IIT-Madras students build Robot that can detect Cracks in Railway Tracks

Students from Indian Institute Of Technology (IIT), Madras have built a robot called ‘Artemis’ which can detect cracks in rail tracks. Measuring roughly 1.5 foot-long, Artemis is designed to seamlessly fit along railway tracks and deliver its purpose through the assistance of sensors.

CHENNAI: Four students from Indian Institute of Technology Madras(IIT-M) have built ‘Artemis’, a robot that can detect cracks as small as 2 cm in railway tracks and send out real-time data.

The robot’s capabilities can go a long way towards saving lives of individuals working on railway tracks.

Maintenance of rail tracks is necessary in order to monitor faults like minor cracks, displacements and regular strength checking.

As per a report, around 400 workers die in accidents every year while checking the condition of rail tracks.

To tackle this problem, a team of students from IIT-M built Artemis, a 1.5-foot-long robot with six wheels that can move on the tracks at a speed of about 1 m/s.

The robot is equipped with ultrasonic and infrared sensors to collect data that is then sent to a micro-controller.

It also has a GPS module and a GSM-enabled SIM card to ensure that when a crack is identified, the micro-controller sends out the location and time alert.

The robot is lightweight, but that doesn’t stop it from moving on the tracks even when there is a train running on it.

“We have developed a system that is fully automatic and sends out real-time data with the accurate location of the crack for action needed. It cuts response time. It is a cheap solution for Indian Railways we used a commonly available material to build the device,”said Shashwat Sahoo, one of the team members.

“We eventually plan to have a central database to which the robot could send the data,” he added.

Kevan Sawla, another member of the team, said, “We will attach solar panels to power the battery of the robot. Also, the robot has a modular design, so no technical expertise is required to change its components.”