Qualification: 
PG
bhavani@am.amrita.edu

Bhavani Rao R. serves as the UNESCO Chair in Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment (Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham) and is the Director of AMMACHI Labs, Amrita Multi Modal Applications Using Computer & Human Interaction Labs, at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. Under the UNESCO Chair, Bhavani Rao heads an academic center dedicated to participatory action research, education and implementation that focuses on the mapping of vulnerabilities of women in underserved communities.

As the Director of AMMACHI Labs, Bhavani Rao heads the R&D that focuses on Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Robotics and Automation technologies for education, skill development, disaster response, medical assistance and rehabilitation. Bhavani Rao is the Principal Investigator for several projects at Amrita, funded by organizations such as the United Nations Democracy Fund, the Ministry of Skill Development And Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Government of India. A central focus on her work has been the use of skill-development as the baseline strategy, and women's empowerment as the underlying vision.


Publications

Publication Type: Journal Article

Year of Publication Title

2019

J. James, Rao R. Bhavani, and Neamtu, G., “Design of a bi-manual haptic interface for skill acquisition in surface mount device soldering”, Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, 2019.[Abstract]


Purpose
Offering unskilled people training in engineering and vocational skills helps to decrease unemployment rate. The purpose of this paper is to augment actual hands-on conventional vocational training methods with virtual haptic simulations as part of computer-based vocational education and training.

Design/methodology/approach
This paper discusses the design of a bi-manual virtual multi-modal training interface for learning basic skills in surface mount device hand soldering. This research aims to analyze human hand dexterity of novices and experts at micro level skill knowledge capture by simulating and tracking the users’ actions in the manual soldering process through a multi-modal user interface.

Findings
Haptic feedback can enhance the experience of a virtual training environment for the end user and can provide a supplementary modality for imparting tangible principles to increase effectiveness. This will improve the teaching and learning of engineering and vocational skills with touch-based haptics technology, targeted toward teachers and students of various disciplines in engineering. Compared with the traditional training methods for learning soldering skills, the proposed method shows more efficiency in faster skill acquisition and skill learning.

Originality/value
In this study, the authors proposed a novel bi-manual virtual training simulator model for teaching soldering skills for surface mount technology and inspection. This research aims to investigate the acquisition of soldering skills through virtual environment, with and without haptic feedback. This acts as a basic-level training simulator that provides introductory training in soldering skills and can help initially unskilled people find educational opportunities and job offers in the electronics industry.

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2018

H. J., Kongeseri, S., .M.Menon, B., V, S. J., P, A., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Exploring Digital Tool for Participatory Rural Appraisal Activities”, International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics, vol. 119, no. 12, pp. 2787-2810, 2018.[Abstract]


The study mainly focuses on the application of a digital tool in mapping the assets of MGR Colony (also known as Nandhikovil) in Pichanoor Panchayath in South Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. The main objective of the study is to find whether a digital tool like an android application can be an alternative to the conventional mapping method like a sketch mapping on a chart paper. The Android Application is the digital tool developed by the ‘AMMACHI Labs’ exclusively for mapping the assets in and around the rural community using GPS coordinates. The study attempts to find how the digital tool helps in participatory asset mapping among the villagers rather than the memory, the only driving factor of the conventional mapping method. The sample size of the study is six respondents who qualify the functional literacy assessment. The functional literacy assessment in this study focuses on English and is able to understand and handle the features in the android application. Semi structured interviews were conducted to understand the experience of the respondents after the participatory asset mapping exercise. The study is exploratory in nature as it attempts to find whether a digital tool can do simultaneously mapping as well as transect walk. A feature which has not yet offered by any of the PRA tools. This pilot study proposes the further developments in the area of digital mapping with more additional features, user friendly in nature to identify and tap the possibilities in the era of digital world.

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2018

V. R. Rajeev, Nisanth M. Pillai, Radhakrishnan, A., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Evaluating Digital India through National Digital Literacy Mission in Kalliyur Panchayath”, International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics, vol. 119, no. 15, pp. 1943-1954, 2018.[Abstract]


Digital India is an ambitious program of the Government of India with a vision to transform India in to a digitally empowered society. Digitalskill refers to somebody's ability to provide clear data through writing and alternativetypes of communication on numerous digital platforms Digitalskill showcases somebody'ssynchronic linguistics, computer, writing, and writing skills on platforms, such as, social media sites and blog-like sites, such as, Medium. Digital skillconjointly includes alternative devices, such as, smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs. According to United Nations agency, "Governance refers to the exercise of political, economic and body authority within the management of a country's affairs, as well as citizens' articulation of their interests and exercise of their legal rights and obligations‘‘.The objective of study is to analyze whether NDLM course is beneficial to pass out students and to find out whether all Non-IT literates are digitally empowered from kalliyoor panchayath in Thiruvananthapuram district.

