IIT Madras unveils Students’ International Competition Teams

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Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology Madras – Centre For Innovation (CFI) today (13th April 2018) unveiled the competition teams that have qualified for international events and will compete against college teams from all over the world this year.

The teams include CFI’s Team Raftar, which has built from scratch a Formula Race Car. They are the only Indian team to qualify for registration for Formula Student Germany 2018, in which students build a single-seat Formula Race Car with which they can compete against teams from all over the world. The team is among the sixty combustion teams to successfully register out of 173 teams from all over the world.

Team Anveshak has built a Mars Rover which qualified for the finals of University Rover Challenge last year and was demonstrated at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah Desert, U.S. The team has qualified again this year as well.

Team Abhiyaan built a ground vehicle which is capable of navigating autonomously via GPS way-points. Last year, they qualified for ‘Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition,’ an annual International Robotics event held at Oakland University, Michigan, U.S. It was one of the two teams from India which qualified for the competition.

Addressing a Press Conference in the campus on 13th April 2018, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “CFI has emerged as the model in the country for fostering hands-on innovation among students. IIT Madras students are found there in the hundreds throughout the year, developing prototypes for international contests, and precursors for products that can be spun off through start-ups. The academic year 2017-18 too has been, like past years, very productive for CFI.”

Envisioning glory to the institute in international competitions in which students compete against top engineering universities across the world, the internationally acclaimed student teams from CFI have consistently proven why IIT Madras is the best engineering institute in the country by bagging laurels at both national and international competitions over the years.

Speaking about CFI, Prof Sivakumar M. Srinivasan, Dean (Students), IIT Madras, said, “CFI has been a unique place at IIT Madras that has provided for nuts and bolts of imagination, experiential learning, creativity and planning. It has inspired many students into becoming innovators and inventors. There is tremendous enthusiasm among the teams participating in various competitions. This, I am sure, has helped build muscles of confidence in them.”

Further he added that CFI had now evolved into a model that every other Institute in the country wished to emulate. “In the years to come, I foresee this setup as a constant source fuelling growth in terms of nurturing confident entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs of tomorrow among our students,” added Prof Sivakumar.

The Centre For Innovation, a 24×7 ‘student lab’, was established in 2008 with funds donated by the batch of 1981. It was set up with a vision to encourage engineers to apply knowledge from their academic pursuits to ‘innovate’ and propose solutions to real-world problems. CFI serves as a creative hub – encouraging peer learning and providing a platform for ideas to manifest with the support of resources, workspace and mentoring.

Today, Raftar has developed into one of the country’s most respected and recognised Formula Student teams, heading into a strong sixth season, equipped with five valuable years of experience.

Team Anveshak was set up with a vision to inspire students to work on challenging problems in space exploratory robotics. Their underlying vision has now expanded with the team aiming to not only develop an all-terrain rover but also educate people on the importance of space research. With some minor modifications to the existing design, the rover can be used in defence for autonomous surveillance and reconnaissance missions in areas where human intervention is risky and in agriculture for soil data acquisition and autonomous farming. It can also be used for terrain exploration purposes.

Team Abhiyaan is working with a mission to create efficient and safe transportation solutions. The bot has the capability of doing several kinds of autonomous tasks, ranging from autonomous delivery bot and self-driving car to autonomous warehouse forklift, with some modular additions to the existing chassis.