30 teams from colleges throughout the State converge at NITK

Watching the spectators enthusiastically cheer on two robots in a fight, one could not help but notice that nearly all of them were boys, while only a handful were girls who often looked at their mobile phones, without really responding to the drama of the arena of “Robot War”.

The event, organised by the National Institute of Technology–Karnataka, saw 30 teams from numerous colleges, all of whom had built their own robots.

Irrespective of whether the women participated in building the robots, the students controlling the proceedings on Friday were all men. The enthusiastic cheering and whistling confirmed the adage that boys will be boys.

It was an interesting competition with the participants putting together a variety of robots on wheels. The goal was to damage the other team's machine and each robot was equipped with some mechanism for that purpose. One had a cutting tool attached to it while another had a hammer that rotated.

Loud cheers went up when one of the robots managed to push the other one off the arena — which was essentially a platform raised on rubber tyres. One team got disqualified for pulling the wires of the opposing team.

There was one team which was not satisfied with the results. The team from a college in Bangalore was upset with the ruling of the judges.

Mahantesh P.S. said when the team brought it up with the judges, the latter told them that the judges' verdict was final. Amit S.S. from the same team felt that their team had been unfairly judged.

The atmosphere was one of general engrossment in the events of day. Students milled around the campus, moving between venues, stopping in between at snack counters.

As darkness fell, students were entertained with a laser show. After the laser show, students could watch and play games such as the brick game, which was one of the earliest video games available in India. The game was projected through an LED screen on a large building within the NITK campus.

As a part of “socially conscious engineering”, the NITK released dozens of lanterns into the air, which floated up, glowing yellow in the starry sky.