Students design India's answer to US drones

Jul 20, 2010, 08:36 IST | Amit Singh

Unmanned tank can be of particular help to security forces in low-intensity conflicts

Unmanned tank can be of particular help to security forces in low-intensity conflicts

The Defence Ministry has been spending crores developing equipments for protection against nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons and leakages but the students of a private university in Faridabad have come up with a unique cost-effective solution.

Prodigies: The Wizitank team with their invention, and guide Prof MS
Giri. Pic/MiD DAY

A group of three students have designed an unmanned ground vehicle 'Wizitank' that can serve and protect military, law enforcement and security professionals engaged in low-intensity conflict and anti-terrorism activities in urban and unstructured environments.

In order to navigate autonomously, the vehicle is mounted with sensors for evaluating the terrain and has software for interpreting the data, path planning to decide a safe course of action, and control to oversee that plan.

Tushar Chugh, third year mechanical engineering student of Manav Rachna College of Engineering who pioneered the entire operation said, "This vehicle is innovative and cost-effective. Sensing and interpretation of the terrain and environment are the most challenging tasks. This vehicle can help in generating terrain profile, detect positive and negative obstacles and build geometric profile."

"This can be part of the low intensity conflict/explosive ordnance disposal programme and homeland security to carry out tasks into a variety of undesirable, hazardous, and potentially life-threatening environments in stealth and NBC threats," Chugh added.


'Wizitank' is driven by four DC Geared motors (24V, 350rpm) and outfitted with 1 CCD camera, 2 ultrasonic sensors, a global positioning system and a digital compass. CCD camera will be mounted in the
centre and the two ultrasonic sensors are placed at left and right of the central camera. The centre portion of the vehicle has batteries for running the electrical circuits and DC motors (Battery used in Bikes 12V, 5Ah). In the rear end there is one E-Box and other electronic circuits, which are used as processing units. E-Box is the main brain and microcontroller only decides priority between digital compass and ultrasonic sensor output. Total Cost for the unmanned vehicle came to only Rs. 29,910.

The trio also represented the country at Imagine Cup 2010 Worldwide Finals in Warsaw, Poland where they featured in the top 15 teams of the tournament in their category.

Imagine Cup, organized by Microsoft encourages young people to apply their imagination, passion, and creativity to bring to life technology innovations that can make a difference in the world.

The technologies for the autonomous navigation are multidisciplinary which includes kinematics, real time perception system, multi sensors data fusion, localization and path planning and robust vehicle control.

'Wizitank' has been designed and carefully simulated to make sure that it traverses the path with no hindrance. "We have used chain drive and have mounted cogged belt over these chains.

It ensures a good tractive force between wheel and ground and better stability over uneven tracks resulting elimination of chances of skidding or toppling," said Retd. Wing Cdr. Prof. M.S. Giri, Dean, Academics, Manav Rachna College of Engineering, who also guided the students in this project.

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