RoboManipal : Unveil the veil

RoboManipal, a haven for all the robotics aficionados, has become the eponymous with crowd in Manipal. Started in 2010 by a bunch of robotics enthusiasts, this small group has now grown and developed into a full-fledged team, comprising of 35 students. It has achieved new heights and overcome withering with the zeal of a hurricane.

Every year, the team represents MIT at Robocon, one of the most prestigious robotics contests at undergraduate level in India. Up recently at Robocon 2016, the team bagged an overall 16th position out of 105 participating teams, which is indeed a remarkable achievement.We caught up with the team for a candid conversation. Following are the excerpts from the interview.
RoboManipal has evolved and has built a brand value for itself. How has the journey been so far?
The journey has been a constant learning process. With the consistent support from our faculty advisor, mechatronics department and college funding, we have been able to guard our work and dream of working further towards robotics and its factors.
What are your plans for the future? Where do you see RoboManipal heading?
We would be happy to see our juniors get bigger and even better sponsors in the future. We wish to see RoboManipal win Robocon and represent India at the international event. Besides Robocon, we are also planning to participate in other nationally organized robotics contests. We see RoboManipal heading in the right direction and anticipate a bright future.
This is the second time that the team has qualified for the super leagues, Robocon. How has the process been so far?
The process has been exhilarating. It took us 4 months to build our Robot that we would present at Robocon this year. We have worked and hovered around our workstation post classes. We have been practicing daily ever since it was built to give our best at Robocon.
Let’s talk about the daily routine of the team. How much does it take off your daily life?
It’s been hectic as of now, since Robocon is just a few days away. Honestly, all of us volunteered as we are passionate about our work. We usually end up at the workshop from dawn to dusk. The infamous reputation that just because we are a part of the technical team, we might not have a social or personal life is absolute balderdash. It’s all about doing what you love and managing the best in what you have got.


Are there any other notable achievements of RoboManipal that you would like to mention?
We, at RoboManipal, have always promoted startup culture. Four startups namely Fracktal Works, VIRLD, XES Automation and Strange Matter, have been cofounded by ex-RoboManipal members and are incubated in MUTBI. In fact, Strange Matter was the winner of Provenance 2015. We had 3 teams out of 7 finalists at INK Makeathon 2015, which is conducted by INK MAKERS in association with Manipal University, and saw a participation of over 300 students. We celebrate invention and innovation in every possible aspect of daily life.
What is your message for the fellow MITians and our readers?
We would urge them to get associated with student projects. The opportunity knocks on your door pretty often, try opening the door. Getting to represent college is an ethereal experience. It helps you grow as an individual. We hope to see increased participation in the future.

RoboManipal has four subsystems: Electronics, Mechanical, Coding and Management. They have Pharmat, Prax, and Credence as their sponsors. Recently, they have collaborated with OYO. RoboManipal is true embodiment of working hard and making it happen. We at MTTN, wish the team Best of Luck for their future endeavors and the upcoming competition.

-As told by Vansh Sodhi.

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