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IIT Gandhinagar Students Turn Golf Cart Into Driverless Campus Vehicle

A robotics teacher Professor Palanthandalam Madapusi at IIT Gandhinagar has announced that his 10 students have made an autonomous vehicle (golf cart vehicle) for campus travel.

By Rashaad Ather
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Students innovators of autonomous campus vehicle

Students innovators of autonomous campus vehicle

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10 students of Professor Palanthandalam Madapusi at IIT Gandhinagar have built an autonomous golf cart vehicle for campus travel.

“Presenting a fully autonomous campus vehicle developed by students!”: wrote Professor Harish Palanthandalam Madapusi on Linkedin.

Autonomous vehicles have been making rounds on social media recently.

Last month, the Bhopal Swaayatt Robots startup by Sanjeev Sharma achieved overnight fame with a demo video featuring a driverless Mahindra Bolero navigating through traffic on Bhopal roads.

Professor Harish details how his 10 “courageous” Btech students went against the conventions to take up his course.

“10 courageous BTech students at #iitgn took up a course on #autonomousvehicles with me, and as part of the course developed a fully working autonomous vehicle (starting from an electric golf cart). The vehicle integrates lane detection, obstacle detection, autonomous steering, and autonomous braking & acceleration. Several safety features were also incorporated including emergency stop, manual overrides, backup systems, and a capped safe operating speed”: explained Professor Harish.

The robotics professor added that his students aim to make their innovative vehicles “full-fledged” campus vehicles. 

“The students are hoping that now that the vehicle is developed and has cleared the initial tests, future generations of students will operationalise it as a full-fledged campus transportation system for students and residents”: Professor Harish added.

Interestingly, he credited Swaayatt Robot’s Sanjeev Sharma for the inspiration.

“Sanjeev Sharma, do you think the students can aim to reach the level of Swaayatt Robots (स्वायत्त रोबोट्स) in a year or two? The future superstars who made this happen: Abhiraj R Mohan, Anavart Pandya, Aravind Krishna, Ashutosh Goyal, Hrishikesh C P, Kush Patel, Rahul Pai, Rajesh Kumar, Ravi Dhorajia, Saniya Patwardhan”: shared Professor Harish.

You can see the LinkedIn post here.

What Is an Autonomous Vehicle? How Is It Different From Automatic Vehicles?

According to the University of Michigan Center for Sustainable Systems, an autonomous vehicle uses “technology to partially or entirely replace the human driver in navigating a vehicle from an origin to a destination while avoiding road hazards and responding to traffic conditions.”

A fully autonomous vehicle would be self-aware and capable of making its own choices but a fully automated one follows orders through remote controls or similar devices.