Gears of War : TechSoc Robotics 2011-12


DSC08611This year, as usual, two robotics events were conducted under TechSoc. Manual robotics – during the odd semester and autonomous robotics during the even semester. Two of the most important and the biggest events of TechSoc, the competitions involved fierce competition between hostels fighting to wrest the TechSoc trophy back from Narmada.


TechSoc Manual Robotics :

TechSoc Manual Robotics was held on 12th of November at SAC with a total of 10 hostels (Alak, Tambi, Sharav, Tapti, Narmad, Godav, Ganga, Mandak, Saras and Jam) contesting to strengthen their position in Tech Soc.

A distinct problem statement, comparable to Shaastra, provided scope for a multitude of strategies to be followed up by the teams. For the very first time in TechSoc, the robots had to move on rails. It required an assembly of two robots – one to move on the rails and the other to suspend down from rails. The robots had to pick up batons which were located in the common zone. The particular gripping of a cargo object, sufficiently big in diameter (which had to be picked and placed) was very pretty challenging with only a few teams executing it.

The event commenced at 6:00 pm and the enthusiasm shown by the hostels was exceptional. Narmad had fast and swift robots while Jam and Godav did well at the gripping mechanisms. With many teams very close to the finish only Jam and Godav executed the problem statement.

The points awarded were partially absolute and partially relative.

The Points Tally :

  1. Godav – 4 pts
  2. Jamuna – 26 pts
  3. Narmad – 25.5 pts
  4. Mandak – 22 pts
  5. Alak – 6.5 pts

Freshies had a good exposure to the robotics scene in the institute with this event and their enthusiasm was evident in the fact that most of the hostels had freshies as their robot operators.


TechSoc Autonomous Robotics :

The deciding and the final event of TechSoc – autonomous robotics was held at SAC on the 31st of March. With the pressure of performing well to finalize the scores and subsequently the TechSoc trophy, the teams had started working on the problem statement long before. A total of 15 teams turned up with 6 hostels having two teams each to fight for 90 points.

The problem statement this year comprised of three stages to be completed in a given time constraint. The first stage involved controlling the bot through a computer, pretty much like a computer game where a car is controlled by arrow keys, giving students an exposure to explore a totally new feature called VSART. A time limit of 2 minutes was given to each team and most of them managed to complete it in less than 10 seconds, improvising on the fact that more points were alloted based on the remaining time.

The next stage was pretty straight forward with a line follower bot in the action. The arena however was pretty challenging with sharp turns and obstructions demanding focus on every aspect of programming. 4 minutes were allotted for this round.

The final round demanded the ADC (Analog to Digital Convertor) feature to be incorporated in the microcontroller wherein the bot had to measure a voltage drop between two plates and move accordingly to the required position.

An impressive initiative was taken up by the coordinators to involve and promote robotics culture amongst freshies where bonus points were awarded to the hostel that had freshies taking charge of the complete arena. Jam, Ganga and Alak gained a handful of points via this opportunity.

Tambi came with a quicker bot, while only Mandak managed to complete the final part of the problem statement. Saras’s bot featured intricate circuits and an LCD screen on the bot for debugging whereas Jam and Alak had robust bots.

The Points Tally :

  1. Jam – 27 points
  2. Tambi – 23 points
  3. Mandak – 17.5 points
  4. Alak – 13.5 points
  5. Saras – 9 points

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