehicle.
“While working on the project, students have to apply those theories they’ve learnt from the first through the third year at BITS,” explains Professor Kuldip Singh Sangwan, associate professor of mechanical engineering and chief of the workshop unit at BITS. All their hard work seems to have paid off as the team was awarded the first place in Static Design Evaluation at Baje Sae India 2013. They are now working on two new projects: the first, to turbo charge a single cylinder 250cc engine of a Formula style prototype using electropneumatic gear shifting while the second is to install a four- wheel steering and global positioning system in its All- Terrain Vehicle; both of which are a first for a student project in India.
Derived from the sanskrit word achyut which means one who is imperishable, AcYut is India’s first indigenously developed humanoid robot. From its first version in 2008, AcYut is, at present, in its sixth version and a team of seven students at BITS are constantly at work looking for new ways to to innovate and upgrade. “Our aim is to make the AcYut as life- like as possible. It should be able to make simple decisions, interact with human beings and aid them in day- to- day activities,” says Kaustubh Nawade, student head of AcYut.
The AcYut team was adjudged the best humanoid in the teen size category at an international competition in Iran in April 2013 and have also been invited to demonstrate technology they have developed at prestigious institutions such as Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon University.
Inspired Karters team at Formula Student Hungary
(above) The AcYut team at RoboCup 2013 in Netherlands; The All-terrain vehicle competes in the SAEINDIA BAJA competition