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SRM University Bags the Prestigious National Robotics Award for “Best Economical Robot” at the ABU Robocon 2014

 


ROBOCON
The Asia-Pacific Robot Contest (ABU Robocon) is an Asian Oceanian College robot competition, founded in 2002 by Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. In the competition robots compete to complete a task within a set period of time. The contest aims to create friendship among young people with similar interests who will lead their countries in the 21st century, as well as help advance engineering and broadcasting technologies in the region. The event is broadcast in many countries through ABU member broadcasters.

Each year the competition has different topics, but generally speaking two or more robots must be used to complete the tasks. One of the robots would be manual control while the others are automatic. To build the robots, contestants, who are restricted to be undergraduate students, must possess rich knowledge in programming, mechanical design and electronic circuit design. As each year the theme differs completely, the robots have to be designed from the scratch. The main challenge every year is to complete the problem statement within the stipulated time of three minutes. During the three minutes, every team has to prove its mettle and their whole year’s hardwork is at stake.

ROBOCON India
To qualify for the International ABU Robocon contest, several engineering colleges from India compete amongst themselves.
Since 2005, the Robocon India Nationals are being hosted by MIT group of Institutions in Pune. Apart from the winner, there are eight other awards to be bagged by the participating colleges.

ROBOCON in SRM
SRM University has been taking part in ABU Robocon Nationals since 2011. It was started by a group of alumni consisting of SiddhantDhall, Anirudh Sunil Nath, VivekRanjan,Satyabrata Satapathy and many others, who bagged the Best Innovation Award in DRDO Rover Challenge. From there on, the legacy was passed on to their juniors, who took the level of Robotics in SRM to a different dimension.

In 2012, SRM Robocon team stood fourth in the league matches, completing the problem statement along with MIT Pune, Nirma University, and IIT Madras. SRM team stood 10th out of the 60 participating colleges. In 2013, the team was among the top 20 teams out of the 80 participating teams, showing yet again a consistent performance with innovatively designed robots.

2014 Theme
In 2014, the ABU Robocon Internationals are being held in Pune, India hosted by MIT Academy of Engineering in the month of August. The theme chosen this year is “A Salute to Parenthood”, honouring parents for their immense contribution. This year the problem statement included two robots - A Manual Parent Robot and an Autonomous Child Robot.  The Parent robot has to carry Child robot up-to the play zone and the Child robot plays game activity. Each team playsthree (3) game activities such as Seesaw, Pole walk and Swing.Once the Child Robot completes three (3) activities, it can challenge thefourth game activity, which is set in the middle of the park.The teamsuccessfully completing the fourth game activity first; accomplishes“SHABAASH” (appreciation) and is declared “The Winner”.

2014 Performance
The recruitment for the 2014 SRM Robocon Team started as early as in the month of April, 2013. The various engineering branches including ECE, Mechanical, CSE, Mechatronics, IT, E&I, ICE among the many took part in the recruitment process, out of which 18 new recruits were incorporated in the team along with six members from the 2013 Robocon Team.  The new recruits were intensively trained for three months by the six core members to introduce them to the various technologies used in the previous Robocon competition by the team.

In August, the R&D for the 2014 competition was initiated and various tasks were assigned to each domain i.e. Mechanical, Electronics and Programming. The problem statement was introduced on 18th August, 2013 by the Robocon India organization. Hence, only six months’ time was there to complete the theme. After the introduction of the problem statement, a plan for the next six months was made, this incorporated all the holidays, exams etc.

As said by the Mechanical lead of the team Nikunj Panchal (Pre-Final Year Mechatronics Engg) various designs were put forward by the team members and each designs’ practicality and feasibility was assessed and analyzed by the whole team. Out of the many designs, some were chosen on which the work was started. The team was divided into sub teams on the basis of each design.

After working for a month on each design, some prototypes were made in accordance with the arena and their testing was initiated. Taking into account the success and failures of all the designs, an improvised main design for the Parent robot and Child robot was made, which was fast, light weight, robust as well as efficient and reliable.

To complete the robots on time the members worked hard taking night shifts as well as staying back the whole December during the winter break, the fabrication of the robot, lasted for 2 months, till the end of January. The members also worked after the college hours to further fasten the fabrication process which was lengthy as well as time consuming. 

Testing was the most important part of the project. Here various mechanical, electronic as well as programming faults were debugged which further increased the reliability of the robots. As the completion relies solely on the basis of performance in Pune and that too for a few minutes, the team members had to make sure that every component of both the robots were environment adaptable as well as consistent in every run within the time constraint of 3 minutes. Till the end of February final testing phase was completed and backups of robot parts were purchased. The team packed the robot and sent it via truck along with 2 members for safety purpose. Other team members left for Pune later by train".

