Sally Robotics is a technical team whose objective is to build a prototype of an autonomous car and to develop technology to “train such a machine in a setting as complex and anarchic as Indian roads”. The team is currently at the research stage, perusing research papers and patents of technology that will help the vehicle navigate complicated roads.
The initiative is an extension of a project that the founders Sabyasachi Dash, Lakshya Garg, Sai Shubodh, and Rohan Saxena had worked on for the DRDO DRUSE competition. This device was designed to traverse difficult terrains autonomously. Inspired by their success at the competition, they decided to further develop their prototype by creating a full-fledged technical team and explore the potential applications of what they had created. Over the summer, new members were recruited, bringing the team strength to sixteen. With Dr. B.K. Rout as the professor-in-charge, the team has acquired working space in FD2; they also use the workshop for their production needs.
When asked about what their priorities were, Sabhyasachi said, ‘The primary objective of the team is research, competitions are just by-products.’ Though they intend to work at their own pace, they are looking to apply for competitions like the IBM Watson AI Xprize, which awards teams for innovative applications of Artificial Intelligence. They are currently trying to make an AI model that will be trained to make predictions based on the human “spatio-temporal recognition”, which is how the brain perceives space and time. They are simultaneously working on improving the mechanical aspects of the vehicle and hope to present a working prototype by the end of this semester.