Now, robots enjoy a game of badminton

Mar 08, 2015, 07:48 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh

The word badminton conjures up images of Indian players Saina Nehwal, Jwala Gutta and Parupalli Kashyap in our minds. But on Thursday, the scenario was different at the Shiv Chhatrapati Krida Sankul, Balewadi in Pune where robots were seen playing doubles as part of the National Robotic Contest 2015.

Engineering students from Maharashtra, New Delhi, Orissa, Jalgoan, Tamil Nadu and Kanpur participated in the event
Engineering students from Maharashtra, New Delhi, Orissa, Jalgoan, Tamil Nadu and Kanpur participated in the event

Over 80 engineering colleges across India participated at the event that was based on the theme of Robominton. Defending champions Nirma Institute of Technology, Ahmedabad, who emerged as winners for the seventh time, will represent India at the International Robocon 2015, which will be held at Indonesia in August.

Shavnak Chokshi, a third year student of electronics at Nirma Institute of Technology, said, “We kick started the Robocon project in December 2014 and practised daily for around five to six hours.”

Some of the robots were seen running on a Bluetooth device connected to the laptop, while some had sensors. Others were manually operated while some were automatic devices run on a remote.

Raising funds for robots
With little assistance from their respective colleges, students raised funds for their robots themselves. Ashutosh Roy (20), a third-year student of the mechanical wing of Government College of Engineering and Research, Avasari in Ambegoan said, “We have spent around R6 lakh to build our robot.

We kick started the project in August 2014 and practised for five hours every day after college. We have used numatic cylinders and brushless motors so that our speed of motors can be controlled. Most of the students in our college hail from rural areas. In order to raise money, we started conducting workshops related to engineering as a career in nearby schools and junior colleges.”

Students of Dr Bhaushaheb Nandurkar College of Engineering and Technology, Yavatmal, made their robot on a shoestring budget of R70,000. Dheeraj Manmode (19), a second year mechanical engineering student of the college said, “We made our robot with agricultural equipments and recycled products. The motor that we have used for the robot is the same one that is used to draw water from wells. The robot’s wheels are made from tyres of toys.”

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