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2018

S. Kongeseri, Sheshadri, S., Coley, C., Muir, A., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Games for Community Development and Problem Solving: A Multi-Site Case Study”, Advanced Science Letters, vol. 24, pp. 2358–2361, 2018.[Abstract]


We present a game concept that serves multiple purposes within a larger project to promote empowerment and community development. The game is called Abhi Ya Kabhi (AYK, pronounced aBee yaah kaBee), a Hindi phrase that means, “If not now, then when?” It was designed in a highly participatory process and was tested with eighty-one participants in eight rural village sites across five states in India. It’s original purpose was to teach life skills in a more informal setting accessible to people without any game literacy; however, in practice we found that it was also a successful means of building trust with the community and with project staff, and promoted a healthy dialogue around addressing community problems. The discussion activities around the game also support the participants in identifying and defining the real life problems they face, and reflecting constructively upon them as a starting point for developing solutions. As it occurs as part of a game, the feeling of ‘play’ enables more freedom for discussion than the often rigid social norms village life typically allows; bringing people together across caste, gender, age and economic divides and building trust with project staff. Our participatory model using AYK is designed to be contextually sensitive and maximally productive for the target communities. We put forth this model of community engagement as a best practice for empowerment interventions.

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2018

J. James, Davis, D., Gokulnath, K., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Bilateral human-in-the-loop tele-haptic interface for controlling a robotic manipulator”, International Journal of Mechatronics and Automation , vol. 6, no. 2-3, pp. 104-119, 2018.[Abstract]


Effective human-robot interaction is a factor deemed necessary for control of industrial robots and manipulators. Fine manual control and calibration tasks for an industrial manipulator can be daunting for human operators. In this paper, the authors proposed a bilateral haptic interface for controlling a robotic manipulator using a haptic device. This allows the human operator to intuitively jog and fell the manipulator from a remote station. The proposed system consists of slave robot manipulators controlled by the master haptic devices that can give haptic feedback to the user when the slave robot touches rigid and deformable surfaces. Such a human-in-the-loop approach to control a remote robotic system offers a pragmatic solution when the robotic system is operating under dynamically changing environments and dexterous tasks. The inclusion of haptic feedback offers the potential to augment the operators' control task and overcome the limitations of visual perception within the robots operating environment. More »»

2018

A. Radhakrishnan, Pillai, N. M., Rao R. Bhavani, Gutjahr, G., and Prof. Prema Nedungadi, “Awareness and Effectiveness of Educational Schemes for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes in Coimbatore District”, International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics, vol. 119, pp. 1933-1941, 2018.[Abstract]


Educational schemes for marginalized communities such as SC/ST were introduced by the Government of India with the aim of providing equal opportunity for scheduled tribe and scheduled caste to empower them with free educational facilities. For such programs to be effective, SC/ST members need to be aware of them and need to have a positive attitude towards them. However, due to the practice of untouchability and the remoteness of their dwellings, SCs and STs have suffered isolation from mainstream population for several centuries. As a consequence, they continue to suffer from a high degree of educational exclusion. Upliftment of SCs and STs, both economically and socially, will be only possible through inclusive education efforts. This study focus on the role ofawareness on educational schemes in attaining primary and secondary education among SC/ST communities in two rural villages in Coimbatore. The major findings of the study reveals that most of marginalized communities continue to remain unaware of the educational schemes and are unable to utilize all the provisions of the schemes. © 2018 Academic Press.

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2017

K. P. Sachith, Gopal, A., Muir, A., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Contextualizing ICT Based Vocational Education for Rural Communities: Addressing Ethnographic Issues and Assessing Design Principles”, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), vol. 10514 LNCS, pp. 3-12, 2017.[Abstract]


Recently, combining Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) with Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for a low literate population is gaining interest, as this can lead to more effective socio-economic development. This strategy can more easily provide employment and bring community wide change because of the improved quality and relevance of education materialQuery. Although TVET providers are present throughout India that uses some ICT, challenges remain for prospective students including illiteracy, language, resource limits and gender boundaries. Providing TVET that is accessible to low-literate people in rural village communities requires a shift in the design of ICT so that it is universally useable, even for communities like tribal India that has a largely oral culture. In this article, we detail the design and development of an ICT driven TVET model for a mostly illiterate audience in rural India and measure its efficacy. Through our ethnographic and usability study with 60 low-literate oral and novice village users, we present the issues faced and the solutions we incorporated into our new model. The results show that users performed better in the vocational course units with the solutions incorporated. © 2017, IFIP International Federation for Information Processing.

