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Professor (Dr.) Kavi Arya, the Principal Investigator of e-Yantra Project at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-Bombay), India inaugurated the JNEC e-Yantra Robotics Laboratory along with Dr. Andu Dukpa, the Hon’ble President of Jigme Namgyel Engineering College (JNEC) on 22nd July, 2020.

The e-Yantra, IIT Bombay team led by Prof. Kavi Arya participated in the event virtually from IIT Bombay, India. The laboratory was established through the support of e-Yantra Lab Setup Initiative (eLSI), one of the initiatives of e-Yantra Project of IIT-Bombay.

As part of the inaugural speech, Prof. Kavi Arya spoke on the importance of innovation culture which needs to be provided to students and entrepreneurship development in the colleges through e-Yantra initiatives. He also talked about the initiatives and activities carried out as a part of the cordial relationship between India and Bhutan through e-Yantra projects. He further highlighted that JNEC e-Yantra Lab is the 372nd Lab to be established through eLSI and the first ever institution in Bhutan to set up the Lab.

Dr. Andu Dukpa, President of JNEC thanked Prof. Kavi Arya and his team for the support and further emphasized that the Lab in JNEC will be available for use by students and staff of all disciplines. Dr. Andu said that subject areas such as data science, machine learning, IoT and artificial intelligence are the future of engineering and JNEC must continue to support such initiatives to encourage these subjects in the college. He further remarked that everyone should get access to the Lab and that JNEC e-Yantra Robotics Lab must initiate programmes to benefit the youths in the community, especially school going children during the vacation period.

e-Yantra is a project hosted by IIT-Bombay to provide education in embedded systems and robotics. The project is sponsored by the Ministry of Human Resource Development of India through its National Mission on Education through ICT. The project provides opportunities to students through e-Yantra competition: e-Yantra Robotics Competition (eYRC) where the winner is awarded 6-weeks of internship opportunity in IIT Bombay; e-Yantra Ideas Competition (eYIC) to solicit ideas from student-teacher teams and train the students in articulating the local problems. 

JNEC will also participate in the annual e-Yantra Robotics and Ideas competition and other competitions held globally.

Four faculty members, Mr. Bevek Subba from the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Ms. Sonam Wangmo from the Department of Information Technology, Mr. Thinley Tobgay from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Mr. Tandin Wangdi from the Department of Mechanical Engineering were involved in the setting-up of the Lab in JNEC. 

The main objective of establishing the Lab in JNEC is to promote and provide robot-enhanced-education in JNEC. Through the robotics technology, JNEC aspires to inculcate innovation and entrepreneurial mindset in the students, encourage creative ideas and promote interdisciplinary learning. In addition, the Lab will also facilitate and organize robotics competitions.

The JNEC Robotics team showcased “Obstacle Detection and Video Surveillance Robot” during the first ever Innovation Day held in the college with the theme, “Creating Platform, Harnessing Innovation” coinciding with the 40th Birth Anniversary of His Majesty The King and the 46th College Foundation Day on February 21, 2020 and February 22, 2020 respectively.

As a part of the event and in response to COVID-19 pandemic, JNEC e-Yantra Robotics team exhibited an Automatic Hand Sanitizer Dispenser designed and developed by the JNEC team.

Mr. Bevek Subba, the Coordinator of the Lab thanked the IIT-Bombay team led by Prof. Kavi Arya and Hon’ble President of JNEC for the support in establishing the laboratory.