An Indian team of students have managed to make it big at the global level hackathon launched by NASA.
Bagging the second position under the People’s Choice section in NASA’s Space Apps Challenge 2017, a five-student team from VIT University, Vellore, has become the first-ever team from the country to secure a place in the global finalist nominees.
The Space Apps Challenge is a 48-hour international hackathon that invites coders, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, technologists, and everyone enthusiastic about space to address challenges faced on Earth and in space.
The 2017 edition of the challenge took place on April 29-30 and saw more than 25,000 people participating from countries across the globe.
Mantej Singh Gill, Ankit Garg, Anupam Rana, Divyansh Rajput and Rajat Bhati, who go by the moniker ‘Team Kepler’, put their brains together and developed a space simulator that lets one experience the feeling of space travel.
Incorporating virtual reality and embedded systems, the simulator comprises a chair with directional vibration feedback along with a glove that enables user interaction with virtual reality and an AI bot that acts as an astronaut’s assistant.
Currently enabling the user experience a space shuttle launch, the team is working on developing a fully-fledged system that will let the user take up different NASA missions.
The estimated cost of the simulator is between ₹2,000 to ₹3,000.
Encouraged by the win, the team now wants to work towards piquing curiosity and raising awareness on astronomy and space exploration amid young minds and motivate them to pursue projects in the same field.
The Team Kepler also plans on approaching and pitching its project to the Indian Space Research Organisation.
You can reach out to Team Kepler on their Facebook page.