The autonomous underwater vehicle – Amogh – designed by a team of IIT Madras students has fared well in various competitions.

A team of nine students from IIT Madras has undertaken a project to build an autonomous underwater vehicle. This is a robot which among other things, can capture images underwater and process them and respond to it autonomously, as opposed to a remotely controlled underwater vehicle. “All countries — the U.S., the U.K., China and others have autonomous underwater vehicles in operation. India too needs to develop this technology indigenously and in an inexpensive manner,” says Ravikiran who is one of the team members. According to him, there are a couple of such robots and many built by student groups, but none is up to the level of technology required today.

Getting started

Initially, a group of four students — Vineeth, Ravikiran, Rakesh and Kishore got together and thought of taking up this project. They soon enlisted the help of second year students who showed interested and got started on this project.

Other students in the team are Sanchit, Ravitej, Ramnaresh, Prashant and Abhinav. The students hail from mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, oceanology and computer science and engineering. Though they come from different departments, their common interest in robotics is what brought them together.

“It is a student driven project,” says Ravikiran, “but when we have any doubts we go to Professor V. G. Chandy from the Oceanology department for help. He is our faculty adviser.”

The seed to their project was the desire to participate in the Robocon contest, which is an international contest and for which every country has to submit a single problem statement.

They came up to the semi-final of the India competition. It was this experience that gave them the idea to develop the autonomous under-water vehicle.

Their next target is the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle System International, which is a competition held at San Diego every year. Since they were unable to test their robot this year, they plan to test and calibrate their AUV in time for next year’s competition at San Diego.

The team has won acclaim in various quarters — the national competition held by National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai; the Student Design Competition conducted by National Design and Research Forum and National Fair of India Innovation Challenge, to name some.