I have done a lot of work over my tenure of 4 years at IIT Madras- mostly projects: some during coursework, some at an external organization, and some as a part of the Center for Innovation– an alumni funded-student run organization which has the motto: “Walk in with an idea, walk out with a product”. I shall try my best to summarize my most notable works done, which have been elaborated from my CV.
1. Realistic Muscle models for Real-time biomorphic actuation
Supervisors: Dr. Jorg Conradt, Dr. Christoph Richter: TU Munich
This was my project for the summer of 2016, wherein I worked on mathematical modelling of muscles for myomorphic systems, actuated on neuromorphic hardware, as a German Academic Exchange (DAAD) scholar from India. Jargon aside, the project aimed to make a mathematical model of a muscle-like actuator, which would be actuated by a brain-like spiking system.
I was a part of the wonderful group Neuroscientific System Theory, a group within the Dept. of Electrical engineering at TU Munich, Germany. We had this idea of using a Myomorphic, or muscle-like hardware system, and actuate it like how the brain actuates biological muscles. A myomorphic robotic arm looks like this:
The project was in its nascent stages, and my job as a limited-time intern student was to give it a solid theoretical foundation. I browsed through volumes of theoretical measurements and inferred models with the perspective of having a workable implementation. Finally, I was able to make an implementation of models for (i). Golgi tendon organ, (ii). Tendons and Ligaments, and (iii). Muscle fibres. The implementation can be found on github. For artificial spikes, the model worked like a real muscle, while interfacing with a neuromorphic hardware like SpiNNaker was out of scope for the short duration.
Sadly, while we were coordinating with other students to interface the model with Real muscles, and set up a proper implementation, another group beat us in publishing a similar model interfaced with artificial spiking system, which can be found here….
Anyway, that was my part of work in the project, which I hope will be integrated well in the near future!
2. Refreshable Braille Display
Supervisor: Dr. Sandipan Bandyopadhyay, IIT Madras.
This project was done as a part of Product Design Lab-II course at Engineering design department- IIT Madras. The course aims to have group of 4-5 students get together and build a working prototype of a product- starting from Ideation, market analysis, to product development.
I, along with 4 other students from the department, embarked on making an ambitious project- making a “Refreshable” Braille display.
Braille is the standard script for blind people, and there have been numerous publications in the language. But, with the advent of “e-book readers”, it is imperative there are facilities which would function as such readers in Braille. We performed a market research, and realised such readers exist in the market, and they are not affordable by people in a country like India.
Hence, we used a very novel method by using Shape memory alloys to control the “Braille pin acutation”, and were able to successfully generate a single charachter which was constrained by primarily by the dimensions involved.
I was the primary ideator behind the project- and came up with the idea of using SMAs. I worked mostly on the actuation circuit and the SMA tempering, while my the others were involved in 3D-printing of the setup, CAD modelling, microcontroller coding, and assembling of the setup itself.