Techfest

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Techfest
Logo of Techfest,IIT Bombay
Type Student Non-Profit Organization
Genre Technical
Founded 1998
Place Mumbai, India
Institute Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
Website www.techfest.org

Techfest is the annual science and technology festival of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.[1] It also refers to the independent body of students who organize this event along with many other social initiatives and outreach programs round the year. Started in 1998 with the aim of providing a platform for the Indian student community to develop and showcase their technical prowess, it has now grown into the largest college technical festival in all of Asia.[2] It is among the very few student organisations to have received patronage from UNESCO for promotion of technical know-how as well as taking up social causes through ideate competitions and other initiatives over the years.[citation needed]

The activities culminate in a grand three day festival event in the month of January within the campus of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay which attracts over 100,000 from all over India and even abroad, including students, academia, corporates and the general public (30,000 from India).[3]

History and Growth[edit]

The very first edition of Techfest was in 1998. The underlying spirit of the competitions was "Technology is fun" a motto that has been followed by every Techfest since. Techfest 98 also set the broad outlines of Techfest in the form of competitions, lectures, workshops and exhibitions which went on to become a standard feature at every Techfest. Entrepreneurship also made an appearance in the 1999 and 2000 editions. Technoholix—Techfest in the Dark showcasing technological entertainment at the end of each day as well as HUB—the centre of on the spot activities, made their debut during these years.

Techfest 2002 saw the incorporation of IIT Bombay's department based events like Yantriki, Chemsplash and Last Straw. Students from G H Raisoni College of Engineering get the Engineering Excellence Award (Bodhisattwa Ganguli, Amit Shankar Choudhary & Fahad Azad).

Techfest 2003 launched the Techfest trophy to make the competitions more interesting.

Techfest 2004 marked a big milestone in the growth of Techfest as this was the year Techfest became an International event with the introduction of Cliffhanger—The International Competition won by Indian students (Fahad Azad,Mudassir Parakh, Afaque Azad) . It also saw the introduction of the renowned robotics competition, Micromouse for the first time in India.

Techfest 2005 added challenging problem statements in the form of competitions like Survivor as well as Drishti, which was conceived with the National Association for the Blind (NAB) in order to provide aids for the visually challenged. The emphasis at Techfest 2006 was on technology and its applications rather than just engineering know—how. With this view, a section of competitions held under the name E-Rustique had problem statements that encouraged the participants to come up with solutions to existing rural problems and hence contribute to the development of modern India.

Techfest 2007 introduced an event Nexus to take robotics to the masses via workshops and subsequent competitions with easy problem statements in cities other than Mumbai.

In Techfest 2008, Nexus was conducted at 7 centers across India namely Indore, Calicut, Jaipur, New Delhi, Pune, Surat & Mumbai respectively. Techfest 2008 also returned to the trend of taking up of initiatives by the Techfest team for social and public causes through their campaign on Global Warming.

Techfest 2009 featured the iNexus taking Nexus international to Sri Lanka, UAE and Denmark, whos finalists were flown to India to compete with their counterparts from India, making Techfest the first ever student organization to go truly international.It also saw the creation of open innovation platform called Prayaas to try come up with implementable solutions to problems existing in rural India.

Techfest 2010 added a new segment to their festival called Scintillations. The segment consisted of night exhibitions and thrilling interactive shows. The exhibitions had quite a nationalistic flavor with hanger space devoted to IRSO, Indian Navy and National Disaster Management Authority.

Techfest 2011 was held from 7 January 2011 to 9 January 2011. It more entertainment events to the festival with a new section called Crossroads which featured Street Magic Shows, Stunt Shows etc. Some of the featured events at 2011 were the VirtuSphere and Laser Tag, lecture by the likes of Harold Kroto and Richard Stallman, exhibition of Science and inventions of Leonardo da Vinci and PR2[disambiguation needed]. Techfest team also conducted an energy-saving competition among all Indian Institutes of Technology. Technoholix saw world's best Double Dutch (jump rope) crew and the Dunking Devils − an acrobatic basketball show among others.

