Prithvi 2.0 – The Launch

IIT Bombay is back with its second version of its All Terrain Vehicle – Prithvi 2.0. This baby was conceived just 7 months ago and was built by a 27 member team headed by Ashish Vora and under the guidance of Prof Ramesh Singh, both from mechanical engineering department. With the aim to win the annual BAJA SAE India competition, the designing of the car started from May 2010 and was then pursued by students throughout the summers and the autumn semester.

The car is totally handmade right from chassis, suspensions, drive train assemblies, braking systems, steering assemblies and on board sensors. Though this is just the second time that such a thing has been tried and completed in the institute, the materials used to build this marvel are top notch. Right from using a 340 cc lombardini engine to the double A arm front and rear suspensions and difficult to implement Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT), the car is simply splendid. An alloy of mild steel is used to make the chassis, keeping the weight of the car a mere 250kgs. The ATV has an onboard Data Acquisition System and GPS which gives the location, wheel speed and acceleration of the vehicle. The ATV reaches a top speed of 60 km/hr and an acceleration of 10m/sec^2 . The ATV also has a Lamda sensor to check the exhaust composition which allows for regulating the air fuel mixture. It also helps to make the car greener and optimize fuel efficiency as pointed out by Urmil Shah, third year mechanical engineering department student.

Ashish Vora, a fourth year mechanical engineering student and head of the team, has previously worked on the first edition of the all terrain vehicle. He feels the team is pretty confident to take up the challenge at Pithampur and has a good chance of winning. The car design has been overhauled to make improvements in the transmission system. Out of the 60 teams participating in the competition IIT Bombay may be the only team using Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) which eliminates the need for changing gears manually giving the driver the much needed space in the single seater car and a hassle free driving experience.

Prof Ramesh Singh, faculty advisor for the competition, was pleased with the performance of the team and feels the vehicle is competent enough to fight it out. On being quizzed about his involvement with the project and about the help and input he had to provide, prof Singh laughed it off saying “my involvement is just on paper. Seriously, I have to only guide them here and there and give a few suggestions, but on the whole it’s the team who does the hard work.” He pointed out that it’s not just the making of the car but the whole idea of applying basic engineering methodologies, right from design, manufacturing procedures and testing methodology, that makes it so exciting.

The ATV was launched in LT by the Ms Harshbeena Zaveri, president and managing director of NRB bearings which is the title sponsor for Pritvi 2.0 alongside UCO bank. She clearly pointed out that winning was not the aim of this competition but it is to provide engineers in India the much needed platform to build something with their own hands and not just stay theoretical. NRB has supported the entire project single handedly and given the very essential financial support the team needed.

Prithvi – the first all terrain vehicle in IIT Bombay, won 5 awards (including Best Engineering Design and Maximum Acceleration) at the Baja SAE India 2009 event, held at NATRIP, Pithampur in January 2009.

Kudos to the current team for making it till this stage. All the best to the them and lets hope our team from IIT Bombay outperform their past records.

– Rushabh Sheth