The school of Robotics at the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT), started in 2020, is set to enter into various interdisciplinary areas of research and development needed for the armed forces and allied defence establishments, the institute said.
DIAT, based at Girinagar in Pune, is an establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under purview of the Ministry of Defence. In mid 2020, the mechanical engineering department of the institute, which was running courses in robotics for past several years, launched the School of Robotics, considering the interdisciplinary requirements of research and development in the field.
The school is involved in carrying out research in areas like humanoids, mobile and aerial robotics, motion planning of robots, intelligent robotics, medical robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence in robotics, robot dynamics and control and swarm robotics. The school offers MTech, MS research and PhD programs in the discipline.
DIAT scientists said robots find a wide range of applications for the military, especially in modern warfare. Its significance lies in operations in hazardous environments, inspection and detection of explosives, mine removal, surveillance and airline attacks. Besides, underwater unmanned vehicles are key to study the oceans and naval surveillance.
A press statement from DIAT said: “The school is planning to expand its facility by proposing aerial robotics and advanced robotics and systems laboratories. Proposed labs will be equipped with advanced work stations installed with high-end software and simulators, along with a required amount of actuators, sensors and various test beds, motion-tracking set up for algorithm testing and manipulator arms compatible with different softwares and controllers. Swarm robotics applications are also part of these lab facilities.”
The scientists said the School of Robotics has collaborated with various research and development labs of DRDO, defence public sector undertakings, institutes and industries across India to provide an opportunity for students to carry out their research projects.
Some of the present collaborators are Combat Vehicle Research and Development Establishment, Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Aeronautical Development Establishment, Defence Bio-engineering and Electro-medical Laboratory Research and Development Establishment (Engineers), Bharat Electronics Ltd, National Aerospace Laboratories, Indian Space Research Organisation, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, TCS Pune and IIIT Hyderabad.