Students and faculty members of VIT Vellore came up with a novel idea for this year’s Ayudha Pooja — letting robots do it.
A 30-second video of the event, which went viral on social media, was an instant hit among viewers. “For mechanical engineers, the celebration is about honouring machines and tools. So, we want that honour to be done by another machine,” said K. Devendranath Ramkumar, dean, School of Mechanical Engineering, VIT (Vellore).
After a three-day brainstorming session among students and faculty members, the school came up with the idea of using robots for the celebrations. The five-year-old laboratory of the school became the venue for the event. Two six-axled robots were programmed to do specific tasks — one held the bell, while the other did the pooja by showing aarti to the deity thrice. The event lasted around 10 minutes.
Mr. Ramkumar said it was part of an exercise for mechanical students to sharpen their engineering skills under the Union government-sponsored Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence (PURSE) project for transdisciplinary activities. The project aims at helping mechanical students come up with novel ideas in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and additive manufacturing — the current needs of the industrial sector, especially manufacturing.