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2017

U. S. Ananthakrishnan, Akshay, N., Manikutty, G., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Control of quadrotors using neural networks for precise landing maneuvers”, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol. 517, pp. 103-113, 2017.[Abstract]


Aerial and ground robots have been widely used in tandem to overcome the limitations of the individual systems, such as short run time and limited field of view. Several strategies have been proposed for this collaboration and all of them involve periodic autonomous precision landing of the aerial vehicle on the ground robot for recharging. Intelligent control systems like neural networks lend themselves naturally to precision landing applications since they offer immunity to system dynamics and adaptability to various environments. Our work describes an offline neural network backpropagation controller to provide visual servoing for the landing operation. The quadrotor control system is designed to perform precise landing on a marker platform within the specified time and distance constraints. The proposed method has been simulated and validated in a Gazebo and robot operating system simulation environment. © Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017.

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2016

A. V, ES, R., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Comparative Study of Potential Field and Sampling Algorithms for Manipulator Obstacle Avoidance”, International Journal of Control Theory and Applications (IJCTA), vol. 9, no. 33, pp. 71-78, 2016.[Abstract]


Industrial robots should be implemented with proper path planning to generate a trajectory which ensures obstacle avoidance and collision free movement. Selection of a path planning techniques need to be done only after detailed studies. This paper deals with the study and implementation of a path planning technique using potential fi eld method for a 2R robot in a given workspace with obstacles. The results are compared with Open Motion Planning Library (OMPL)which uses sampling based path planning algorithms in a similar context. It is found that in higher dimensionality spaces sampling algorithms are more useful and potential fi eld methods are handy in real time applications.

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2016

S. Krishna, Rahul, E. S., and Rao R. Bhavani, “RFID based-human localization in robot-cells for a better shared workspace interaction”, CSI Transactions on ICT, vol. 4, pp. 37–43, 2016.[Abstract]


Industrial robots have become a vital part of automation in industries performing operations like stacking, casting, painting, sorting, welding etc. The basic sensory abilities in most cases needs operating these robots inside robot fences which separate the operator from the robot. But now this line of separation is becoming thin and work environments are being designed for collaborative tasks involving both human and robot participation. This transformation demands for systems that ensure the safety of the operator inside the work environment. We have designed and implemented a new localization method for the industrial robot environments using RFID technology. The entire system is implemented as a ROS based package to facilitate integration and experimentation in broad range of robot architectures. We have also developed a real time 3D visualization of the monitored work environment in RViz for displaying sensor data and state information from ROS. The system provides good real time response and proves to be a cost efficient and scalable method for human localization in robot-cells.

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2016

G. Seeja, Saisudha, V., Manikutty, G., Rao R. Bhavani, and V. Pillay, R., “Speed analysis of DC motor under load and no load condition using CHR based PID and LQR optimal controller”, International Journal of Control Theory and Applications, vol. 9, pp. 7387-7394, 2016.[Abstract]


DC motors are having wide range of application from household appliances to large industrial machinery at various speed conditions. In this paper, speed control of a separately excited direct current (DC) motor under load conditions has been implemented using CHR tuning and LQR controllers. The Chien - Hrones - Reswick (CHR) is based on a Proportional Integral Derivative controller (PID) tuning and Linear Quadratic Regulator controller (LQR) is based on an optimal controller. Comparison of both the methods have been done based on transient response specifications. Simulations in MATLAB have shown that the performance of the DC motor has significantly improved quality response with the LQR method over the CHR method. It has also minimized deviation from the desired speed, with the LQR method. This can lead to significant improvement when implemented in applications viz. robotics, process control and cruise control.

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2016

V. Saisudha, Seeja, G., V. Pillay, R., Manikutty, G., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Analysis of speed control of DC motor using LQR method”, International Journal of Control Theory and Applications, vol. 9, pp. 7377-7385, 2016.[Abstract]


DC motors are widely used in various industries because they cater to applications of high and low power and in both fixed and variable speed electric drives. This paper analyses the transient parameters of the speed of separately excited DC motors using the Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) method. The speed of the DC motor is analyzed by measuring the output. The LQR method has been applied on three different motors of different specifications. The speed of the three motors is compared on the basis of the transient specifications using the LQR method. Simulation of a motor in MATLAB has shown that the performance of a motor with a low power application has a significant and improved quality response with the LQR method. Properties such as minimized deviation in speed, easy design and cost reduction make it efficient for use in controlled and balanced systems. These properties enhance speed control of a DC motor by achieving the desired performance for the systems where different power ratings occur.

