The Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing-Kancheepuram (IIITDM) is one of three IIITs in the country focused on IT-centric design and manufacturing education to help India become a global design and manufacturing hub.
Recently, the institute started a new BTech Mechanical programme in Smart Manufacturing, the first of its kind in the country. The institute encourages experiential learning, and facilitates student innovations through its Designers Club.
Last academic year, it celebrated Independence Day and Republic Day through innovative high-tech public displays of aerial robots and mobile app controlled mobile robots for students and those visiting.
The institute has an MHRD-funded Teaching Learning Center (TLC) for Design and Manufacturing Education, whose goals are to develop affordable hands-on modules and e-learning materials for creative design and manufacturing technology education in the nation’s colleges, universities, and polytechnics.
Some of the on-going TLC projects are low-cost robots for adoption in colleges and even schools, desktop CNC machines, electronics lab kits, etc. Recently, the TLC engineers and Designers Club students designed and developed a smart outdoor mobile robotic trash can to accompany school children on voluntary cleanup efforts. The robot can be controlled by children with video game controller or smart phone, and can autonomously follow a student navigator.
It interacts with children under computer control and is fitted with a HD webcam, microphone and speakers. It also carries air quality monitoring sensors. In addition to promoting the government’s Swachh Bharat mission to clean up our environment, the robot informs the public about the air pollution levels
The robot was demonstrated at IIITDM’s Independence Day celebrations on August 15, and was also demonstrated to the public at nearby Vandalur Zoo. The air quality data monitored by the robot can be used to raise environmental literacy among the children and public. It is planned to make the robot design information public, so that the robots can be developed and improved upon by interested faculty and students in our colleges. The results of this project are to be presented at a major international conference in USA in October.
Another innovative TLC project involves racing of low-cost mobile robots in the institute by school children remotely over the Internet. A demonstration of this project was recently done in collaboration with local schools.