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Robosumo, night drone racing is no science fiction

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Technovanza 2018, the festival of Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI), Matunga, with its theme ‘Beginning Of Beyond,’culminated on December 30. Hosting the ISRO exhibition for the first time, Technovanza managed to add a new chapter to its legacy.

Over 80,000 visitors attended the three-day festival. The first day saw contestants from across India participate in events that have been in the repertoire since its inception. A flagship event, ‘Fast n Furious’, the IC engine battle captivated crowds as the cars raced to be the fastest one.

In ‘Robosumo’ and ‘Robosoccer’ robots grappled at one another for victory. But the highlight of the day was the inauguration of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) exhibition by its former chairman, Dr. A.S. Kiran Kumar. This was followed by a guest lecture in which he talked about the achievements of the ISRO scientists, and the hardships they had to face along the way.

The 12-year-old innovator Haaziq Kazi and 13-year-old entrepreneur Tilak Mehta also gave lectures. They encouraged the crowds to pursue their goals irrespective of their age or social standing. The day ended with the exhilarating display of ‘Night Drone Racing’ as the nano-drones flew across obstacles with ease.

The second day saw school children participate in the ‘Just a Minute’ contest, in which they had to talk about an impromptu topic assigned to them. Young students also prepared fascinating projects for the ‘Junior X-Con’, in which they were provided eco-friendly solutions to various environmental issues.

The VJTI Robotics Challenge 6.0 on the theme ‘Operation Shakti’, inspired by the Pokhran mission, received great appreciation for its subject as well as its gameplay. The much-awaited ‘Robowars’ also kicked off with a new category of 30 kg machines being introduced along with the 60 kg tier.

A panel discussion on the topic ‘Data and Democracy’ was conducted by 18th Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Arun Prakash and Vice President, Chief Cyber Security and Business Continuity Officer at Capgemini in India, Mahesh Guru.

The final day was marked by the words of Dr. Rajendra Singh, well-known water-conservationist and environmentalist, who spoke on the growing importance of water for our agrarian country.

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