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2016

S. Kongeseri, Sheshadri, S., Muir, A., Coley, C., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Participatory Game Design for Life Skills in Rural India: A Multisite Case Study”, 2016.[Abstract]


We present a game concept designed to teach life skills in rural India: Abhi Ya Kabhi (AYK, pronounced ah­BEE ya ka­BEE) meaning “If not now, then when?” This concept has been designed in a highly participatory process with forty participants in five rural village sites across five states in India. The concept includes a light strategy game for people with low to middle general literacy, as well as low game literacy. The rural Indian population is mostly at or below the poverty line, and wrestles with multiple “wicked problems.” Our participatory model is designed to be contextually sensitive and maximally productive for the target communities. In our series of exploratory case studies, AYK has shown itself to work at two levels. Firstly, the activities train the players in decision making relating to money management, happiness and well­being. Then, the discussion activities around the game support the participants in identifying and defining the real­life problems they face, and reflecting constructively upon them. As it occurs as part of a game, the feeling of ‘play’ enables more freedom for discussion than the often rigid social norms village life typically allows; bringing people together across caste, gender, age and economic divides. Indeed, our fieldwork team found AYK to be a surprisingly effective tool for creating a relaxed yet purposeful rapport with villagers — more so than the more formal development programs they also run. The participation model, described here in detail, goes beyond simple player feedback to actively engaging with the participating communities that spur significant conversations within the village on sensitive social matters. Our main finding is that encouraging participation in game design and play moves from a simple sense of getting players’ input, to supporting the community itself to come together around key social issues. We bridge the related concepts of participatory design, as in the Scandinavian approach to IT design and participatory development (from the field of social science and development work in the developing world). Based on our observations from field testing AYK, we suggest four facets of meaningfully engaging participants More »»

2013

O. Jamie, Nagarajan, A., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Issues in the User Interface Design of a Content Rich Vocational Training Application for Digitally Illiterate Users”, International Journal of Social Science and Engineering, vol. 7, pp. 269–275, 2013.[Abstract]


This paper discusses our preliminary experiences in the design of a user interface of a computerized content-rich vocational training courseware meant for users with little or no computer experience. In targeting a growing population with limited access to skills training of any sort, we faced numerous challenges, including language and cultural differences, resource limits, gender boundaries and, in many cases, the simple lack of trainee motivation. With the size of the unskilled population increasing much more rapidly than the numbers of sufficiently skilled teachers, there is little choice but to develop teaching techniques that will take advantage of emerging computer-based training technologies. However, in striving to serve populations with minimal computer literacy, one must carefully design the user interface to accommodate their cultural, social, educational, motivational and other differences. Our work, which uses computer based and haptic simulation technologies to deliver training to these populations, has provided some useful insights on potential user interface design approaches

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PDF iconissues-user-interface-design-content-rich-vocational-training-application-digitally.pdf

2013

Ra Sooraj, Akshay, Na, Jeevan, T. Gb, and Rao R. Bhavani, “Design and analysis of a parallel haptic orthosis for upper limb rehabilitation”, International Journal of Engineering and Technology, vol. 5, pp. 444-451, 2013.[Abstract]


The general design motivation for orthoses acting in parallel with a human limb is to improve human locomotion capability, develop joint strength, and increase endurance through physical rehabilitation exercises for the human limbs. The development of such rehabilitation devices improves the quality and frequency of physical rehabilitation exercises that a patient has to undergo during treatment. This paper describes the design of a grounded hand and arm rehabilitation orthosis. The orthosis provides bi-directional haptic feedback to the arm and joints of the fingers and the novel dynamic counterweight balancing mechanism prevents the effects of loading on the user's arm.

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PDF icondesign-and-analysis-parallel-haptic-orthosis-upper-limb-rehabilitation.pdf

Publication Type: Conference Paper

Year of Publication Title

2018

Rao R. Bhavani and Strauss, S., “Adult Women’s Empowerment: Learning through peer teaching in ICT enhanced courses around employment skills and social issues in Indian villages”, in Proceedings of INTED2018 Conference 5th-7th March 2018, Valencia, Spain, 2018.

