CHENNAI: Among a clutch of technically-robust events and topical lectures, IIT-M’s tech-fest Shaastra has also been conducting workshops for students and interest groups, who lined up to register and dabble in subjects of interest to them. These workshops focus on addressing the basics of several pursuits such as - developing apps, creating a robot or building a basic glider.
Omkar Valvikar, one of the three student organisers of a workshop for building gliders, says that students from several different streams like Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering came to learn the basic principles of aerodynamics and how to set a model glider into flight. “It was partly influenced by the fact there is such a demand for drones today that can help in everything from delivering goods to recording events,” he explains.
“A technology like that comes down to this simple prototype. This basic model,” he says holding out a rubber band strapped paper glider, “can be tweaked to turn it into a vertical-land glider, a GPS controlled drone or any other aerodynamic model you want. It works on the same principle,” he says.
Although having a generic, non-confounding name like ‘Rubber-Band-Powered Glider’, the workshop ran for two days, purely on popular demand. It helped students from other disciplines understand how to build their own gliders, and experiment on gliders available in the market.
Similarly a rudimentary Robotics workshop called ‘Ball following’ also witnessed full attendance. Student reps taught the art and science of building one’s own Robots. “People are interested in knowing how Robots work. This isn’t a purely single-disciplinary work. Building a robot takes 50 per cent coding, 30 per cent electrical engineering and 20 per cent mechanical understanding of parts and assembly,” said one of the student organisers of the workshop. “As there is a future possibility of human labour being replaced by robots, students feel the need to understand how they work and how they can build their own,” he adds.
The workshop taught students to build a Robot that is able to follow a simple command - in this case,something as simple as following a ball.