IIT-M student's underwater robot 'Duli' catches attention of DRDO

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by Lions Of Punjab, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. Lions Of Punjab

    Lions Of Punjab Regular Member

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    CHENNAI: With robotics emerging as a major area of focus for military applications, especially the bio-inspired ones, countries across the globe are investing heavily in this domain. But, not many have tasted success so far.
    Duli, the turtle-shaped Robotic Underwater Vehicle; (inset left) Santhosh Ravichandran, who developed the ROV, and his project supervisor Prabhu Rajagopal

    However, Santhosh Ravichandran, an MS student specialising on machine design in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Madras, has developed a first-of-its kind turtle shaped Robotic Underwater Vehicle (ROV) with bio-inspired propeller similar to a dolphin fin in just three months.

    Called ‘Duli’, a Sanskrit name for a turtle, it had immediately caught the attention of Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO). The robot has unique hydrodynamics with exceptional energy efficiency and camouflage abilities suited for carrying out of underwater SEAL operations. It can do visual inspection withstanding the undercurrent of the ocean, it is claimed.

    Project supervisor and associate professor at IIT-M Prabhu Rajagopal said a DRDO lab was in talks. “They wanted us to install their own sensors and do certain modifications to suit military requirements,” he said.

    Santhosh said the currently available underwater robots are predominantly operated with mechanical thrusters, which gives only 30% energy efficiency (read output to input), while Duli with bio-inspired flap movement will give 70% efficiency similar to biological organisms like dolphins.


    “We have exhibited the prototype at Underwater Interventions expo in United States in February this year. US navy, which is a participant, was all praise for our product and actually am in touch with them for any technical assistance. They also now plan to start a bio-inspired robotics programme,” Santhosh said.

    Rajagopal, who is also the director of Plany’s Technologies, a spin-off start-up providing robotic services to port and shipping industry, said the product was still at preliminary stage and needed a lot of on-field testing to address several practical problems that might arise, but all the basics are covered. An autonomous version would be ready in a few months.

    The novelty of the Duli is bio-inspired tail that could be used for rapid long motion which is eco-friendly. It will do sensitive jobs like surveying coral reefs without causing any disturbance to marine life. The mechanical pectoral thrusters are used only for manoeuvring. Usually bio-inspired designs suffer from complexities in control systems such as under-actuation, lower manoeuvrability.

    Rajagopal said optimal shape of the caudal fin and its driving mechanism is currently being researched using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations validated by experiments. Efforts are on to improve the hydrodynamic and mechanical dynamic performance of the vehicle with an improved hull design for robustness in a wide variety of applications.

    http://www.newindianexpress.com/cit...tention-of-DRDO/2016/07/13/article3526462.ece
     
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  3. salute

    salute Senior Member Senior Member

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    so he is not interested to move to usa and work for usa company for $$$ :drool: $$$ ,

    but gonna harass himself by joining drdo .
     
  4. Mikesingh

    Mikesingh Senior Member Senior Member

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    Here's how a bio-inspired underwater robot with undulatory fin propulsion works....

     
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  5. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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    If this could have happened every time, we could be thumping chests over DRDO's achievements, like we do in case of ISRO. A good start indeed.
     
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  6. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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    The IIT Bombay robotics team is doing something hardly any Indian has done before[​IMG]IITB-AUV development
    Underwater research is a field explored very little in India unlike countries such as USA, China and Singapore. There are only a few student groups and organisations such as Larsen and Toubro and DRDO which are working on developing underwater robot operated vehicles (ROVs and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). It is high time that more Indian students start working towards making impactful developments in underwater research.

    In this strain, students from IIT- Bombay are making the country extremely proud by bringing in laurels from international competitions on underwater robotics. IIT Bombay's AUV development team is continuing work on their autonomous underwater vehicle-MATSYA, which became the runners up in Robosub 2016 and grabbed the first prize in NIOT SAVe 2016, two of the most prestigious competitions looking for the next big AUV that can have crucial applications.

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    What makes this AUV so special?

    AUV IITB is trying to do something no one in India has ever done before. They are trying to create an AUV which can perform a variety of tasks and moreover, is intelligent enough to reattempt a task if it fails at the first attempt. This is what makes it truly autonomous.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Who Does The Team Comprise?
    The AUV-IITB team was formed in 2011 to develop cutting edge technology for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) for India. "There were only a couple of universities viz DTU and IIT Madras who were into making AUVs at the time," said Varun Mittal, the leader of the AUV-IITB team.

