IIT Madras Dazzles With Its Innovation Carnival

It’s an innovation carnival  at IIT Madras as in person campus life gradually revives  normalcy after two years of virtual learning amid the pandemic.

On Sunday the campus witnessed a display of student innovation, with the Dean Prof V Kamakoti cheering students saying “guys we are back”. 

Standing tall among the line-up was ‘Mockingjay”  a reusable sounding rocket (for research) developed by “Abhyuday Rocketry Team”. It also attempts to generate it’s own power for the electronics, from the vibrations during the flight. The innovation has qualified for the finals of A global competition “Spaceport America Cup” in the US, touted to be a first by any IIT in India. Speaking about the long term  prospects, Hari Sudhan  told tellmystory.in

“We can power the rocket’s electronics this way without batteries, it would become less heavy, cheaper and lighter without fuel.”

A Tesla like self driving car also drew attention. It’s designed for transport within large campuses, resorts  and closed communities. Students say this could break new ground eliminating the need for personal transport by communities. The institute’s Director took a ride. Shashank M Patil from Team Abhiyaan Autonomous Vehicle that developed this says “Its safer, reduces accidents no chances of human error; secondly parking spaces can be utilised sustainably.”

An artificial Intelligence based hexapod that keeps learning on its own from crawling  experiences  could explore terrains difficult or unsafe or hostile for humans to access.

Standing tall among the line-up of innovations at IIT Madras is "Mockingjay" a reusable sounding rocket that also aims to generate power from vibrations of the rocket.

Aswin Kumar, Team Lead, Hexapod said “It can walk and explore on new terrains without any explicit programming. It uses AI algorithm to learn to walk on any new terrain.” His colleague Basu Jindal added “Just like humans it learns on it’s  own as we incorporate artificial intelligence into machines.”

Responding to a question on worry that indiscriminate innovation would kill jobs, Kalluri Khyathi Sri, Robotics Lead explained “AI will result in a new set of domain with a new set of jobs. It will replace the regular jobs with a new set of jobs.”

An electric formula racing car by Rafter Formula Racing is hopeful of a breakthrough in developing faster charging and energy efficient technology.

Karthik Karumanchi, from the team says “Once it’s made into a commercial product, we expect 33% faster charging besides better pick up. Faster charging also means a lot of savings in power.”

Sharing the joy and excitement innovation projects bring, Suraj Rathi, from Team Abhiyaan said “We do all this out of our passion, on top of our other regular class work. I am really happy I am here and that we have the resources to work on these projects.”

Ranking number one among technical institutes in India, IIT Madras’ incubation centre nurtures promising innovations so they could turn into disruptive startups. Director Prof V Kamakoti says “We mentor them strongly and expose them to venture capitalists. Our 50000 strong alumni too help as part of this ecosystem.”

In global rankings IIT Madras ranks beyond 250. Innovations and futuristic ideas like these the institute hopes would richly contribute to come within the top 100 slots in a few  years.


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