Bengaluru students dazzle at intl tech competition

DUBAI: Bengaluru students dazzled at an international tech development competition, with a team from the International Institute of Information Technology becoming the runners-up. The students– Akshat Garg and Agrim Jain– bagged the second spot for their idea on using metaverse for helping students decide on their career path.
The competition, Big Tech Project, was organised by DP World, a logistic company, for college students in India and UAE asked students to suggest solutions for trade challenges through the metaverse. The event was held in Dubai on Monday. The team from the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence in Abu Dhabi, UAE, were adjudged the winners.
Interestingly, the winning team from UAE comprised of an Indian as well. Dhanalaxmi Gaddam, hailing from Hyderabad and a masters student in Machine Learning was part of the team that used a 3D immersive experience to provide virtual training simulation for staff.
She, along with Abbas Bamidele Abdulsalam, her teammate, suggested ways to reduce the risk of accidents on site by facilitating virtual inductions and increase efficiency by streamlining training. The first idea was a virtual training simulation using Oculus that gives new employees the opportunity to gain on-ground experience and training without having to physically visit the terminals. Additionally, the team also developed a second virtual solution using Google Glass that enhances efficiency and maintenance at ports and terminals by providing easy to access instructions for work done in real world operations.
For Dhanalaxmi, 32, this is her second masters. “I came to Dubai after my wedding. I had already completed my engineering and a masters from Hyderabad. While I did random jobs in Dubai, I wasn’t happy and decided to plunge back into academics. The current masters is research oriented and exciting. My family has been extremely supportive in me continuing in academics,” she said.
Two teams from IIIT-B and one from IIT, Kharagpur, India, were among the finalists. For Akshat and Agrim, integrated Mtech students in IIIT-B, it was their own personal experience that led them into finding a idea for the project.
“Most of the Indian students do not know the career options available to them, forcing them to choose limited options like medicine and engineering. We have developed a solution that will help them give a virtual experience of how a day is like in the life of various professionals. This will help them make a wise choice of the careers they choose,” explained Akshat.
“When we were in school, we chose Science because we were good at academics. JEE was the natural choice. And thus we entered this field. May be we would have chosen another stream had we known the options available for us and what it entails,” said Agrim.
All the finalists will now be offered an exclusive two-month internship and private mentoring with DP World. The winner received a Macbook and a $5,000 cash prize, while the runner up received $3,000.
The other team from IIIT-B suggested solutions to use metaverse for a better shopping experience, combining the physical and online shopping experiences. The IIT-Kharagpur team suggested ways to improve the maritime efficiency by helping the operator choose a parking berth.
Pradeep Desai, DP World’s chief technology officer, who was part of the judging panel said: “The metaverse is obviously very new and we cannot predict exactly how it could be utilised in our industry in future, but the ideas these inspiring students put forward have the potential to change the face of global trade. We were impressed by what we saw and are really looking forward to the students joining us for their internship.”
(This correspondent was in Dubai on the invitation of DP World.)