Beyond Academics: RoboManipal – Destination NASA2 min read
Their flair in bending metal and their knack to fiddle with wires brought them not only the chance to be proud innovators but also earned members of RoboManipal the much esteemed opportunity to be a part of India’s delegation to compete at the NASA Lunabotics 2013.
Currently working on a tree-climbing robot to help the Karnataka government with research, the robotics club of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), is one of the five Indian teams chosen to feat at the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida. The competition is to be held in May and is to be attended by a team of 15 people from RoboManipal for which work has already begun in April last year. The challenge is for students to design and build an excavator, called a Lunabot that can mine and deposit a minimum of 10 kilogram of lunar simulant within ten minutes.
Started two years back, RoboManipal is a 40 member club which comprises of students from various branches and streams across MIT, specializing in robotic technology and strives to excel in the fields of robotics and automation. “I’m proud to say that MIT is one of the five colleges that are selected from India to participate in Florida. The best thing about RoboManipal is that students from all years can be a part of it and will help them gain a lot of knowledge regarding robotics which is not easily obtained elsewhere,” says a proud Ritesh R. Bhat, Convenor and faculty advisor of RoboManipal who obviously has a bigger role than just teaching.
With a core team of eight members, RoboManipal is the only one of its kind in the university town and is sponsored by National Instruments India, Bangalore and is partially funded and assisted by Manipal University.
“I used to be very apprehensive about robots but joining RoboManipal has really enhanced my skills and got me into my position of team leader in the field of systems engineering for the Lunabotics event happening in 2013,” says Aditya Kamath, a third year MIT student. I got the opportunity to use expensive instruments that are usually not accessible by everyone and they’ve helped me implement my ideas to the robots that we’re making, adds the excited team leader.
Sub-edited by Priyanka Sharma
Beyond Academics is a series of features which brings to light various student initiatives that bring about a change in Manipal. Our readers must understand that we do not intend to profile the organisations/clubs but rather focus on the initiative as and when an event associated with it is held.