Mr. J. Vijayprabhu, Faculty Advisor

 Mr. J. Vijayprabhu, Assistant Professor, Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering

The team spirit held by every student was amazing. At the end, all the effort that was put by the team bagged SRM “The Best Economical Robot” and was prized with a Trophy and a Momento. This was among the 8 trophies which were given to the top teams. Finally I would like to say 99% hard work and 1% inspiration makes a team perfect. 

The SRM Robocon Tech Team is thankful to the  Director (E&T) Dr. C. Muthamizhchelvan for the constant support and enlightenment towards achieving this success ever since the inception of Robocon in SRM University.

Romin Chandresh Gajjar (Pre-Final Year Mechatronics Engg) 

 The Team Leader says,

It was the hard work put in by all the team members and the Guiding Visionary Seniors Triyambak Tripathy(Final Year Aerospace Engg), Mihir Shah(Final Year Mechatronics Engg), Dinesh Sutar(Final Year Mechanical Engg) and Cheerudeep Chintha(Final Year ECE) that we reached such great heights. 

 

 

Nikunj Panchal (Pre-Final Year Mechatronics Engg)

Mechanical Team Head

Various designs were put forward by the team members and each designs’ practicality and feasibility was assessed and analyzed by the whole team. Out of the many designs, some were chosen on which the work was started. The team was divided into sub teams on the basis of each design. After working for a month on each design, some prototypes were made in accordance with the arena and their testing was initiated. Taking into account the success and failures of all the designs, an improvised main design for the Parent robot and Child robot was made, which was fast, light weight, robust as well as efficient and reliable.To complete the robots on time the members worked hard taking night shifts as well as staying back the whole December during the winter break, the fabrication of the robot, lasted for 2 months, till the end of January. The members also worked after the college hours to further fasten the fabrication process which was lengthy as well as time consuming.

Sorabh Gandhi (Pre-Final Year ICE)

Alternate Team Lead

Whole February month was reserved for testing. Testing was the most important part of the project. Here various mechanical, electronic as well as programming faults were debugged which further increased the reliability of the robots. As the completion relies solely on the basis of performance in Pune and that too for a few minutes, the team members had to make sure that every component of both the robot was environment adaptable as well as consistent in every run within the time constraint of 3 minutes. Till the end of February final testing phase was completed and backups of robot parts were purchased. The team packed the robot and sent it via truck along with 2 members for safety purpose. Other team members left for Pune later by train.

Vinayak Soni (Pre-Final Year ECE)

Manual Robot Operator and Lead Programmer

SRM competed with various teams of the total 90 teams. The Manual robot was one of the fastest and efficient bots which reflected the standards of the technologies that SRM While making the bots. It was an amazing time driving the robot and winning appreciation for the University.

 

 

Manik Narang (Pre-Final Year IT)

Autonomous Robot Operator and Programmer

It was a challenging task to run behind the autonomous robot in the practice arena and maintaining presence of mind during the ongoing match. The autonomous robot was a challenging task to be coded earlier but after integrating it with proper communication between robots the task became simpler.

 

 

A.D. Giridhar (Second Year CSE)

Manual Robot Operator and Programmer

We made the Arena in Our Lab itself as soon as the Problem Statement was out ,which was analogous to that in the actual Competition which helped us a lot to practice and perfect each Algorithm .

 

 

Triyambak Tripathy (Final Year Aerospace Engg)

Senior Core Robocon Member and Former Team Lead

This was the 4th time SRM University is participating since their inceptions in the year 2011.We are since 2012 considered as amongst the fierce and competent team in the Nationals. The proliferation of the team with respect to Innovations is tremendous and we encourage a lot of juniors right from their First year to have that sort of inclination as it very important in this Competition.

 

Shah Mihir Rajesh   (Final Year Mechatronics Engg)

Senior Core Robocon Member and Former Lead Systems Integrator

Each Year we try and Implement New technologies in our Robots and thereby increasing the Reliability of the System and making it more Robust. We would like to thank the University for the Trust that they have bestowed on us each year as we progress towards the Ultimate Goal of Winning the International Robocon. 

 

Dinesh Sutar  (Final Year Mechanical Engg)

Senior Core Robocon Member and Former Mechanical Team Lead

After the Robocon 2013 experience, we learned few of new mechanisms and tried to implement it this year as well as we ensured that the vibrations produced in the Robot due to Locomotion are eliminated. 

 

 

Cheerudeep Chintha (Final Year ECE)

Senior Core Robocon Member and Former Electronics Team Lead

We focused towards reducing the size of the Printed Circuit Boards as well as mused over to the idea of minimum wiring in the Robot due to which debugging became easy.