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TechTatva’18—Electrific

Slither the Serpent
Harshita Binani

Electrific’s online event, Slither the Serpent, stayed true to the theme of Reminiscing Greatness by revamping the Snake game found in old Nokia handsets. This event not only quizzed participants on basic aptitude, but also brought back fond memories for many.

The game had a clean and user-friendly interface, complete with a 3-D viewing facility. Whenever the snake encountered a food item, a question would be unlocked. These questions were based on aptitude and basic knowledge. Answering the question correctly would allow the snake to slither on and grow in size, while an incorrect answer would result in elimination. Despite the minimal publicity, this game garnered quite a few players within the first two days.

A screenshot of the game, Slither the Serpent

A technical glitch forced the organisers to remove the question component of the game. The snake now simply had to search for a treat without touching its tail or the sides of the arena. Another aspect that proved detrimental to the game’s popularity was that it could not be played on mobile handsets. “The technical glitches were one of the major reasons for the decline in participation. However, the response was good, considering that there was no award at the end for the winner”, said Anjan, one of the Event Heads. At the end of four days, the highest score was around eleven.

Although the implementation of the game could have been better, the organisers must be lauded for their effort. Nearly two months of preparation went into the making of this game, and it is a big step forward in promoting the gaming culture in Manipal. It was one of the few online events unrelated to coding, and its first run in TechTatva was impressive, despite the many problems it faced.

Electropoly
Navdha Jindal and Devyani Mehta

Image Credits: The Photography and Videography Department

The first day of Electropoly saw a full house with twelve teams signing up to compete against each other. The event was based on the classic game of Monopoly but included a unique twist. Instead of properties and estates, participants dealt in resistors and capacitors. The idea behind this challenge was to get students to learn about the concepts of circuitry in a new and innovative way.

Teams of two were required to play the board game and collect all the electrical components they needed to make a complete circuit. “I have played so much monopoly in my childhood. I can’t wait to see how this game goes,” said Akhil, a participant. The distribution of the starter amount of currency was followed by a round of bargaining and negotiation. It was hilarious to witness each team trying to tempt the others with inventive deals. The participants gained and lost points with every transaction, and this is where their business acumen was put to the test. One of the participants later remarked that this was one of the liveliest events he had attended so far.

On the second day,  participants were required to complete the circuit using the components they had collected. Points were deducted as the time taken to complete the circuit increased. “We added this twist to encourage healthy competition and add thrill to the event,” said Pranjal Gupta, the Category Head. The event appeared to be well-planned, and clearly involved a lot of work behind the scenes. The high turnout and the smiling faces of the participants as they left the room were a testament to the immense success of Electropoly.

Colour Rush
Devyani Mehta

Colour Rush, which was held on 4th October in the EEE Seminar Hall, gave students hands-on experience in using an Arduino board and its related software. Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. The software is used to convey instructions to the microcontroller on the board, thereby controlling its actions. Three teams with two participants each took part in the four-hour-long event.

Image Credits: The Photography and Videography Department

A two-day Pre-TechTatva Arduino workshop was held to prepare participants for the final event. In the first round, participants were required to build an Arduino bot that consisted of two separate components—a TCS230 sensor that is capable of recognizing colours, and a controller that helped the user navigate their surroundings. Students had to apply their knowledge in the field of Electronics to put together a functional bot.  In the second round, the Arduino bots had to travel a defined path on a rectangular board, moving only on a particular colour. The bot that reached the end of the path first would be the winner. Unfortunately, due to certain technical errors, none of the Arduino bots was able to move.

“I am in the third year, and I have never seen an event which involved the use of sensor technology on Arduinos in the previous years. That’s how this idea came up,” said Surya Talla, the Event Head. The workshop had the participants thoroughly engaged in trying to win the competition, and also provided a glimpse into the exciting world of Arduino.

Circuitrix
Devyani Mehta

Circuitrix was an event that had its participants awaken their inner detective, and make mind-boggling connections. Contestants were split into teams of two in which they had to simulate a given circuit and deduce the required electronic components.

Image Credit: The Photography and Videography Department

The first round required participants to write a computer program using Proteus, a simulation software. They were given a basic introduction to Proteus and were given an explanation on how to use it. The organisers first distributed the requisite software to all the participants and made sure that everyone had a proper workstation set up. The participants were then given the block diagrams of the circuit. They had to guess the components based on the details mentioned in the diagram. After successfully simulating the circuit using the software, the teams proceeded to the second round.

The connection of the circuit using hardware components took place in the second round. Participants were then directed to an area where the required hardware was placed. They now had to build the circuit according to the simulation they had created in the first round. This round had a time limit of one hour. The room buzzed with activity as the participants hurried to finish their work. The organizers were sensitive to the participants’ needs and took care to solve every problem that they had.

“It was a good experience, and I got to learn new things. The math behind it was a bit difficult to follow, but it was interesting,” noted a participant at the event. Circuitrix made an attempt to introduce students to the complicated task of simulating electronic circuits and succeeded in helping them out with their academics as well.

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