2018

R. Krishnan, Vishnu, R. S., Mohan, T. H., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Design and fabrication of a low-cost rice transplanting machine”, in Proceedings - 2017 IEEE Technological Innovations in ICT for Agriculture and Rural Development, TIAR 2017, 2018.[Abstract]


One of the labor intensive processes in rice cultivation is transplantation, where laborers have to work in a slouching position in puddled fields. This leads to physical ailments like musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). This paper discusses the design and testing of an efficient, cost effective and easily reproducible semi-automatic rice transplanting machine to eliminate the drudgery involved in the task, improve efficiency and productivity of farmer while keeping the human-in-the-loop. The focus of the design was to build a prototype using locally available materials. The cost savings of the new prototype was over 80 percent of the commercially available machines. Studies conducted using this prototype have shown that the semi automation process reduces labor effort by 17 percent and additionally reduced the time for transplantation. © 2017 IEEE.

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2018

D. Dhivin, Jose, J., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Bilateral tele-haptic interface for controlling a robotic manipulator”, in 2017 International Conference on Intelligent Computing, Instrumentation and Control Technologies, ICICICT 2017, 2018.[Abstract]


Haptic feedback in teleoperation allows the operator to feel a remote environment. In this paper, we propose a bilateral controller for a robotic manipulator using a haptic device. This allows the human operator to intuitively jog the manipulator from a remote station. The proposed system architecture consists of a5 DOF robotic manipulator (Dagu Robot Arm) as a slave robot manipulator which can be controlled by moving the master haptic device (Phantom Omni) that can give haptic feedback to the user. Such a human-in-the-loop approach to control a remote robotic system offers a pragmatic solution when the robotic system is operating under dynamically changing environments and dexterous tasks. The inclusion of haptic feedback offers the potential to augment the operators' control task and overcome the limitations of visual perception within the robots operating environment. This paper also covers the force sensor experiments that help in classifying object properties that are needed to render haptic feedback as the slave robot touches both deformable and rigid surfaces. © 2017 IEEE.

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2018

M. Michael, Rahul, E. S., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Design and validation of a 3-wire demonstration device for programming industrial manipulator”, in 2017 International Conference on Intelligent Computing, Instrumentation and Control Technologies, ICICICT 2017, 2018.[Abstract]


Programming by Demonstration (PbD) is an intuitive way of teaching new skills to a robot either by the guidance of demonstration devices or by means of natural communications, such as gestures, voice commands, and kinesthetic methods. This paper proposes a novel low-cost demonstration device for an industrial manipulator that can considerably reduce time and effort required for programming. The demonstration device is designed to be portable and can be easily integrated to an existing industrial manipulator. In a repeatability test, the robustness of the device is validated to meet the industrial standards. The device is integrated to an ABB industrial manipulator and the functionality is verified for a pattern tracing task. © 2017 IEEE.

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2018

G. Anand, Rahul, E. S., and Rao R. Bhavani, “A sensor framework for human-robot collaboration in industrial robot work-cell”, in 2017 International Conference on Intelligent Computing, Instrumentation and Control Technologies, ICICICT 2017, 2018.[Abstract]


In the manufacturing industry, both humans and robots are required in various phases of its operations. While a robot can do complicated tasks repeatedly and precisely, humans are required for strategic analysis and spontaneous decision-making. Safety of the human operator is one of the most important challenges in such a collaborative system. The paper reviews existing collaboration techniques for industrial manipulators and propose a simple and low cost sensor based collaborative framework for human safety. An ultrasonic radar with passive infrared sensors are used to detect human activity in the robot work cell. The sensor framework is designed and validated for its accuracy and response time. The functionality of the system with the manipulator has been verified for a pick and place operation running in ROS based simulation. © 2017 IEEE.

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2018

A. V. David, Mohan, H. T., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Design and modelling of a cable driven cart-rail robot for farm automation”, in 2017 International Conference on Intelligent Computing, Instrumentation and Control Technologies, ICICICT 2017, 2018.[Abstract]


Vertical farming is an innovative method to grow crops in constrained spaces and controlled environment. Crop failure is reduced compared to traditional farming. Moreover, with automation, production of crops increases. In the proposed system, a cart rail robot is used to automate different farming tasks. Unlike a conventional system that usually uses rack and pinion or is limited to 1 Degree Of Freedom(DOF) motion, the proposed system uses a cable that actuates the entire motion of the cart providing 2 DOF motion. It works like a Cartesian robot; the motion of the cart is constrained to the XY plane and further constrained to the rail. The paper describes the mechanical design, state-space modeling and analysis of the cart-rail robot. The rails are laid out in columns with a single row. Vertical shelves stacked with crops are kept beside the column rails. A closed loop linear feedback controller was designed using state-space representation and the gains were selected using pole placement method. A study of dynamic system response characteristics for the variation in braking distance due to change in payload was simulated. We have observed that a 1cm position accuracy is achieved. Velocity is limited to the range of 0.1 m/s to 0.2 m/s for the given payload of 25 kg. © 2017 IEEE.

