Mangalore students' rover design wins national contest

The team 'Dreamers,' comprising four students from Sahyadri College of Engineering and Management, Mangalore, bagged the first place for their rover design at the 'Drill-droid' event of the National Students Space Challenge contest (NSSC 13) held at IIT, Kharagpur.

Addressing media persons, College Principal Dr Umesh M Bhushi said that Johnson Tellis, Fadil Luqman (Dept of Electronics and Communication Engineering), Gautham Nayak (Dept of Mechanical Engineering) and Aman Agarwal (Dept of Computer Science Engineering) have developed an innovative design of a rover-like vehicle which is termed as an 'all-terrain vehicle for use on the surface of the Moon'.

In the contest, the participants were expected to build a manual bot which would be capable of traversing a difficult terrain, having a drill mechanism attached. The mechanism should be able to drill at specific locations in the arena and also collect samples present underneath.

The 'Dreamers' team built a 6.5 kg rover like vehicle with an inbuilt drilling and sucking arrangement. ''The arrangement of drilling cum sucking was unique as it saves time and cost, as well as help reduce the size of the vehicle,'' explained Johnson Tellis, who was part of the team.

The bot was put into test at beach and road. The students took one month to develop the design spending Rs 18,500 with the whole hearted support of Dept of Electronics and Communication Engineering Associate Professor Prof Abdul Kareem. Sona Krishnan, Archana Shetty, Anvar, John Nikhil Poyyalil and Ishanth Kottary were also part of the team.

‘Focus on components’

As far as Indian Space research is concerned, it is high time to focus on components, says eminent researcher in the area of astrophysics, Prof B V Sreekantan. ''About 70 to 80 per cent of component industry is not qualified for space industry. Hence, we have to import all these important components,” he pointed. He felicitated the students for developing an innovative design and topping at the national-level contest.

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