The Scholars' Avenue

September ’05 Issue: Robotix Workshops

The month of August once again saw the Robotix Society dish out a series of Sunday-evening workshops for novices to the technical realm.

The idea, mooted last year, had proved to be a huge boost, with in-house participation from IIT Kharagpur for the all-India Robotix event at Kshitij 2005 going up four-fold.

As before, the motivation was straightforward – to give prospective in-house participants an insight into the competitive rounds at the final event in early February besides providing spoonfuls of the pertinent technical know-how. Given that as many as 250 teams from all over the country had slugged it out for the top honours at Robotix 2005, every bit of useful information for this year’s edition is God-sent.

The spectrum of lectures at the workshops ranged from basic electronic circuits for manual robot controls and locomotive drives for vehicle-based machines to sensors used in autonomous robots and algorithms for programming-based events. Based upon last year’s feedback, it was felt that the onus should be on keeping the workshop simple. Ironically, the audience, even though primarily comprised of first years, found it so elementary that they opted to give the later lectures a miss, bringing down the attendance to around 150 from a healthy 250 for the very first Sunday. Robotix Head, Anant Choubey joked, “The level of the next few sessions might be stepped up to an overdose, if thats indeed the case!”

Governor for Robotix, Sumandeep Banerjee, nicknamed ‘Professor Golu’, was instrumental for captivating the audience with his oh-so-professional standards of teaching. Robotix shall carry on the legacy all the way to Kolkata when his technical video lectures, painstakingly prepared at CET, shall be aired at the Robotix publicity workshop on behalf of Kshitij at the Science City Auditorium on September 25, 2005.

Fresh selections for the Kharagpur Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Group (KRAIG), also drew large crowds. Interviews were conducted after a written test, and candidates were judged on the basis of the design submitted for this year’s mechanical challenge, ‘Top-sy Turvy’, at Robotix 2006. KRAIG also conducts classes on hardware design, AI, DIP and embedded systems, apart from a fortnight-long workshop in December. The Robotix Society plans to use KRAIG as a springboard for IIT Kharagpur’s participation at various levels of national and international Tech-fests.

- Chintan Thakkar

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