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2018

R. Mohan, Raj, C. V., Aswathi, P., and Rao R. Bhavani, “UAV based security system for prevention of harassment against woman”, in 2017 International Conference on Intelligent Computing, Instrumentation and Control Technologies, ICICICT 2017, 2018.[Abstract]


This paper proposes a novel application of using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for inhibiting physical harassments in public places. The existing surveillance systems are sufficient to monitor crowded areas but are not suitable for monitoring secluded places. The crimes are likely to occur in places with less crowd and make surveillance challenging, which eventually leads to an increase in crime rate. This paper discusses the development of an UAV based security system that responds to a request from a wearable gadget by a user probably a woman who faces a possible threat. The proposed approach focuses on the night time operation the period in which most of the physical attacks would occur. The person, who is facing a possible threat can request for assistance using a primary wearable gadget, which will send the GPS location to the control station. Then a UAV will be deployed to the target location which identifies and tracks the motion of the person using a secondary wearable gadget. This paper also proposes a low cost and lesser computational intensive solution for motion tracking. © 2017 IEEE.

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2018

S. Deepu, Vishnu, R. S., Harish, M. T., and Rao R. Bhavani, “An Experimental Study of Force Involved in Manual Rebar Bending Process”, in IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 2018.[Abstract]


The work presents an experimental method of understanding the force applied during a manual rebar bending process. The study tracks the force with the variation of the angle of bend and the elapsed time from the start to the end of a complete manual rebar bending process. A sample of expert rebar bending labourers are used for conducting the experiment and the data processed to set a performance standard. If a simulator based rebar bending training can be provided for a novice, this standard can be used as a matrix to define how close a novice rebar bender is closing to the expertise. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.

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2018

V. Alekh, Susmitha, V., Vennila, V., Muraleedharan, A., Nair, R., Alkoyak-Yildiz, M., Akshay, N., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Aim for the sky: Fostering a Constructionist learning environment for teaching maker skills to children in India”, in ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 2018.[Abstract]


The education system in schools in India at large focuses on the transmission of knowledge to students and sets the expectation to simply memorize and reproduce it on tests in the form it was originally taught to them. In order to lay the ground for teaching 21st-century skills, it is imperative to go beyond the confines of the textbook and lecture-based learning and to encourage applying the knowledge imparted in the classroom in creative contexts and to solve problems. The paper discusses the workshop conducted to teach maker skills in the context of STEM-based learning to eighth graders in a semi-urban school in India. The students were taught to work with tools and the principles of design and the science required to create and launch water rockets. Pre-workshop and post-workshop surveys were conducted to measure for change in intrinsic motivation and general self-efficacy of the students who participated in the making activity. The results reveal a reported significant reduction in performance related tension and pressure after participating in such collaborative activities among other findings that are discussed in detail in the paper. © 2018 Copyright is held by the owner/author(s).

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2018

D. Sasi, Mohan, H. T., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Characterization of expertise to build an augmented skill training system for construction industry”, in Proceedings - IEEE 18th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, ICALT 2018, 2018.[Abstract]


Rebar Bending is one of the important trade in the construction industry. Major motor skill like force of bend, bend angle accuracy, lever positioning, lever tilting are guiding factor for doing the manual rebar bending process. To be an expert in rebar bending, one should need at least 3 to 4 years of field experience, to learn all motor skill parameters. This paper describes in detail the skill parameters involved during the manual rebar bending process through experimental methods. Comparing the expert data with novice which outline the design of real time guidance system for effective skill transfer and learning. The lever positioning skill learning in manual rebar bending process projected a high accuracy with the help of feedback system. © 2018 IEEE.