Techfest 2012 took a unique initiative Ummeed-e-Milaap to step towards a peaceful future between India and Pakistan. With the motto of spreading awareness about electric vehicles in Indian metros, WAVE-India was launched, a road-trip of electric vehicles covering over 2500 kilometers through India. It saw a series of great lecturers viz. Sir Venki Ramakrishnan (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry), K Brandenburg (Co-Inventor of MP3) and many more. Many amazing exhibits like Nao Robot (France), Crazy Flie (Sweden) etc. were a part of the festival.

Techfest 2013 created a benchmark for itself with its lecture series, competitions and initiatives. This stint of Lecture Series at Techfest was graced by Dr. Amartya Sen (Nobel Laureate in Economics), Dr. Ei-ichi Negishi(Nobel Laureate in Chemistry), Rakesh Sharma and many more. International Robotics Challenge(IRC), the flagship event of Techfest 2013, witnessed participation from 8 countries. The initiatives - Techfest International Model United Nations, Techfest Green Campus Challenge(participation from 750 colleges and formation of 150 new Eco-clubs) and Give-A-Coin aimed at awareness of financial child adoption were a huge success and well appreciated all over the country.

Organization[edit]

Team Techfest 2011.

Techfest is an entirely student organized body. The Techfest Team is three tiered in nature. Heading the team is the Overall Coordinator along with a team of Managers. Techfest is a true believer in the concept of a team of equals. Every brickbat is shared equally by the team as is every bouquet. Although every aspect of Techfest is no closer to one manager than the other but, for smooth functioning, certain portfolios are allotted to every manager. The portfolios can be broadly categorized into two sections - administration and events. The administrative portfolios primarily include tasks like accounts, infrastructure, marketing, hospitality, publicity and media along with helping with the events. The events portfolios include responsibility for each of the numerous happenings and initiatives taken by Techfest each year. Each manager then has his own team of coordinators and organizers. The coordinators and organizers help the manager in looking into the finer details of the department and ensuring that ideas of the team are executed smoothly.

Events[edit]

The plethora of activities undertaken by the Techfest team during its three day fiesta are categorized as follows:

Competitions[edit]

Competitions serve the backbone for fulfilling the basic motto of Techfest- spreading science and technology. Through its diverse and world class problem statements, competitions at Techfest, IIT Bombay provide a benchmark for students to gauge themselves. They have also been instrumental in making Indian students aware of the latest technical advancements and using them as well, be it the Micromouse, car running on IC engine, Robotics or Remote Control Vehicle development.

International Robotics Challenge[edit]

Techfest attracted a lot of international limelight with the launch of International Robotics Challenge (IRC) in 2009 to increase the level of student interaction at the international stage, to facilitate a higher degree of collaboration among premier academic institutions of the world and hence aiming towards providing a platform for students from all over the world to compete with each other in the finale held during Techfest every year. Till date, IRC has seen participation from Sri Lanka, Australia, UAE, Denmark, Thailand, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Nepal and Pakistan.

Robowars[edit]

Techfest organizes the biggest and best Robowars in India. With an enclosed arena and precise set of rules, opposing robots battle it out one-on-one in one of the most popular and thrilling events during the festival.

Full Throttle[edit]

The premier racing competition of Techfest in which IC engine powered RC cars race against one another along the track. The track includes bridges, pits, slopes and sharp turns, making it a challenge to survive before winning against others.

Nexus[edit]

As part of its outreach program, Nexus started in 2007 has aimed at taking the best of robotics culture to the masses in India. Held across various cities in India it has gained much popularity over the years owing as much to the lucrative prize money as to the chance of participating in the iNexus competition held later on during Techfest.

Workshops[edit]

Workshops serve as an iron hand in fulfilling Techfest vision of bringing the students face to face with the latest technology that is storming the world. These workshops are organized under expert guidance from various fields and are known to attract a lot of students owing to their repute and quality content. Over the past few years workshops in Android App Development, Ethical Hacking, r-Hex Robot (all terrain six legged robot), Special Effects, Digital Photography, Humanoid Hand, Artificial Intelligence, and Bioinformatics have given an enriching experience of “Learning by Doing”.

Apart from the workshops held during the three-day festival, Techfest also reaches out to many colleges across India through tie-ups with robotics companies and organises workshops pertaining to spreading the robotics culture among Indian youth.

