APOGEE the technical festival organized by the students of BITS-Pilani proved to be the perfect launch pad for Acyut.The techfest was held from 11th to 15th March. Acyut was only three days old and it was standing, so it was a pretty neat experience. 🙂 The most amazing part was just watching all that admiration and interest written on the faces of the people who came to see acyut. I guess given a proper chance, lots of people would be interested in pursuing a career in the field of robotics. Meeting K.K. Birla was a brilliant experience, i mean the guy who virtually built India was here acknowledging our efforts and encouraging us to pursue our dreams. Trully unreal ! 🙂 Check out the pics.
Well ….after countless hours spent with the CNC machine the machining and Assembling process is finally done …India’s first idegeneously developed humanoid is finally ready !!! Structurally that is ….the AI part is still up ahead. We will be unveiling Acyut at APOGEE-2008 , the techfest organized by BITS-Pilani . Wanna see the humanoid ?? Look no further ! 🙂
Interviews, interviews, interviews !!! It’s been fun this week. The Tribune called us, so did Etv and Aaj Tak. We’r already done with an interview with The tribune. The rest is to follow.
Will keep you updated on the news on our front !!( I hope you see it on the news channels first :P)
- Currently designing the upper portion of the humanoid. This is not as simple a job as it seems. After all, it took nature a few billion years to make us !! 😛 . The main problem area at the moment continues to be the Center of Gravity (CoG) of the humanoid ( Prayag and Harsh have already lost a lot of sleep over this) . The current design fails to be self-balancing and keeps toppling over in the simulation itself. But with softwares such as Pro-E and Autoworks, the light at the end of the tunnel is not afar, as constraints are being identified and modifications being made dime a dozen.
- Day by day, the team is able to improvise on the walking algorithms of the biped ( which shall be implemented with a few changes in the humanoid) . A lot of time and effort has been devoted towards study of actual gaits of humans and balancing control systems. Research papers such as those by Takanishi et al. have been a huge help as they describe the technology and basic architecture of dynamic walking by humanoids. Infact, Kim Jung Yup et al. have also developed ground breaking algorithms for walking on uneven surfaces. But, as Arpit has inferred, such algorithms require too much computation, not possible with our microcontroller. Hence, the search is still on for something compatible with our proposed structure.
- Recently the biped walked independently ( no USB or communication wire hanging out meaning no live control ! 🙂 ) God only knows why we didn’t figure this out earlier !! ( Yes, we have our elderly moments too 😛 )
- Samay and Arpit have been in constant touch with alumni and other sponsors in an effort to make our RoboGames dream a reality. Me ( Prateik ) and Stueti have prepared a zillion proposals catering to the needs and wants of different companies. The ‘Team ACYUT’ website should be up within a couple of days. Hopefully that will give us greater visibility and easier access to the world outside this oasis , than a blog or videos on the net.
- Analysing the biped carefully so that mistakes made in it are not repeated in the humanoid. All I can say is, “Easier said than done”.
Prof. Mittal ( our research guide and advisor ) has been indispensable with his vast knowledge and experience in the field of robotics.
The past week has been pretty eventful for the team here. Things ( as said in the previous blog ) are definitely falling into place. Although this might be misguided enthusiasm and optimism, it feels good.
The funds have begun to flow in thanks to the immense support extended by the BITSAA (BITS Alumni Association). They have assured us that at no cost shall this project die out due to “lack of funds”. Obviously, if you have such a strong family backing you up, you begin to feel you can take on the world individually ( something we plan to do 🙂 )
Also, our story ( or should I say) our aspirations, have been printed in numerous news papers and news sites across the world. All this, thanks to IANS ( and Joydeep ofcourse ). You can read more about us at
www.siliconindia.com/shownews/39494 , http://www.indianmuslims.info/news/2008/feb/13/indian_students_ensure_robots_walk_global_contest.html, http://in.news.yahoo.com/indiaabroad/20080214/r_t_ians_tc_internet/ttc-indian-students-ensure-robot-s-walk-935afea.html
Things seem to be on the brighter side at the moment. Hope they remain this way.
