IIT-Madras Students develops a robot to detect Cracks in Rail Tracks: Can prevent train accidents

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Chennai: A team of students from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras developed a robot ‘Artemis’. It is fitted along a railway track and can detect cracks as small as 2 cm with sensors and send out real-time data. The 1.5 foot-long robot has six wheels which can move back-and-forth at a speed of 1 m/s on the tracks. It is equipped with ultrasonic and infrared sensors to collect data and send it to a microcontroller (microchip) inside the robot. It is not only lightweight, but can move on the tracks even when there is a train running on it. 

Shashwat Sahoo, a student of biotechnology at IIT-M and a member of the Artemis team said, “We have developed a system that is fully automatic and sends out real-time data with accurate location of the crack for action needed. It cuts response time.” He added, “It is a cheap solution for Indian Railways — we used commonly available material to build the device.” The technology was showcased at the Inter-IIT Tech Meet 2018 along with other stunning innovations. It has been tested on a dummy track on the campus. Another member of the group, Kavan Savla, said that the team planned to approach the Railways for a particular location where the robot could be tested and results established.

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