Stage Set for Bigger, Better Shaastra - The New Indian Express

Stage Set for Bigger, Better Shaastra

Published: 03rd January 2014 07:52 AM

Last Updated: 03rd January 2014 07:52 AM

The 15th edition of Shaastra, the annual technical festival of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, will kickstart on January 4, promising a grander show than the previous years, with 52 events spread across four days. While the technology would form the backbone of all the events, this year’s edition is themed ‘breaking boundaries’ for a reason.

This edition will see students taking their research work beyond Earth.

The Lunar Rover challenge will have participants trying to design a rover that can move over a platform similar to the terrain surface of the moon and send pictures. “Team Indus from India is one of the 13 teams that has been shortlisted by Google to design a lunar rover. A few of our IIT students are working on the project. With this event, the team is crowdsourcing the best ideas for land rover design,” said Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT Madras.  The best design might be adapted for use on the moon.

Yet another highlight is the Pan IIT Research Expo, which, for the first time, will see even participants from other IITs exhibiting their works on January 5 and 6. Also, giving a platform for exchange of ideas among research scholars, alumni and industrialists is the Research Confluence, which will be held on January 3 after the opening ceremony, at 5.30 pm. At the Envisage, the much appreciated techno-tainment programme of Shaastra, students will be aiming to enter the Limca book of records by building the world’s biggest quadrotor, which, as a student explains, is similar to the remote-controlled camera seen in the movie 3 Idiots.

The second attempt would be to create the biggest ‘persistence of vision’ wheel that would play around with the concept of speed to create a graphic image.

L S Ganesh, dean students, IIT M, also briefed on a few interesting student-made products that would be on display at the festival.

This includes an anti-theft device for laptops based on the concept of radio frequency, student’s classroom attendance tracking device and safety design for large tankers, to mention a few. “Students here have serious fun. They work outside the classrooms to come up with designs that can be used in the real world,” says Ganesh, capsuling the whole idea of Shaastra in a sentence.

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