Program background

With Robotics assuming significance in manufacturing, inspection, safe and secure handling of hazardous material etc., the ACoE focuses on the developing technologies to enable Human-Robot co-work environments to be safe and efficient. The Center also contributes significantly in the development of Robotics technologies for sustainability, e.g.  safe reclaim material for reuse in end-of-life products such as Lithium from batteries.

IIT Madras and Accenture are revolutionizing the Automotive Industry, collaborating closely with CAAR (Center for Advanced Automotive Research and Development) and CBEEV (Centre of Excellence of Battery Engineering and Electrical Vehicles) to develop concepts on Shared Mobility, Green Technologies (Electric Vehicles) and Connectivity (including Autonomous Driving Solutions).

The activities under Robotics vertical at the Accenture Centre for Excellence at IIT Madras emerged from activities related to the development of Remote and Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUVs) to inspect, survey, and monitor marine structures at sites such as lakes, rivers, and ports and infrastructural assets such as storage tanks and pipelines. Due to the autonomous operation mode, AUVs facilitate reliable, safe, and efficient data collection. 

We concentrate and research on optimizing autonomous motion, human-machine interaction and sensor data distribution and integration aspects of Robotics. To achieve the autonomous motion of Robots, we use the integrated action of the control and guidance systems. The Control system evaluates and sends the optimum signals to actuators based on the data from the guidance system. We use tools such as robust Sliding Mode based Control system (SMC) to ensure reliable performance even during environmental disturbances and sensor drifts. Guidance systems being developed at the group analyse the map and obstacle data to generate the desired trajectory to be followed. Techniques for optimal path generation, both static (based on known map and obstacle data) and dynamic  (based on readings of  sensors such as RADAR/ SONAR) obstacle avoidance guidance algorithms are also studied.

For the human-machine interaction, custom-built software and an ultrasound-based communication system are used to monitor and control the vehicle from the base station. The same also can be used for retrieving the data for post-processing once the operation is completed. The data integration takes place in two ways using a distributed sensing approach. First is the measurement system that includes storing and processing the data from the mapping sensors. The second is associated with the control system, where data from multiple vehicle tracking sensors are fused using a Kalman filter to obtain the accurate position of the vehicle. As a continuous development process, researchers from the IIT Madras have been working on improving the control and guidance systems to optimize the motion of the AUV in collaboration with the Center for Excellence.

Setting up of the Co-Innovation Center of Excellence

Pravartak will coordinate with IITM in providing the facility and engage with Accenture on programs of mutual interest; IITM will create and establish new facilities in the Automotive areas at the Institute using the capital grants of Accenture.

IITM has various modes of engagement, including the establishment of the Centres of Excellence, Corporate Social Responsibility programs, the establishment of a Chair Professorship/Faculty Fellowship, academic programs in coordination with Accenture which Pravartak will coordinate on.

Accenture will provide all reasonable support and cooperation to Pravartak for the successful accomplishment of the Centre of Excellence.