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Technovation ‘09

By Sir Caustic On March - 24 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

TechnovationTECHNOVATION is an annual technical fest, being conducted since 2003 by the Mechatronics(MCT) dept. of MGIT, which holds the distinction of being the first B.Tech. Program to be introduced in Asia. TECHNOVATION ’09 (T9), held on the 13th and 14th of March, 2009 was a very memorable event for both organizers and participants. The efficient team of students, who toiled for days together, deserve a pat on their back for conceptualizing some of the events which were new to most of the people and for taking great pains in organizing them. This deserves a special mention since TECHNOVATION ‘08 was not able to garner enough participation despite the vast scope an MCT’s tech fest enjoys, MCT being a synergy of Mechanical and Electronics engineering.

Robotics being the focus of T9 was obvious, for it was an MCT fest. T9 promised a very interesting lineup of events that involved robots. ‘Aqua-racing’, where participants were required to make floatable robots capable of propelling forward as fast as possible, received the best response. A very new event- ‘Kwiditch’,  was a competition inspired from the famous sport Quidditch in the Harry Potter series, where participants had to make a robot capable of throwing a ping pong ball in a hoop. Though Kwiditch didn’t enjoy a great turnout, thanks to its complexity and newness, it drew many spectators to the venue. ‘Solar drag race’ was a race between robots which had to run solely on solar power. ‘Sumobot’ was the simulation of the famous Sumo wrestling, where participants had to push their opponents’ bot out of the ring. ‘Line tracer’ was an event where the participants were required to make an autonomous (not controlled by an external device) bot that could follow a black line on a white background.  Kashyap, one of the organizers of T9 and a robotics- enthusiast, said “I was very impressed to see such quality stuff from participants, though the quantity was not something we can boast about. There was even a team which came all the way from VIT whose team members impressed us greatly with their knowledge on robotics.”

Line tracer. Credit: Sir Caustic

Line tracer. Credit: Sir Caustic

Some of the other intriguing events were ‘Junkyard Wars’ (where a team had to make a machine out of scrap. The idea is borrowed from the famous program on discovery channel by the same name), ‘Designer’s Ball’, ‘Idea Presentation’ , ‘Mec’collage’, ‘Technical Potpourri’.  In additions to these, a workshop was scheduled to be conducted by Technophilia, one of the leading robotics firms in India. But due to time constraint, representatives from Technophilia had to restrict themselves to showcasing some of their robots and delivering lectures. The audience was in awe of these professionally made accurate radio-controlled robots. The students were educated more on the general aspects of robotics, beam robotics and were urged to enter into the very lucrative Robotics field. On showcase were a Glider, which the audience couldn’t stop raving about and an Ornithoptor , weighing just about 10 grams, which had impressed the jury at IIT Bombay. Both of them were prepared by MCT students of MGIT.

T9 is the latest to have jumped onto the bandwagon of fests that went GREEN. Its attention-grabbing green posters effectively communicated this aspect to the reader. There was Green splashed all over T9’s events and workshops. This also raised the bar higher for participants as they had to consider the ecological angle of their projects and ideas as well. Some of the topics for paper presentations were non-conventional energy systems, alternative fuels etc. Reva, the first commercially produced electric car in India, was showcased on the first day of the fest. It drew many students’ attention, some of who were not aware of its benefits-both monetary and ecological.  In addition to this, the MCT students planted a few saplings in their college, as part of a plantation spree in collaboration with NSS, a few days before T9.

Aqua-racing. Credit: Sir Caustic

Aqua-racing. Credit: Sir Caustic

The response to T9 was very encouraging in terms of the quality of events and participants. The fresh ideas and projects one got to witness at the fest bears testimony the same. But it could have been a lot better, quantity-wise, considering the growing number of takers for robotics in various tech fests. “There were too many events stuffed into 2 days. As a result of which, some events overlapped with each other. So it should have been extended by another day”, says Fanindra, a participant in the fest. Lack of promotion was apparently a major deterrent for the turn out and so was the website’s inaccessibility till even before 10 days of the event. If these shortcomings are overcome, there’s nothing that can stop T10 from trouncing competition from the other fests

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