    The 25-strong team comprises passionate and driven freshmen, undergrads and postgraduates from various fields of engineering such as Mechanical, Electrical, Software, Aerospace, Material Science and Civil at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.
    "The team was present before we started making AUVs. We used to make intelligent and autonomous ground vehicles and participated in the Robocon competition to test and showcase the capabilities of the bot. But having realized the huge potential underwater robotics offer especially in our country we started our journey and started to make AUVs," said Mittal.
     
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  7. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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    How Are the Team Members Selected?


    "Every year, we recruit new people (primarily freshmen) after two rigorous rounds of selection and lose passing out final year students. So, the team members keep rotating. At present the team strength is of 25 members. But this keeps varying from 23-30 members," Mittal informed.

    The senior most members, team leaders Varun Mittal and Sandeep Dhakad have been a part of the team only from its third year. The AUV-IITB team has evolved quite a bit through the years and none of the present team members were there in its first two years and yet, their excellence is reflected in their performance at the top competitions.

    Team Sub Divisions:

    Since developing an AUV is a year-long process involving working on the design, assembling the parts, manufacturing, testing, integration, and preparing for competitions, the team developing MATSYA is divided into Mechanical, Electrical and Software subdivisions for a smoother work process. The software group works on the code, the electrical section develops the firmware, while the mechanical team decides the vehicle frame and dynamics.
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    About the competitions targeted by AUV-IITB

    1. Robosub competition

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    The IITB AUV team mainly works towards showcasing their invention at the annual AUVSI International Robosub Competition held at San Diego, California. At the competition organised by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle System International (AUVSI) and cosponsored by the US Office of Naval Research, students from all over the world can showcase their skills and ideas in the field of underwater robotics and connect with industries working on the same lines.

    To participate, each multifaceted engineering team is expected to build an AUV that can perform certain predefined tasks, usually simulating real-life problems that the navy faces on rescue missions or underwater exploration. The capability of the developed AUV shows the expertise of the team members in their chosen fields of engineering.

    Robosub 2016, held in July in San Diego, California, saw more than 45 universities from around the world compete against each other to decide the most effective autonomous submarine. With Matsya being the only submarine to be able to successfully attempt two of the given tasks, AUV-IITB bagged the second place.
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    2. NIOT SAVe Competition

    The National NIOT SAVe Competition is organised by the National Institute of Technology under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, along with IEEE OES. NIOT SAVe 2016 was AUV-IITB's debut in this competition and it walked away with the first position among 14 teams. The occurrence of the Vardah Cyclone right before the competition date of December 14 was a setback which the team proved wrong. "The venue as well as the problem statement got changed. It gave us no time for practising as well, as there was no power source too," says Varun. Even without access to powered laptops and just half a day's practice, AUV-IITB outperformed its competitors.
    Watch Matsya's performance at NIOT 2016:


    "The two competitions have a similar problem statement. So, the preliminary preparation is the same for both the competitions. But the level of competitors was much more in Robosub as there were teams from all around the world. Some had been making AUVs since the past 15 years," says Varun regarding which competition seemed to be the tougher catch.

    "Having said this, the exposure we get in both the competitions is irreplaceable as each team has a unique way of designing and dealing with problems from which one can always learn," he added.

    The Cap On Funds
    Owing to India's low focus on underwater research, the AUV-IITB team is low on funds. Though they are funded by IIT, there is an upper cap on the funding and they are on the lookout for external funding and support to develop their AUV according to their vision.

    You can visit Ketto's crowdfunding website to donate towards MATSYA's development: ketto.org/fundraiser/AUV-IITB_Matsya

    "As a team, we have seen a lot of people who want to help/support us as much as they can. Ketto's Crowdfunding platform provides an opportunity to all such people who believe in us and in our efforts to make Matsya the best AUV of the world. It will help us raise funds for some components which can invest in for long term benefits. This will make the AUV more capable and it will have more scope of improvement compared to its predecessors," says Varun.
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    Watch Matsya in action here:

    Such brilliant student researchers are the future of India. Here's wishing AUV-IITB the very best for their endeavours!
     

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