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'I didn't even think I would top Mumbai'
The AcYut-II robot, designed by a team of four young India [Images]n students from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS Pilani), India, has won the bronze medal in the middleweight Humanoid category at the 2009 RoboGames (www.robogames.net), according to a press release on marketwire.com. The competition was held in San Francisco between June 12 and 14.
The RoboGames are the world's biggest open robot competition with over 250 teams participating from 28 different countries in 70 different competitive events. With this result the BITS Pilani team has won India's first medal ever for the annual competition.
RoboGames is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as 'The World's Largest Robot Competition.'
AcYut, translated from Sanskrit means, 'the one who never falls', was the only Indian humanoid in RoboGames.
The AcYut team from the Center for Robotics Intelligent Systems (CRIS) at BITS Pilani built their second humanoid, AcYut-II, after placing 6th at the 2008 competition from a group of 30 contenders.
Returning team members, including team leader Samay Kohli and Sushma Vallabhaneni, were joined this year by Mohammad Ariz and Akash Gupta, who were selected from over 150 applications to join the 2009 AcYut team under the guidance of Professor Dr R K Mittal.
The students will now begin a three-month research project at the University of Louisiana as part of Center for Robotics and Intelligent Systems, a joint initiative.
The team learned important lessons last year and applied these for the 2009 competition. AcYut-II is taller than its predecessor and has a higher torque motor, which enables it to punch harder.
AcYut-II can move very quickly around corners, reducing its chances of falling out of the ring during a Kung Fu match. The students developed a bodysuit for controlling AcYut-II from a distance, allowing the robot to mimic the students' actions. This enables the robot to perform more complex moves instead of a limited set of pre-programmed moves that are possible with a hand-held remote.
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