IIT Madras students build Robot, help detect cracks in rail tracks

The team plans to attach solar panels for the battery of the robot. Moreover, no technical expertise is required for changing the robot’s components as it has a modular design, reports stated.

Rail maintenance just got a lot easier by the new invention of IITans from Madras who built a robot named Artemis. The robot is fitted along the railway track and will detect the smallest of cracks of 2cm through its censors and will send out real-time data. The robot is 1.5-foot-long and and have 6 wheels through which it moves at a speed of 1 m/s on the tracks. The very smart invention will help prevent train accidents.

Studies show that the ‘gang men’ who maintain the rail tracks and go on site to test the tracks, are at huge risks of fatal injuries. An average of 400 such gang men die every year in accidents caused by hitting off trains while on duty. But thanks to Artemis, the lives of these workers and the passengers is safe. Artemis is equipped with ultrasonic and infrared sensors that send the collected data to a microcontroller inside the robot. This microchip is light in weight and can move on tracks even while a train is running on the same track. The device has a GPS module and a sim card installed that is GSM-enabled and ensures that a timely alert is sent when a crack is identified.

A biotechnology student of IIT-M named Shahwat Sahoo reportedly stated that their Artemis team has developed a fully automatic system that sends out real-time data with accurate location of the crack and the action needed. He added that the system cuts the general response time, and is a cheap alternative for Indian Railways made out of commonly available material. Sahoo also stated that the team eventually plans for a central database to which the data could be sent by the robot.

The smart technology was showcased at the 2018 inter-IIT tech meet along with other amazing innovations. The robot was tested on a dummy rail track on the campus.

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