Till then , ciao
Well …things have justed started falling into place . Its 1:30 am in the night and Prayag is busy designing the humanoid on AUTODESK INVENTOR , Harsh is nearly kissing the computer screen as he learns how to program using the very complex ISOMAX through forth and is also simultaneously defining the programs for the servos which Arpit is calibrating . Samay is managing all of this and is also talking to people all over the world as he orders more components for the humanoid . Stueti and me ( the less technical beings ) are working on a sponsorship proposal which will hopefully land us some much needed funds . Meanwhile samay has somehow managed to convince a poor chap called Ariz to a solve an equation containing close to fourty variables , the result of which will give us the exact co-ordinates of the links to be placed in the feet of the humanoid .
Well….acyut the biped is done …it walks and kicks…now we start of with Acyut I the humanoid ! We’re starting all over again , making sure that we dont make the mistakes we made with the biped . We plan to finish it in time to demonstrate it at APOGEE – 2008 , the anual techfest at BITS, Pilani . After that we plan to take to San Francisco to participate in RoboGames in June and then over to Suzou, China to participate in RoboCup -2008 ! Let the games begin ! 🙂
I still remember all the night outs the guys used to put in . We knew it was never going to be easy . Great things in life never are . But now watching the biped walking around and kicking its way to glory just makes me feel it was all worth it . 🙂 The technical team consists of Samay Kohli, Arpit Mohan and Harsh Sinha ( referred to as “guys” at the beginning ) . Then along came Prayag, who simply doesnt seem to need sleep or food (or baths for that matter 🙂 ). Realising the need for exposure, developing a network , dealing with different forms of media,sponsors ….in short the need to be “noticed”, led to the inclusion of Prateik Pothuneedi (me) and Stueti Gupta. Yup , the team has people handling the media and contacts , bringing in sponsors and making the right statements at the right time, ya… its a modern team. 🙂 This will be my last blog for Acyut as a biped….cos we’re closing the project . With the lessons learnt from the biped, with a little more experience and greater enthusiasim, the team starts anew on its new project ACYUT I, a new humanoid, new designs, a new story. Watch out for updates on Acyut I …cheers ! 🙂
PS: For all those of you wondering what the name is all about, ACYUT is sanskrit for “the indestructible” or the “one who never falls”.
After the assembling was done we let out a sigh of relief, believing a major part of the work was done . But we were in for quite a shock! We used a microcontroller known as a servopod-usb to programme the servos. A motorolla DSP 56F807 forms the crux of the microcontroller. The servopod proved (and continues to be) very difficult to work with. Faced with a new programming language and no tutorials available anywhere is a nightmare I wouldn’t wish anyone. The new langauage called ISOMAX is rather complex. It took us a week to just figure out how to write a loop in the machine state based language. Though it was tough its capabilities excited us. (We are yet to realise those capabilities to its fullest.) To make sure it worked properly, we calibrated the biped on different surfaces. We were beginning to realise the effects of surface on gait and balance. Physics strikes back at us in wierd ways !
The brackets were manufactured and the servos were ready . We started putting together the pieces . The servos were not the best but we had to work with what we had. Mounting the servos on the brackets and then connecting them to each other was one of the most satisfying processes as we watched BITS’ first biped come alive. After the assembling was done we were pleasantly suprised to see that the biped was standing by itself! It was well balanced …maybe we didn’t make too many design flaws (or so we thought 😛 )
- We Have Moved!!
- Work Resumes………………….
- OPERATION CLEANUP………….
- Back to work!
- First Movers Advantage
- GUI (Graphical user Interface) upgrade!
- It finally gets up on its own!
- Artificial Intelligence
- The death of Acyut 2 …. the birth of Acyut 3 !
- The death of Acyut 1….birth of Acyut 2 !
- Yes! Yes! Finally !!