On 25 February 2016, the academic year 2015-2016 saw its first robotics workshop, held by ROOTSTALK Learning Solutions in collaboration with CIIED.
Rootstalk is a startup in Dubai by a group of IITians. The company offers workshops unique to each educational institution. This is one of the very few companies accredited by KHDA in Dubai. With BITS Pilani Dubai Campus, Rootstalk made its debut to colleges.
This workshop had the first phase as a training on 25 February, and the second phase was a competition for 500 AED cash prize on 15 March 2016.
14 teams took part in this workshop to build an EDGE AVOIDER AUTONOMOUS BOT. The workshop commenced at 1pm and concluded at 8pm with a 45 minutes break in between. Harsh Surana and Marri Srinivas (both IIT Kharagpur Alumni) conducted the workshop, kicking off with assembly of chassis, DC motors and castor wheel. This is the body of the bot and provides mobility as well as a resting platform for breadboard, batteries and Arduino.
Harsh taught the basics oj arduino (a very popular micro-controller PCB) as mini activities. The first activity was to make an LED blink at intervals of 1 sec. In the second activiy, a push button was used to control LED blinking rates. Srinivas, Rohit helped teams in debugging the code and Ameya, Abhishek helped with breadboard circuits.
After the basics of arduino were explained and the the software Arduino Studio was familiarized, the working of the ultrasonic sensor was explained. The next step was to explain the pin connections of the motor driver IC.
Finally a flowchart for robot’s motion was designed, and Srinivas taught the coding syntax for it. Harsh and Srinivas then visited each group and helped them with debugging and add newer decisions to the bot’s motion which the groups felt would enhance the bot’s performance.
The second leg of this event, was held on 15 March 2016. 10 teams took part and it was a tough fight. The participants were asked to traverse their bots on a 4 metre long arena that had different shaped holes. To win the bot had to avoid falling in the holes and reach the finish line. The participants performed spectacularly, falling just a litlle short of reaching the finish line. Unfortunately no was able to reach the finish line. Kunal Sethi and Shaleen Bengani were awarded a prize of 100 AED to score the maximum points.
The effort of organizers from CIIED was unprecedented. Ameya Kulkarni, Nabeel Ahmed, Sree Spoorthy, Rohit Saluja and Abhishek Mahajan and the volunteer Gauri Khanna made this event possible by arranging 14 teams in just 3 days, and prepared the amazing arena for the competition.