KARNATAKA

Rover attracts many at exhibition

Students of Manipal Institute of Technology with their rover at the industrial trade fair in Udupi on Friday.

Students of Manipal Institute of Technology with their rover at the industrial trade fair in Udupi on Friday.  

A rover designed by students of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) was a major draw at the industrial trade fair, Expo 2017, organised by the District Small Industries Association here on Friday.

The rover has been designed by a team of 23 students of MIT, belonging to different courses, called Mars Rover Manipal (MRM). The MRM team was formed in 2014.

Its objective is to design and build next generation rover for exploration of extraterrestrial environment and applications of robotics in interplanetary missions. The team is researching the role of a rover in the field of space exploration and future Mars missions.

The MRM is a platform for interested students to gain technical and practical knowledge in addition to theoretical knowledge gained in their courses.

The rover is an all-terrain vehicle used for carrying out experiments. It picks objects and collects soil samples. Siral Teja, an MRM member and a third semester student of MIT, told presspersons here that the rover designed by them can hold 100 grams of soil and stones. “It can lift objects up to six kilograms,” he said.

“It has all the functionalities of a rover, but is smaller in size,” said Shantam Shorewala, MRM team leader and student of fifth semester.

This rover with further improvements will take part in the URC competition in Utah, U.S., in June 2018. It has taken part in this competition earlier also. “In URC 2017, our team finished eighth out of the 82 teams across the globe and stood first among the Asian teams,” he said

This is the second Mars rover designed by MRM. The budget of the prototype is restricted to U.S. $ 15,000. The team works continually on improving the prototype. “We continually do research and publish papers. We have been concentrating on artificial intelligence and research,” he said.

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