Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi, in collaboration with Himachal Pradesh Kaushal Vikas Nigam, Shimla, conducted its first School Camp on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (PRAYAS 1.0) that lasted 22 days from July 1-22.
It was a fully residential program where students learnt about the fundamentals of robotics and artificial intelligence to make a fully automated system early in their careers. One hundred students were selected from over 1200 students throughout Himachal Pradesh and were given an opportunity to be a part of this camp.
During the three weeks camp students had classes on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence where they learned to use various programming techniques, sensors, actuators, communication devices, and power devices to assemble various components to build a robot. Classes included both theoretical concepts and hands-on sessions. Along with this, the students were indulged in various sports activities and they were introduced to the several Labs on campus such as Manufacturing Machines, Tinkering Lab, and many others.
Activities such as regular Yoga and aerobics classes, Bhagavad Geeta sessions, and motivational documentaries were showcased during their stay on IIT Mandi campus. Also, the students planted over 200 plants in nearby areas under a plantation drives organised with NSS IIT Mandi,
At the end of the Camp, students were able to build a line following robot, an obstacle avoidance robot, and a Bluetooth-controlled car along with processing sensor data and python language. They were taught the basics of Robotics and Programming. The event also introduced them to the world of Artificial Intelligence and its Applications. The teams were provided with a Take Home Robotics kit to help them further tinker with the technology.
Dr. Tushar Jain, Head, Centre for Continuing Education, IIT Mandi, said, “PRAYAS 1.0 has instigated the new era in Himachal Pradesh for the technical skill development.”
PRAYAS 1.0 concluded with a mega closing ceremony. As a reward for their hard work, a prize-giving event was held to honour the best of the best. The participants and volunteers were commended for their enthusiasm and dedication to the fest.
Sharing views on the importance of this summer camp for young students, Prof. Laxmidhar Behera, Director, IIT Mandi said, “The Institute wants to encourage the school students to develop a skill in them at an early stage and make the most of this opportunity; We also plan to call teachers from schools and ITIs to get hands-on experience with IIT Mandi faculty and lab facilities.”