Ecole Centrale (MEC) has announced the launch of its first Autonomous
Underwater Vehicle (AUV) named Black Pearl. Created by MEC students and
mentored by their professors, the Black Pearl is a self-propelled, unmanned,
untethered underwater vehicle capable of carrying out simple activities with
little or no human supervision. Simply put, it is a computer-controlled system
(or a Robot) operating underwater.
College of Engineering is an international technology school which is part of
the Mahindra Group’s foray into the higher education sector. Mahindra
Educational Institutions, the wholly owned subsidiary of Mahindra Group’s IT
venture, Tech Mahindra, collaborated with Ecole Centrale Paris in 2014 to
establish MEC colocated with the Tech Mahindra Technology Centre in Hyderabad.
Ecole Centrale Paris (recently renamed as Centrale Supelec) is one of the
oldest and most prestigious engineering institutions in France with a heritage
that goes back to nearly 200 years
Underwater Vehicles operate independently of humans and are self-guiding and
self-powered vehicles. AUVs have a wide range of applications in marine
sciences, and are increasingly being tested and used by commercial, civil and
defence sectors. The AUV project is one of the most complicated in-house
projects to take shape at Mahindra Ecole Centrale, with its inherent innovative
integration of computer science, mechanical, electrical and electronics
engineering, the AUV is currently capable of carrying out navigational and
other tasks pre-fed into its memory with good precision and near-zero error.
students continue to exhibit strong interests in R&D and creativity in
building workable prototype devices and gadgets for different segments. Black
Pearl is another such product where the students and their academic and
research mentors worked tirelessly at our Centre for Robotics and created a
robust Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. We are very proud to be creating New
Engineers who work on complex projects, sharpen their technical and project
management skills becoming more competitive, innovative and future-ready, true
to the “Rise” philosophy of the Mahindra Group”, says Dr. Yajulu Medury,
Director, Mahindra Ecole Centrale.
Arya Kumar Bhattacharya, Dean R&D, MEC, ensured knowledge sharing and
mentoring on principles of system engineering went a long way in enabling the
near flawless output within pre-set timelines. Faculty mentor, Dr. Sebastian
Uppapalli of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Mahindra Ecole Centrale
tirelessly mentored the students assigned to the project. The team primarily
responsible for creating the AUV included Naval Pattar(Fabrication),
Nishith(Design), Pulkit(Simulations), Suresh(Control and Embedded Systems),
Srikanth Gadde(Control and Embedded Systems),Kartikeya(Vision Systems) while
the overall project was led by Sai Madhavan (Team Lead), and Sai Kiran
Kumar(Deputy Team Lead).
19.6 Kgs, MEC’s Black Pearl is a fully autonomous operation and carries power
onboard through a Lithium Polymer Battery. Powered by NVidia Jetson Nano Single
board computer and Arduino micro controller, MEC’s Black Pearl is a
free-swimming, untethered robot boasting of a Logical 270 vertical camera and
Raspberry Pi V2 horizontal camera to take good quality images. Nearly Rs.
3,70,000 was spent in developing the vehicle in-house.
Source: Mahindra Group
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