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2018

S. K. Babu, Krishna, S., Unnikrishnan, R., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Virtual reality learning environments for vocational education: A comparison study with conventional instructional media on knowledge retention.”, in Proceedings - IEEE 18th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, ICALT 2018, 2018.[Abstract]


Immersive learning environments are increasingly being adopted as modern alternative presentation modes in training scenarios. Presently, the improved levels of engagement and interactions offered by these systems are expected to potentially motivate the learners more than conventional 2D interfaces. This study compares the effectiveness of immersive environments with conventional 2D learning content for a motorcycle labeling task by evaluating knowledge retention and recall. The study was conducted with two groups of participants: A VR interaction group and a tablet based 2D interaction group. The enhanced spatial interaction capability of VR was hypothesized to promote knowledge retention and improve the instructional utility of immersive learning solutions. © 2018 IEEE.

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2018

P. Aswathi, Menon, B. M., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Performance categorization for personalized learning in vocational training simulators”, in Proceedings - IEEE 18th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, ICALT 2018, 2018.[Abstract]


Simulators have been increasingly used at many industries to provide skill training to its trainees or employees. A haptics based re-bar bending simulator is being used at leading construction training centers in India. The simulator collects the real-Time training data and uses it to generate accurate assessment reports similar to the manually generated reports. To enhance the learning environment, the simulator should learn to recognize the differences between the trainee performances and should be capable to model the successive stages of skill learning. In this paper, we discuss how the time-series segmentation technique can be applied to extract process relevant data from the training history collected by the re-bar bending simulator. We applied machine learning methods, on this transformed data to model the varying levels of expertise. In future, these models can be utilized to enhance the simulator to provide personalized feedback and learning experiences. © 2018 IEEE.

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2018

N. Akshay, Sugunan, N., Muraleedharan, A., Natarajan, A., Aswathi, P., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Design, observe and tinker: A constructionist approach to introduce maker skills in rural schools”, in Proceedings - IEEE 18th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, ICALT 2018, 2018.[Abstract]


The thrust in schools to impart 21st century skills in recent years has created a paradigm shift in education in many countries. This suggests a shift in the notion of literacy to include various frameworks of thinking skills that aim to develop higher order cognition in children. This paper describes our experience conducting maker workshops in rural schools in India that aim to impart such thinking skills through activities such as tinkering, virtual prototyping, and comprehending design and user interaction. The paper further discusses the lessons learnt through observing rural children to understand their preferences, challenges and their ingenuity when using such tools and technologies that facilitate thinking and learning. © 2018 IEEE.

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2018

R. Unnikrishnan and Rao R. Bhavani, “Tangible user interface for sanitation education in rural India : design and preliminary observations”, in Proceedings - IEEE 18th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, ICALT 2018, 2018.[Abstract]


Tangible user interfaces offer a new medium for education in rural India, helped by its low barrier for entry for the digitally illiterate. In this paper we discuss the design considerations & the pedagogical settings for a tangible environment to teach the skill of surveying optimal locations for toilets and soak pits. We also discuss findings from the pilot test of the technology with 10 women from rural India. This technology is intended as a pedagogical tool instead of being a full blown 'serious game' so as to bring the focus on the conversations and discussion prompted by the technology, than on the technology itself. © 2018 IEEE.

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2018

R. S. Vishnu, Rahul, K., Maurin, A., Harish, M. T., Mohan, R., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Design and Validation of a Low-Cost Wearable Assistive Device for Carrying Back Loads”, in Materials Today: Proceedings, 2018.[Abstract]


This paper discusses about a low-cost wearable assistive device designed for people carrying back loads in mountainous regions of Uttarakhand, a northern state of India. People usually carry commodities like stationeries, gas cylinders, cow feeds and other daily supplies in a basket made of bamboo skin which they hang on to their back using a thin cloth strap which runs around their shoulders. This kind of practice leads to excessive loading on their shoulders and vertebra, which gradually leads to musculoskeletal disorders in the future. The presented device will provide assistance in carrying the loaded basket with much ease. The paper also studies the capability of the proposed assistive device in distributing the load effectively to the human body in comparison with the ineffective load distribution happening in the currently practiced method of carrying the basket. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

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2018

A. Deshmukh, Krishna, S., Akshay, N., Vilvanathan, V., Sivaprasad, J. V., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Technology Acceptance, Sociocultural Influence and Gender Perception of Robots: A Human Robot Interaction Study with Naive Users in Rural India”, in RO-MAN 2018 - 27th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, 2018.[Abstract]


This work was conducted to investigate the technological acceptance and social perception of a robot helper in a rural context. A feasibility study was carried out in a rural village in India with 11 participants for a water carrying task using the robot. A strong cultural influence was found in terms of gender perception of the robot, most participants perceived the robot's gender as female despite of the robot having a male voice. The overall social perception and usefulness of the robot was observed to be positive. Also repeated interaction with three participants showed reduced anxiety and increased acceptability of the robot. The paper reports results from the questionnaires and also some practical challenges and sociocultural considerations to be taken in to account while running such studies 'in the wild' with rural subjects. © 2018 IEEE.

