Monday, May 15, 2017

World's first robot chess coach in Mysuru

In what may be the first time in the history of the Chess, a virtual robot chess coach named BEAM has been introduced by Mysore Chess Center to teach beginners about the Chess game.   

Chess grandmasters across the globe sitting in their drawing rooms can now guide students with the help of BEAM Virtual Robot. One major advantage of BEAM is that it can be moved in any direction, as a result the coach can pay individual attention to every student in the classroom and hold face to face conversations through the monitor mounted on BEAM.

The coach can teach them all the fine nuances of the game like different types of moves, strategies for winning end games and also clear all the students doubts. Earlier, when training was provided through Skype, students had to sit together and follow the instructions. Whereas, with introduce of BEAM the grandmasters who will be on live can address individual student and can have a close look of the movements of the chess pieces on his board.

Upcoming chess players Eshanvi said 'the new initiative is very good. With introduce of Beam we got an opportunity to interact with grandmasters and learn new things.' Skanada, another learner said: "We feel the coach is next to us. We can have face to face interactions and get our doubts cleared instantly. The technology will help us to learn various techniques practiced by grandmasters.”  
"The BEAM will be moving around us, and if we go wrong the coach will correct us immediately. The device is very excellent and we are enjoying learning," added another player Hemadhri.

Aravind Shastry, a national level Champion and Secretary of UKCA, who was teaching children through BEAM said: 'The technology has come like boon. It cuts our travel time. We can communicate with children, navigate in any direction and monitor each students activities, similar to being present physically. A very good initiative has been adopted by the center. This can be used for other sports too.'

Coach S Suresh who has produced more than 15 state champions during his chess coaching career, said: 'BEAM has helped a lot to provide good training for students from grandmasters. There are several techniques, and providing coaching from achievers will give deeper understanding for children to play game in different dimensions.

Nagendra Muralidhar, Center's Proprietor and  Vice President of United Karnataka Chess Association said that with adoption of advanced technology they want to provide good training to students, and thereby make children develop the ability to compete with national and international level players. The BEAM has been introduced just three days ago and this is the first center in world to introduce first, he claimed.

“The advantage of this moving BEAM robot are several as it helps the coach to attend each student. We are planning to link with international chess grandmasters, so they need not come here physically to the center, whereas teach them online virtually. By linking with different grandmasters on different days the students can get to understand better the different strategies adopted by them," he added.

Harsha Kikkeri who heads the Global R&D team Suitable Tech, the company working on Beam Telepresence Robot said that it is very much similar to human eye. The technology can be even be used in remote villages to improve the quality of teaching. It can also used by heath professionals, medical device manufacturers, overseas manufacturers and others.

How to USe

Using BEAm Virual robot is very simple. The coach installs a related software in his laptop, through which he can move the robot in required direction. A high speed internet connection is required. Two wide angle cameras, and a customised microphone array, provides a remote environment.
The person who will be giving virtual training can move the device all around 360 degrees and reach any student he wishes.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

This ZP member engages villagers to make seed balls, nurture trees

Watching a television programme on seed ball innovation, this gram panchyat member got motivated to experiment the same in her panchayat and has made her dream fulfill. Bannikuppe Village Gram Panchayat Member Pushpa Amarnath has took an initiative to increase the green cover in Hunsur Taluk and has engaged villagers to make seed balls.  

44 gram panchayats in Hunsur taluk have been selected under go green initiative and each gram panchayat will be distributed with 10,000 seed balls. Self help groups, NGOs, students have been roped in to make seed balls. The same will be distributed to interested farmers, and initiative has been taken to nurture the seed balls at vacant government lands, lake bunds, burial grounds, dry lands, hill areas.

The programme has been taken under Social Forestry and Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj. Making use of the provision under NREGA, she has brought the women under the programme and they will be paid dailywage for making seed balls and planting trees.

With cows urine and cow dung needed to prepare the seed ball, she has asked all the households rearing cows to collect cow urine by placing a drum and dung. Such collected cow dung, urine for nearly 10 days, was used to make 12,000 seed balls on Saturday.  

NSS, Scouts and Guides cadets, education institution eco club students have also been roped in to the programme, to make youngsters aware of environment conservations. Pushpa who has aims to make five lakh seed balls, with the help of other gram panchayat members is involving women in making seed balls daily for two hours. Villagers to collect cow urine, cow dung, whereas the red soil and seeds will be provided by forest department. 

‘To dig pit, plant a tree lot of energy, time and money is spent. Whereas, the cost for making every seed ball is just meager Rs 1. Also this innovative idea is very easy and economically viable. Am hopeful atleast 70 per cent saplings grow and  maintained for three years it will create a big difference in the nature. With decline in rainfall and deforestation we are encountering several problems and planting tress will be the solution for all the environmental imbalance. Thus, increasing green cover is need of the hour to fight against increasing temperature, drought and other environmental issues,’ she added. 

“Seed ball is a novel method of planting trees. We had heard about it, but am very happy, am experiencing. With Hunsur is dry land and declared drought hit, hope planting trees will change the scenario in next five years. If the same things adopted in another taluk panchayats it could bring a big change in increasing gree cover over the years,” added Prakash, who is planning to place 50 seed balls in his agriculture field.

Pushapa is planning to document the process and upload them in social media, so that interested gram panchayats can adopt this simple method and improve the green cover. About 13 varieties of trees, including fruit trees seeds will be made. The seeds include, Neem, Nerale, Honge, Tamarind Tree, Rain Tree, Jackfruit, Agase seed, jatropha, bamboo two varities, Castor seeds, etc.