Exhibitions[edit]

EDWARD DiWheel exhibit premiers in India

The exhibitions segment of Techfest started out in 2004 with Indian Navy Exhibitions feeling the need to motivate young Indian minds towards military research and to depict the wide spectrum of technologies used in the Navy. It was re-initiated in 2006 with a plethora of exhibitions. Welcome To Mars was the first International Exhibition from Arizona State University and NASA. In this year also had displays from ISRO, Indian Air Force Exhibition and exhibits from the research at IIT Bombay. While 2007 witnessed a huge increase in the number of International Exhibits of which the most prominent were Mind Reading Machines and the life size exhibits of Pterosaur, in 2008 had the first interactive exhibit in Techfest in Shadow Dexterous Hand. In 2009 the underwater Amphibot capable of moving both on land and water without any limbs or wheels, face detection software on a robot security platform,rudders and flight control mechanics from Airbus, and DRDO’s mobile autonomous launcher Brahmos and Bridge laying System of Tank Arjuna thrilled all. Alice the first robot smaller than a ping pong ball and eyewriter-writing by eye movement were the focus of Techfest Exhibitions 2010.

ISU[disambiguation needed] Autonomous bot capable of painting and writing. Da Vinci Robotics Exhibitions-conceptualised by Leonardo da Vinci, Open vibe- the brain-computer interface show how brain activity, PR2 Robot, Eccerobot 2- an anthropomimetic robot acting as a human replica were the cynosure of all eyes in 2011.

There are a robot that can learn and think by itself by artificial intelligence(HIRO robot by genius group at Tokyo), a dancing robot (NAO robot by great group at France) and so on in TechFest 2013.

Pep Bou's bubble show at Techfest 2012

Technoholix[edit]

Technoholix brings to you professional shows from the biggest names in entertainment from around the world. It is almost anything and everything that Techfest has to offer once the sun comes down. It offers entertainment, but with a flicker of tech.

Technoholix over the years has truly lived up to its name bringing to light the addiction that is technology. Be it magic, pyrotechnics, laser shows, acrobatics to even virtual 3D holographic displays, Technoholix has showcased so many firsts that it will not be an understatement to call it a pioneering influence to the thriving entertainment industry of our nation. The Double Dutch Force that graced the stage of Athens Olympics subsequently performed here at Techfest. Not even Hollywood was spared- the stage has even played host to the parkour team from the sets of Casino Royale. Tony Chapek, an interactive illusionist from the States; Mark Nizer, arguably the best juggler on Earth; the Pa-li-Tchi fire dancers and pyrotechnicians all have shared space at the Student Activity Center of IIT Bombay.

The performers at Technoholix don’t just travel around the world all for nothing. The South-Asian market for long has remained an unchartered territory for many big names from the entertainment world and a performance on the Techfest stage is a ticket to just that. Believe it or not, the Laserman who wooed the crowds at the closing ceremony of IPL 2009 had just come off of a performance at the OAT. Other than that, the public turnout at Technnoholix is unparalleled by any college technology festival in our country. By sheer number, the crowds at Technoholix have intimidated performers who have seldom seen anything like it before.

Ozone[edit]

Ozone or “On the Spot Zone” reveals the fun part of Techfest. It is the place to hang around for all the festive excitement and adrenaline gushing events. Started in 2006, it has proved to be an integral part of Techfest in the past few years. Through Ozone, Techfest has brought in various entertainment-based technical gadgetry for the first time in India, be it Lazer tag (in 2010), VirtuSphere (in 2011) or Silent Disco (in 2013). Events like Junkyard Wars, Paintball, Water Zorbing, 6D-XD Simulator and the Gaming Zone help keep the audience engrossed when they are not involved in the gruelling competitions and workshops.

SciTech Quiz started by Techfest as the largest science and technology quiz in 2008 evolved into the largest inter-institute quiz in India, the Techfest National Open Quiz, hosted by Rohit Nair- one of the premier quizmasters in India.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Akolawala, Tasneem (4 January 2012). "Techfest 2013: The fun side of technology". DNA India. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Techfest 2012 - About Us". techfest.org. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Techfest 2013". knowafest.com. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 

External links[edit]