The Indian Underwater Robotics Society (IURS) is an independent body of students interested in the field of Autonomous Underwater Robotics. We represent a diverse group of Computer Science and Engineering students and enthusiasts from the large country of India studying at different institutions and located throughout the country.
IURS exists as a society in order to facilitate practical applications of skills learnt in and out of the classroom, while producing an environment condusive to the growth of personal, educational, resourceful and creative skills of students. A secondary aim of IURS is to popularize the subject of underwater robotics in India, a country that is at the forefront of the technological development revolution around the world. The IURS researchers aim to develop cost-effective underwater robot technologies that are easily affordable in developing nations as well.
The IURS also aims to be a forum for students to network together in order to research and develop new low-cost technologies for use in the Autonomous Underwater Robotics industry and also to solve existing problems with technological applications of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs).
We aim to bring the future of underwater robotic technology into the palms of developing nations, small scale technology companies, academic institutions and hobby roboticists as well.
Towards accomplishing this aim, IURS sought and received a not-for-profit educational and research Non-Government Organization (NGO) status from the Govt. of India, thereby making it the first society dedicated to this work in India.
A Brief History
IURS was founded in December of 2004 with a vision to develop India's first AUV and also enable the first Indian team to compete in the International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle competition organized by the AUVSI and the US Navy's Office of Naval Research in San Diego, CA, USA.
Taking a team of seven students to a foreign country and developing an AUV while never having met before with all of the team members posed a great challenge. However, all the team members were determined to make their dream of the first Indian AUV a reality and worked diligently towards doing so.
India is a country still largely uninitiated to the field of Intelligent Systems. As such, the task of raising the financial support to materialize our goal of successfully making an AUV was extremely tough. Though the Indian Government and Industry were not extremely receptive to the idea of an AUV, the team marched on ahead towards its goal with the support of The I.T. Pros and Fuerte Cases, both companies based out of San Diego, CA, USA. With personal contributions from team members and donations provided by the aforementioned institutions, the team had raised its required goal of $1000 for the development of the AUV by early June 2005.
The competition was scheduled for the first week of August and with only about a month left till the team's departure to the USA, crunch time was here. While the team was busy designing the AUV conceptually, all parts were being shipped from overseas and became available to the team only about a week before the flights to the US.
Even though the team made a valiant effort, one week was too short a time to completely develop, test and successfully deploy an AUV. This lack of time was apparent in the performance of the AUV when some of the subsystems started failing one after the other. Though the first chapter in the history of the IURS team was not a complete success, the team did learn how to be better organized for the future and perform tasks independently while still working towards a common goal of an AUV that works in perfect cohesion.
Smarter from the lessons learnt, the team started work on the AUV for the 2006 competition and hopes to perform upto its true caliber. Though most of the team members from the previous year dropped out, armed with a new refined team recruitment process based on a detailed application, IURS recruited some very skilled individuals to work upon the AUV named Jal. The hard work put in by the team was quite apparent when this new AUV with a budget of only $1500 performed better than BhAUV by leaps and bounds, with all electronic systems and most mechanical systems not exhibiting any major failures. Some of the shortcomings observed in the water are now being worked upon by the team to further hone the design and ensure good performance of the AUV.
Timeline of Operation
Dec 2004 - Foundations for IURS laid down.
Feb 2005 - First batch of members recruited.
Aug 2005 - IURS' first team competes in AUV competition.
Mar 2006 - Entire AUV team for Jal is recruited.
Jul 2006 - IURS conducts a workshop on robotics for middle and high school students in San Diego, CA.
Aug 2006 - Jal, IURS' second AUV competes in the AUVSI & ONR's competition.
Sep 2006 - Agreement signed with Intelligent Systems Society, USA (a not-for-profit organization).
Nov 2006 - IURS seeks NGO status from Govt. of India in order to further its goals and become self-reliant in operations.
Dec 2006 - Student and Professional membership program is set up.
Jan 206 - Research and Development pact signed with NeoGen Robotics (a division of NenoTech India Pvt. Ltd.).
Feb 2006 - Online robotics courses and tutorials for members are launched.
Mar 2006 - Govt. of India grants IURS NGO status under Societies Registration Act of 1860.
Mar 2006 - Workshop program is formally founded with first workshop at National Institute of Technology-Karnataka, Surathkal, India.
Apr 2006 - Exemption under section 80(G) of Income-Tax Act is granted to IURS.
Some updates happening within the next couple of weeks:
Apr 2006 - IURS launches India's first not-for-profit store with low-cost robotics and embedded systems kits for students and hobbyists.