ACYUT – India's First Indigenously Developed Robot
UPDATE: BITSAA International would like to thank all the donors for making Acyut a grand success. Receipts of items purchased through alumni donations can be found here.
After attending a talk at the International Conference on Emerging Mechanical Technology, a group of students wondered what it would take to build India’s first indigenously developed humanoid robot. Quickly realizing they had stumbled upon a great idea they conceived a plan and met with Dr. R.K. Mittal, professor of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science and Deputy Director (Administration) at BITS-Pilani. Within months, under Prof. Mittal’s mentorship, Samay Kohli, Arpit Mohan, Harsh Sinha, Prayag Mukherjee and Sushma Vallabhaneni, fabricated and put India’s First Humanoid ACYUT (meaning the imperishable) in action. The results were remarkable. True to its names ACYUT could walk, climb stairs, dance and play soccer.
Team-ACYUT decided to participate in Robogames, the world's largest open robot competition in June 2008 at San Francisco, to showcase ACYUT’s might on a global platform. The journey to Robogames however, was not without its roadblocks. Being the first from India to participate in such an event, the team was faced with an uphill battle to secure funding and overcome numerous logistical challenges. With generous help from the BITS alumni batch of '76 and driven by their own passion, the team put up an wonderful performance and finished sixth in the year's competition.
ACYUT In The Press
ACYUT has received widespread coverage in the Indian national media. Leading newspapers like The Hindu (link1, link2) and The Times of India (link) have described ACYUT as leading the way in humanoid robot development in India. ACYUT has garnered positive reviews in national TV (YouTube link).
Theteam is on a mission to better its performance and is determined to claim the top spot at the podium at Robogames 2009. The second generation of ACYUT incorporates suggestions from other contestants and learning from past mistakes. This version of ACYUT would be faster, stronger and more skilled.
ACYUT 2 is far superior to ACYUT 1 on numerous fronts, some of which have been detailed below.
How ACYUT-2 is better
600 MHz on-board embedded Linux computer
Vast increase in the amount of sensory data analyzed before a new action
Weight and Height
6.4 Kg, 80cm
Heavier robot (close to upper-limit in category) handles blows from other robots better; Taller robot can easily topple its opponent
30Kg-cm servo motors
106 Kg-cm Korean motors
Higher torque motors pack more punch into ACYUT-2. They have also increased ACYUT's maneuverability reducing chances of being cornered
Controlled via Laptop
Custom-built hand held remote
Increased range, faster response time
Wireless Communication Protocol
Cy-Fi Technology (Cypress Semiconductors)
Custom communication protocol using Cypress Cy-Fi Technology to avoid hundreds of other packets on a commercial protocol; Low error-rate and increased efficiency
In it’s final stages of development, ACYUT-2 is in need of funds to cover its bill of materials (estimated at $5000) and participation expenses. The funds raised in this final phase will be used towards sourcing on-board electronics, sensors and batteries for the robot.
Why You Should Contribute
A few months after attending Robogames 2008, the team demonstrated ACYUT to attract new talent for the development of ACYUT-2. An astounding 550 people turned up for the event and more that 250 students signed up at the end of the event expressing interest in helping build ACYUT 2.
The Center for Robotics and Intelligent Systems at BITS-Pilani, which oversees all robotics-related research at Pilani, has seen an influx of students wishing to participate in projects since the success of ACYUT. This has helped the center kickstart four new major projects.
The enthusiasm is not limited to Pilani. At BITS-Pilani, Goa-Campus as many as 160 students attended the first series of workshops. The continued interest has prompted the organizing team and administration to hold another series of workshops detailing ACYUT.
The success of ACYUT has been far reaching. Many premier institutes in India have taken the cue and started robotics projects of their own. The ACYUT team is helping students at IIT-Madras with their humanoid development.
What started as a student
project last year has now gathered momentum and grown into an initiative with
high academic value. The administration at BITS-Pilani has acted as an incubator
for this project providing INR 5 lakh in cash, academic support, access to lab
and tools, logistical support and mentorship.
The scenario is ripe for alumni to take part in the phenomenal success story of ACYUT. By contributing now you will
Help build the recognition of the BITS-Pilani brand worldwide
Encourage the start of inter-disciplinary academic and research programs at BITS campuses
Fuel the passion and enthusiasm students so they can be creative, work harder and continue to push the limits
Invest in making BITS-Pilani the ‘Robotics hub of India’
How You Can Contribute
The ACYUT 2 project has seen generous contributions from corporate sponsors ($12,000) and BITS-Pilani (Rs. 5 Lakh). In addition, many alumni have provided vital donations necessary for the steady pace of development of the humanoid.
Donations can also be made via a check payable to BITSAA Silicon-Valley, Inc.
You can also help the team’s travel to San Francisco by donating airline frequent flyer miles. All donated miles will be consolidated and used towards purchasing travel tickets for the ACYUT team members. Donating miles will also re-activate the remaining miles in your account. More information can be found here.