CHENNAI: Just days after a group of youngsters set out to achieve the Guinness Record for the most number of Rubik’s Cubes solved in an hour, IIT-Madras Shaastra was the site of another record attempt. At stake this time was an entry into the Limca Book of Records. Just past 2.30 in the afternoon, the 25 hand-built hovercraft did what they needed to do without a hitch.
The record attempt was a collaborative effort of 72 students from over 15 colleges who attended the workshops at Shaastra 2016, IIT-Madras’ annual techfest. The record that was being attempted, for the first time in the Limca Book of Records, was the simultaneous operation of 25 hovercraft - all with autonomous controls, without any mishap for over four minutes.
“We pulled it off. There hasn’t been any such entry in the Book of Records so far. All that remains is for Limca to verify it and we’re in,” said Nikhil Gupta, one of the Shaastra 2016’s coordinators for the record attempt. The techfest has a tradition of breaking and setting new records for several years now. Students from both IIT-M and other competing colleges at the event have got their names on the record books for a wide variety of feats - from a quadrotor with maximum flight time to the first virtual band, and even for the largest hologram. Shaastra’s Cube Open has also been declared the largest Cubing event in Asia by World Cube Association at one point. This particular record was set by using hovercraft, all built during the host of robotics workshops conducted at the four-day event and was a step up from autonomous wheeled robots that were used for the attempt last year. “We try to do something more difficult every year. This year, this was it,” said Gupta.