Tech mania hits IIT Campus

Jan 03, 2013, 10:21 IST | Hassan M Kamal

Over 50 exhibits, 150 workshops, competitions and lectures from some high profile individuals from across the fields of science and technology, and a total prize money of over Rs 17 lakh, the IIT Bombay Techfest 2013 has gotten bigger and better.

Starting from today, the Techfest is not only about technology. “We are essentially a techfest, but our aim this year is to also keep it fun and look into the various other factors that affect its development, and also, how technology can help solve our problems,” says Shrey Singh, media head, Techfest, 2013.

Ozone at IITB Techfest will feature dance and cultural performances, competitions and quizes

A greener dialogue
Perhaps that’s why Techfest for the first time will see students from 10 countries participate in an International Model United Nations, to promote cultural and technical exchange between different countries. The focus is also on green technologies, as over 750 colleges challenge each other in over 99 tasks to promote green technology and a cleaner India. “The tasks are designed to find out how we can make our campuses greener,” he adds.

The HIRO robot will be a major attraction at the IIT Techfest

Got an idea
The Techfest is also inviting young minds to think of solutions for problems within Indian society. Divided into five different genres, Ideate will offer prize money of `4 lakh to the winning ideas. “We have received nearly 1,000 ideas focusing on problems like child education and energy problems among others,” says Singh.

Learn, inspire
The main highlight of the three-day fest, starting from today, is lectures by high-profile experts like Indian astronomer Rakesh Sharma, Nobel laureates Amartya Sen and Eichi Negishi, Turing Award winner Stephen Cook and planetary geologist Amitabha Ghosh, among others. There will be also experts from fields such as social media and product engineering who will take participants through new avenues that technology has opened for them. “The lectures series is very popular among students as it give the a chance to interact with the best brains of the world. It brings in huge crowds. Besides, it’s a great opportunity to get them to know about things beyond technology, and how they are a part of it,” he adds.

Into the Future
What is a tech festival without robots, right? Well, the Techfest 2013 brings a live demo of some of the most path-breaking marvels in robotics including HIRO robot, Xaxhikoma and AirBurr. “The HIRO robot can think, learn and act by itself using artificial intelligence, whereas, the Xaxhikoma, from France, is a cute SUV-sized mobile robot that is quick on the roads as well dance and write using its pen. People are going to love them,” Singh adds.

The tech festival will also showcase some of the finest pieces of technical arts created using modern softwares. “The works on display are not only beautiful, but each comes with technicalities and information that when revealed and explained, will leave you awestruck,” says Singh. The intricate technical procedure behind each one of them will make one realise that it’s not only wonderful but also it’s an ‘intelligent and technical’ artwork.

The Techfest 2013, which is underway till Jan 5, offers a host of workshops, from building apps for Android to creating twin turbo helicopter to architectural design. “Unfortunately, registration for most of the paid workshops is over, but you can still apply for workshops like the one that talks of using wireless technology to build sensor networks or smart homes, and web development to create multimedia websites,” says Singh. Besides, there will also be a few free workshops like Judo at the Ozone section.

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