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Rock, Paper, Scissors, Rover

INK Talks @Bombay

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Rover

So what can you really do if you have a rock, some paper, a pair of scissors and a rover?
A. Rover beats Rock beats Scissors beat Paper

Sorry, that was completely random, mindblock.

INK Talks @Bombay

Travel builds wisdom. So when we got a call to showcase the Team Indus story and the rover, in front of one of the biggest ever live audience yet, we just couldn’t wait. Enter Mumbai, India’s bustling business metropolis which has a great beach skyline, was where we headed for the INK 2014 Conference – Beyond Boundaries.

Evoking curiosity on its way through check-in and oversized baggage, the Rover was set to be the star from the very onset. Security personnel give us a hand, and ask “Bombay jaa rahe ho?”How’d  he guess? It is showbiz town after all, he says “Yeh sab toh wahin hota hai”. Ironically, our rover is called “Ek Chotti Si Asha” J Accompanying us was our newest and youngest team member yet, Saad Nasser and Prof. NC Bhat, a retired ISRO scientist and Structures & Mechanisms expert. Just 12 years old, Saad is not an average kid, but has read ‘Elements of Rocket Propulsion’ by Sutton and is getting thorough with ‘Space Mission Analysis and Design’. So from Prof Bhat to Saad, we had the journey of science and technology from the 1970s to now!

On reaching the Grand Hyatt, checking in the rover there was the hard part! They wondered what kind of extra terrestrial vehicle were we bringing it. A bit surprised at first, they saluted our endeavor later J.

Ours was one of the first few talks the next day, so we went through a whole routine of rehearsals, mic checks and prep. The make-up wasn’t fun! To tell our story, we chose to reflect the journey of space and technology in India, the beginning of ISRO, our role now and the future we helping children like Saad build.  At the end of our talk, we unveiled the rover on stage and later showcased its control and imaging interfaces during the rest of the conference. Again, ECA was deifinetely the rockstar!

Later, we had people lining up to take pictures with the rover and team and we happily indulged (we toyed with the idea of charging them $1000 dollars J). From celebs to scientists, we had curious questions from the whole crowd.  We closed with a short but great interaction at American School of Bombay to a smaller but much younger audience, who were interested in how it was built and of course, everyone wanted a hand at driving ECA.
We had a great time at Bombay sharing our journey at Team Indus and showcasing the rover. I thoroughly enjoyed talking about what we do.

Vinayak Vadlamani

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