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TechTatva’18—Kraftwagen

Drive to Survive
Prajaktha Mallya

Drive to Survive, organised by Kraftwagen, was an event involving bot-building and control analysis. The bots built by participants had essential motor functions and certain weapons. Students were taught the basics of creating the bot during the pre-TechTatva workshops and had to come up with a design for their bot. They were then helped in building the bot by the organisers. After the teams drafted their plan for the bot, the organisers and other volunteers helped them assemble it by providing them with all the necessary materials and tools.

Image Credits: Kota Teja

The competition consisted of two rounds. The first round, which took place on Day 1, was an obstacle course which consisted of several tricky hurdles and hindrances. The most daunting challenge in this round was a hanging bridge, while certain gravel paths and a see-saw made the participants toil for victory. Some of the other obstacles consisted of bumpy roads, blades, and balloons, all of which added to the struggle the contestants had to overcome. The course was made even more difficult by the rain on the outdoor track.  Maneuvering through these creative obstacles, three teams moved on to round two. It is to be noted that the bad weather did not demotivate or deter the participants as they very enthusiastically took part and fought for a place in the next round.

Image Credits: Kota Teja

Round two took place on Day 3 at the Student Plaza and consisted of two task-based parts. Participants coaxed their bots to complete various tasks, such as bursting balloons and cutting strings to light up LEDs to gain points. Though one of the teams had to forfeit due to technical glitches, the competition surged ahead full speed. The final round was a battle between two teams where they each gained points on damaging the other bot, while the losing side had points taken off. Sneha, one of the organisers, said the event was fun to do and had an overall jubilant atmosphere, with jokes being made left and right.

On Stranger Tides
Prajaktha Mallya

Featuring amphibious bots which can function on both land and water, On Stranger Tides was one of the events organised by Kraftwagen. As expected, the primary challenge in building an amphibian bot was making it water-proof. Participants were taught the basics bot building and control analysis in the pre-TechTatva workshops. They were given the materials they required, including a water-proof seal, and were helped in making the bot by the organisers.

Image Credits: Simran Malhotra

The first round of this event was on day 3 of TechTatva, and consisted of an obstacle course. Challenges included crossing bumpy tracks, turning onto two thin lines, and also getting over a hanging bridge. Points were awarded based on the level of difficulty of the obstacle. The participants were given three attempts to finish the course and failure to do so resulted in a time penalty. “We designed the circuitry of the bots ourselves as the basics were taught in the workshop”, said Yash Wardhan, one of the participants.

Image Credits: Simran Malhotra

Out of the ten participating teams, five made it to the second and final round, wherein they faced an underwater track. This track had plenty of obstacles while also being tougher, as the entire setup was underwater. Since the bots’ wiring could be severely damaged by the water, it was imperative for the robot to be completely water-proof. This is again harder to maintain while contending with the challenges on the track. All in all, the event proved to be engaging, entertaining, and informative.

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