Q. What is e-yantra?
Project e-Yantra is an initiative to spread education in Embedded systems and Robotics by IIT Bombay sponsored by Ministry of Human Resource Development through the National Mission on Education through ICT (NMEICT). This project was conceptualized by Prof. Kavi Arya and Prof. Krithi Ramamritham of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay.
Q. What is the aim of this project?
The objective is to provide hands-on learning to engineering students who have limited access to labs and mentors. The goal is to create the next generation of (Embedded systems) engineers in India with a practical outlook to take on challenging problems and provide solutions.
Q. What is eYRC?
eYRC is a competition that is open to students studying engineering in one of the engineering/poly-technic/science colleges in India. It is a group competition where students in a team of 4 program a given robotic platform to solve a given problem in 12 - 15 weeks. The emphasis is on systematically applying one’s mind to solving the problem with given resources and solving the problem by successfully implementing the best solution. Several tasks are assigned to the teams during the course of the competition to take them through the project lifecycle in a systematic manner. A lot of emphasis is placed on problem exploration, documentation and presenting the results.
Final scores for the teams are decided using a scoring system that uses individual scores for the tasks assigned. A video presentation of the solution is used to short-list the Finalists in the competition. The format of the competition not only tests the theoretical and technical knowledge of the team members but also the communication skills and team player skills of the students.
Q. Is there a fee to participate?
You pay NOTHING to participate– it is open to college students FREE of charge. In fact, e-Yantra provides the team with a robotic kit, which is used in the competition. e-Yantra will provide sensors and actuators (as part of the Robotic kit) to the participating teams. However, if the problem assigned requires accessories to build structures on the robot, the team will have to bear the cost of such accessories. The team will need to print their own arena (usually an inexpensive “flex sheet” of a Arena Design provided by e-Yantra) for the task assigned to them. Teams selected to participate in the Finals -- conducted at IIT Bombay in March every year -- have to bear the cost of to and fro travel and some incidental expenses to participate in the finals (train fares permissible as per the competition rules will be reimbursed to the team members on arrival to participate in the competition).
Q. Is support from college required for participation?
It is ESSENTIAL to have college support since the goal of the e-Yantra project is to help colleges develop labs with better equipment and skills. At the end of the competition each team gives their robotic kit to their college. You may work at home for the sake of convenience but it is advisable to work in a college environment where others may get inspired to emulate your work and excitement. But, make sure that the work is carried out solely by the team -- without taking inputs or assistance from anybody else.
Q. What is this competition about?
It is all about getting a robot to solve a useful problem. The emphasis is on the software side or programming as all participating teams are provided the same robot. However, there could be an element of building external features as required by the assignment expected from participants but this will be of a very basic level - doable by ANY engineering student.
Q. Do we have to build a robot for this competition?
NO – this is what makes us different from ALL other robotic competitions. All teams are given a robot and required accessories based on the problem assigned to them and expected to implement a solution to achieve the task goal.
Q. I don’t know anything about robotics – how will I fare in this competition?
As long as you are a keen programmer or know some programming in “C” language you can make a good start. It is important that you have the desire or aptitude to learn whatever skills are required to complete the given task. e-Yantra team will provide adequate instructions as required.
Q. What is eLSI?
One of our initiatives, e-Yantra Lab Setup Initiative (eLSI) supports the infrastructure creation at colleges by providing a platform for training teachers both in theory and applications of Robotics, in addition to providing guidance in setting up a Robotics lab at the college. eLSI aims to enable colleges to teach Robotics and Embedded systems in an effective manner by:
- Training teams of 4 teachers from colleges in a region, in the basics of Embedded systems theory and Micro-controller programming through a 2-day workshop.
- Engaging the teams through Task based Training (TBT) – where teachers are trained to implement various experiments on the robot over a period of three/four months. Each college team is given a Robotic kit complete with tutorials and accessories and is taken step-by-step through hands-on training by the e-Yantra team.
- Providing support and advice to set up a Robotics lab so that by the time the teachers are trained, the lab is ready at the college for the teachers to get their students involved through projects.
Q. How does the college benefit?
Training students through hands-on projects is imperative in producing successful innovators and entrepreneurs. Creating the infrastructure with labs and trained teachers provides the competitive advantage to colleges in attracting talented students. e-Yantra facilitates the infrastructure creation by sharing its experience and expertise. Benefits include:
- Increased enthusiasm amongst students
- Better BE projects with help from e-Yantra Resource Development Center (eYRDC)
- Better performance at Robotics competitions such as the e-Yantra Robotics Competition (eYRC)
- Better trained and motivated faculty
- Robotics club
- Opportunity to receive Embedded Systems Course from IIT Bombay
- Better prospects for engaging with other NMEICT projects Such as 10k teacher training, SpokenTutorials, e-Kalpa, FOSSEE
- Better visibility for college nationally
Q. What is the Participation procedure for setting up lab
It is necessary for the college to invest in creating the infrastructure – a Robotics lab where students have an opportunity to
explore interdisciplinary skills.
A maximum of 20 colleges will be chosen from each region for participating in the initiative on a First Come First Serve (FCFS) basis. A college needs to commit the following to participate in this initiative: Funds to equip a basic Robotics lab (in addition to space and other infrastructure) A team of 4 teachers who can be trained through the initiative.