Team Kritarth from KIIT - University Rover Challenge - 2014

 Team Kritarth
KIIT, Bhubaneswhar
"Our main inspiration is our founder sir Dr. A. Samanta who is known for his humbleness and hardworking attitude"

University Rover Challenge - 2014


1.    What is the name of your Mars rover team?
The official name of our Team is Kritarth. Which means Gratitude towards others in Sanskrit. The first prototype of our rover is named KIIT MARS Rovers or KMR-1.  Our University is constantly working towards creating a niche in robotics and automation.



 2.    Who is the main person who inspired the students to participate in this competition?
KIIT University is constantly trying to reach the pinnacles of success with its various involvement in research activities through its KIIT Student Research Wing (KSRW) and participation in techno events all over the world to increase the involvement of students in scientific research. Our main inspiration is our founder sir Dr. A. Samanta who is known for his humbleness and hardworking attitude. From him we learnt and took up the challenge to take the robotics research in KIIT University to a next level by participating in the University Rover Challenge-2014. KIIT Student Research Wing took the initiative to carry forward this thought and transform it into reality.

 3.    How many people are there in the team and how team is organized to solve various challenging problems
 a.    Provide the structure of your rover team members (in a diagram, show various  domain /task specific teams  and the team leader for the same)
Our team is divided into the following sections with total 24 students from various engineering fields.

 4.    Is your college participating for the first time in this competition?
Yes. This the first time our University is participating in Rover Challenge. Although we have participated in the national Lunar Rover Challenge-2013 held in Chennai.

 5.    Any unique approach/innovation being implemented here or lessons from the previous participation being used here (if any)?
This is first time we are going into this competition.  We have carefully read the design problem for URC 2014 and found it to be challenging. For example in-situ soil testing and robotic arm are challenging task. For soil sampling we have a soil sampling task team from the Biotechnology Department of our University for designing our on board soil testing. Also we are modeling our own antennas and communication system to work in Non-Line of Sight regions.  The most interesting and innovative thing in our rover is its lightweight design and all terrain maneuver capabilities.

 6.    Who are all the faculty members are advising the team?
Professors from different department are guiding and helping us. They are constant feedback and knowledge has helped to design our first prototype. In fact they are helping us in validating our designs:
 ·    Prof. A. K. Rath (Structures, School of Civil Engg.)
 ·    Prof. A. Dasgupta (Electricals, School of Electrical Engg.)
 ·    Prof. R. K. Paramguru, (Materials, School of Mechanical Engg.)
 ·    Prof. B. K. Nayak (Electricals, School of Electrical Engg.)
 ·    Prof. I. Panigrahi (Mechanical Design, School of Mechanical Engg.)
 ·    Prof D. K. Bera (Structures, School of Civil Engg.)
 ·    Prof S. Bhattacharya (Wireless communication, School of Electronics Engg.)

 7.    What is the estimated cost of the rover and who is funding it?
Our estimate cost of the rover is 5 Lakhs. Our initial prototype was self-funded. Our university is also helping us by giving us grant amount. Right now we are looking for private sponsors also.

 8.    Any collaboration with the other schools, colleges or government agencies like ISRO for the project for the technical support?
In our recent visit to ISAC, Bangalore (ISRO Satellite Centre) we discussed our ideas and design with their directors and they appreciated a lot for our initiative. At present we are not collaborating with other agencies, universities or college.

 9.    Is your team willing to include student from other colleges (if they are interested)? If so then what is the procedure.
Since this is our first time we are participating in international rover design we are learning and gaining a lot of experience. Right now we are restricting our-self to our university students only as it would difficult to manage and coordinate with other universities students. However in future with the experiences, we are planning to organize similar type of events in India itself so that lot of students can learn and participate.

 10.    What is the toughest part of this competition in terms of rover design?
The toughest part of the competition we are facing is the on board soil analysis. Since this is the area where we have to work with full assurance and justification. We cannot go on testing the soil as many times as we want. So we are finding it difficult to design test for detecting cyanobacteria. Also the rover arm design is tough is it has to perform two task carrying weight and collecting soil samples too.



 11.    What is the next important milestone of the rover team from the project progress point of view (is it finalizing the design or finalizing the team or finalizing the components to be used) ?  If possible please provide the estimated time for this important milestone.
Our next milestone is the complete full-scale test of our rover including the non-line of sight control. Also we are looking for private sponsors which will help us develop a more sophisticated rover.  Our next objective will be to complete the second mock run up test by this month.


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