Techfest, the annual international science and technology festival organised by the Indian institute of Technology (IIT) is by far Asia’s largest technology extravaganza with around 60,000 students from over 2,100 colleges participating.
Competitions form the backbone of Techfest, ranging from hard-core robotics to advance computing and from complicated circuitry to simple logic; competitors at Techfest attract more than 15000 techies and innovative minds from all over the world.
The “World Challenge” is a Techfest initiative with the vision of providing a common platform for budding talents around the world to match their wits in an International arena. This comprises of three International legs happening in Sri Lanka, Australia and Thailand. This year the competition will be held for the 14th consecutive time from 7-9 January 2011 at IIT Bombay.
iNexus is a platform for the world’s best in robotics to perform at one stage, one level and for one prize, to be crowned as the best in the world. The winners of iNexus will be part of the World Challenge at Techfest 2010. They will be competing with participants from other centres as well as India in the World Challenge.
University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka has been vested with the responsibility to organise the Sri Lankan leg of iNexus with its counterparts in Australia and Thailand being Curtin University of Technology and Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) respectively.
On behalf of the university, the competition will be organised by the Electronic Club of the Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering. This will be the third consecutive year that the club is hosting this event and needless to say, it has become a focal technical event in the department’s calendar.
The arena will be opened on 3 December 2009 at the department premises for undergraduate and graduate students from all private and government institutes in Sri Lanka. Registration is now open at the official website.
The previous year’s iNexus saw students from University of Moratuwa, University of Peradeniya, University of Ruhuna and SLIIT rising to the challenge and battling it out for the prestigious opportunity of representing the country at an international level.
Nature of the competition
After a spectacular success of Phoenix Mars Lander’s Space expedition, various methods are being developed to make the next such space expedition a greater success.
Various space research organizations are planning to send out multi robot systems where a desired collective behaviour emerges from the interactions between individual robots and the interactions between robots and the environment.
In the light of these developments, this year’s competition centres upon Mars Manoeuvring. With flavours of Mechanical Challenges and Swarm Intelligence, Mars Manoeuvre introduces a completely new challenge resembling a manned spacecraft mission.
The Space craft has to overcome the harsh terrain of Mars and successfully land the autonomous family of swarm bots on the planet to retrieve small rock samples back to the space ship in a specified order so that the collection can be organised. In the competition, the rocks are modelled as blocks. The purpose of collecting rocks is to discover if life ever existed on mars.
The problem statement states to build manual or autonomous machines which cooperate and collaborate to bring back blocks placed randomly on a grid. For this task one manual machine and maximum of two autonomous machines are allowed per team.
What you gain
iNexuswill be an exclusive opportunity for university students from all over the country to compete in the one and only international robotic competition held in Sri Lanka. This will undoubtedly contribute towards enhancing the competency levels in the fields of robotics and algorithms among university students throughout the nation.
Furthermore, iNexus provides a platform for students to reveal their talents, share knowledge and form the much needed bridge between different age groups, engineering disciplines and universities.