March 4, 2009 3:27:58 am
Winning ABU Asia Pacific Robot Contest-an international event that has participation of about 30 teams from 15 Asian countries- remains a distant dream for Indian students. The contest that is being held since 2002 has not seen a single Indian team go beyond its quarterfinals.
According to Milind Pande,chairman of organising committee of ROBOCON,the qualifying stage for the international event,financial constraints is the main reason why Indian students lag behind. He said,This competition requires students to design and construct three robots,which costs Rs 5 to 7 lakh each. Moreover,as the maximum weight of all three robots cannot extend beyond 50 kg,the hardware to be used has to be lightweight and is not readily available in India. Most of this is imported,which increases the cost.
Anant Chakradeo,head of the technical aspects of ROBOCON Pune-India and dean of MIT Institute of Design said that not many companies come forward with sponsorship. While we have tried and received corporate sponsorship at our college level,other colleges have to manage on their own, he said.
The duo also mentioned that though the level of robotics teaching has gone up from just pick-and-drop robots,Indian students are still not technically sound to stand the international talent in this field. It will take at least two to three years more for an Indian team to win the international event, Chakradeo said.
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