Unmesh Mashruwala Innovation Cell, often known as UMIC, IITB, is a tech team consisting of 40+ like-minded individuals, who are working over a unified goal, making human life more comfortable and sustainable by implementing the ideas of automation.
Currently, they are working on two major projects, a self-driving car by team SeDriCa, and autonomous drones, consisting of both quadcopters and fixed-wing planes, by team AeRoVe.
The Inception of the Team:
UMIC was formed in the year 2004 under the guidance and supervision of Prof. C. Amarnath, Mechanical Engineering Department, IIT Bombay. His vision was focused on solving global problems by designing innovative and cost-effective automated systems.
UMIC aims to foster an atmosphere of creativity, innovation, discovery and exploration in the campus. It provides infrastructural facilities to nurture inventions among students from various disciplines.
Over the years, it has evolved from nurturing small hobby projects to solving complex industrial challenges and representing IIT Bombay at various national and international forums.
- Mahindra RISE Challenge- It envisaged developing a working unit of a ‘driverless car’ for Indian conditions under an intra-city situation on paved roads and incorporating a level 5 autonomy.
- IGVC- It is an annual international robotics competition that demands a fully autonomous unmanned ground robotic vehicle capable of navigating an outdoor obstacle course.
- International Aerial Robotics Competition, AUVSI- The primary purpose of this competition has been to “move the state-of-the-art in aerial robotics forward” through the creation of significant and useful mission challenges. In Mission 9, the team is focusing on designing an autonomous VTOL to demonstrate high speed and high accuracy manoeuvres.
- Barcelona Smart Drone Challenge- BSDC engages undergraduate teams throughout the globe in designing, constructing, developing and demonstrating an autonomous unmanned aircraft system. These aircraft systems should be capable of performing a series of tasks required for complete search and rescue missions.
- ASME Student Design Challenge- Its problem statement is carefully devised from real-life applications. Each team is expected to ideate, design, construct, and operate a prototype that provides solutions to all these intricate problem statements.
The participants represent not only UMIC, but also IIT Bombay, before the world. Hence they get exposed to the technological developments going on around the globe. These competitions build the fundamentals and provide a technical mindset required for the advancement of the tech industry.
- BSDC 2020- Cleared the concept review and the preliminary design review rounds of the competition
- ASME SDC 2019- 1st position Asia Pacific region
- IARC 2018- Won the Best Presentation Award
- Mahindra Rise 2017- Received Mahindra E2O car for further testing
- IGVC 2017- 1st position overall, declared World Champions
- ASME SDC 2017- 1st position overall, declared World Champions
- Mahindra Rise- Cleared 4 out of 5 stages, securing a spot in the top 11 teams out of the 249 that participated
- IGVC 2016- 4th position worldwide
- International Robowars, Techfest 2015-16- 2nd Prize in the heavyweight category
- ASME 2016 & ‘14- First overall in Asia Pacific round, qualified for the World Finals
- International Robowars, Techfest 2014-15- Received the Best Engineering Design Award
- IGVC 2013 & ‘14- 7th position worldwide
- ASME 2013 & ‘12- 2nd position at World Finals, First overall in the Asia Pacific
- IGVC 2012- Awarded Rookie of The Year and secured 11th position worldwide
- Robocon 2009 & ‘10- Second Runner Up in the national round
- DRDO Student Robot Competition- Won First prize and demonstrated the bot at CVRDE, Chennai
- NatGeo Yamaha Shaping the Future Contest- Won Second runners-up trophy.
- Robocon 2007- First Runners-up in the national round
- Young Engineer’s Visitation Program- Represented India as a part of a 30 member team at Lockheed Martin Center of Innovation, Virginia, USA.
- Robocon 2005- Won national round held at Pune & represented India in International Robocon held at Beijing
Knowledge exchange with the industry:
The Technological Industry is all about the application of one’s technical knowledge and skills. To ensure this development in our team, UMIC has an application-based mindset. Team SeDriCa connects students to the in-depth research focused on Ground Autonomy along with exposure to various subsystems like LIDAR based perception, Computer Vision, autonomous controls, etc. Team AeRoVe provides a comprehensive understanding of the flight systems. Right from the design, aerodynamics principles, manufacturing to using machine learning for human detection, coordination and communication between different units without human intervention. Understanding these systems can further add to the knowledge of the team members. UMIC collaborates with international researchers and industry experts to build a more robust and state of the art system.
UMIC consists of majorly two teams: SeDriCa and AeRoVe. The whole of UMIC is looked at by two Overall Co-ordinators. Each team has a Team Leader, followed by Deputy Team Lead, Subsystem Heads, Senior engineers and Junior Engineers.
UMIC is guided by two Student Advisors who are the senior-most members in the team, and two Faculty Advisors who are Professors from IIT Bombay.
Recruitment is an excellent learning and exploration process, which gives the candidate exposure to what they are expected to contribute to the team. It generally begins at the start of July, where candidates are supposed to fill out the forms along with SOPs. Existing team members subsequently interview the selected candidates. The final round consists of a team project, mentored by senior team members. The final round lasts for five weeks- two weeks of training and three weeks of application of the practical knowledge in the team projects.
All that is expected from the applicants is to be enthusiastic and dedicated. They should be able to meet the required time commitments, complemented by team spirit and coordination.
Impact on the overall student community:
UMIC aims to inspire students to think, innovate, create and contribute to the future. We organise Lectures and Workshops throughout the year that are accessible to everyone, irrespective of their institutes, and prior technical knowledge.
Value addition to the team members:
UMIC exposes its team members to various budding technologies as well as diverse facets of technopreneurship. The streamlined learning process results in gaining necessary experience with numerous technological systems, algorithms, and ideas to build something on their own through the knowledge gained from multiple types of projects and multiple subsystems. The skills of product development and management, team spirit, co-operation, entrepreneurship skills, and people handling skills are inculcated in team members, along with the satisfaction of contributing to the future!
The projects are not up to the Indian Commercial mark; we need considerable development with each of them. Team SeDriCa has a goal to achieve a level 5 autonomy for the car to adjust to the prevailing road conditions and traffic ensuring zero vandalism. We will be able to bag the title of “India’s first Self Driving Car” on reaching the goals stated.
Team AeRoVe is focusing on the development of drones to help humans, primarily for surveillance and payload delivery services. It also aims to ensure perfect coordination and communication between the drone network so that they can function on their own following the protocols they have been programmed for.
A closing message to our readers:
In the words of Elon Musk, “I just want to think about the future and not be sad.” We work on a similar path; we work on the goal to develop a future which co-exists with machines, making our lives much safer, systematic and error-free.
So be curious; if you stumble across an idea which makes you restless and steals your sleep, work on it with all you have. Hold on to your idea, and don’t ever compromise with ideas for a more sustainable future.
Together, Let’s make this world a better place to live!
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