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2018

V. Susmitha, Akshay, N., Vennila, V., Muraleedharan, A., Nair, R., Alekh, V., M. Yildiz, A., and Rao R. Bhavani, “All aboard for the joy of making! teaching user centered design and tinkering to middle school children in India”, in Proceedings - IEEE 9th International Conference on Technology for Education, T4E 2018, 2018.[Abstract]


The bid to transform education with the inclusion of 21st-century skills in the school system lays an emphasis on hands-on project-based learning and tinkering. Often such learning activities involve teaching children creation of artifacts that extend beyond lending personal meaning to themselves, as objects that are designed for use by others. It is imperative that making such objects is motivated by an empathetic understanding of the needs of the eventual users of these objects. This paper discusses the conduct of a workshop that teaches user-centered design principles to eighth graders by engaging in maker activities aiming to develop such an understanding of their users in children. The workshop engages the children in dialogue with users and teaches the children to create objects that fulfill the users' expressed needs. Furthermore, to engage them in collaborative-learning, the children were guided to create a boat by up-cycling waste plastic bottles. They then rowed it out in a pool to test it for its functionality. The workshop has led to an increased sense of general self-efficacy in the children that was measured by the conducted pre-workshop and post-workshop surveys. © 2018 IEEE.

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2018

P. Anitha, Babu, S. K., R, U., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Scratching Out Problems: Exploring the Use of Computational Thinking for Social Work in Rural India”, in 2018 IEEE Tenth International Conference on Technology for Education (T4E), Chennai, India, 2018.[Abstract]


Technologies for development have great potential in accelerating the socio-economic progress of disadvantaged communities. But these technologies are usually developed by people removed from the daily realities of fieldwork. This paper explores the need and the possibilities of educating rural populations and social workers on the use of technology to create their own digital artifacts. We discuss two workshops, one for villagers in the state of Telangana and the second one for graduate students of a university social work department exploring the use of MIT's Scratch software as a tool for assisting in social interventions. We also discuss the results of an acceptability study among the social work students to gauge the potential for such a tool to be used in the field.

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2017

S. K. Babu, McLain, M. L., Bijlani, K., Jayakrishnan, R., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Collaborative Game Based Learning of Post-Disaster Management: Serious Game on Incident Management Frameworks for Post Disaster Management”, in Proceedings - IEEE 8th International Conference on Technology for Education, T4E 2016, 2017.[Abstract]


In the face of technological advancements, serious games are becoming more widely recognized as effective educational tools. This paper presents a serious game that teaches a complex subject in a simplified and easy to understand manner-Communication and collaboration during post-disaster operations. The game is multiplayer where each player works through a simulated disaster using an incident management systematic framework that highlights the importance of communication and collaboration. To achieve this, we introduce a unique live audio/video communication system where the players interact with each other to solve problems in a realistic scenario. The game also provides basic training for Rapid Damage Assessments and Incident Command System, two strategies used to carry out post disaster management. The game was piloted to a focus group consisting of students and faculty from Amrita University. Results from the surveys showed the game and proposed frameworks were very effective in providing the players with basic knowledge of post disaster management operations. The need of using such training methods is very much necessary since it will help the disaster response activities to be faster and easier. © 2016 IEEE.

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2017

J. Jose, Unnikrishnan, R., Marshall, D., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Haptics enhanced multi-Tool virtual interfaces for training carpentry skills”, in International Conference on Robotics and Automation for Humanitarian Applications, RAHA 2016 - Conference Proceedings, 2017.[Abstract]


This paper presents the design and computational modelling of a virtual simulator of a multitool, for training vocational skills in a hands-on way. Here we describe the audio-visual-haptic elements for the customized simulation interfaces for training carpentry tools and skills and the computational mathematical model to render haptic feedback for these actions. Finally the paper will explain the trainee's skill learning curves through these simulations, based on analysis of data from user studies. In our previous work, we designed a haptic training simulation interfaces for plumbing tools as part of Computerized Vocational Education and Training (CVET). As an extension to this we had developed a cost effective system to simulate various common tool exercises and procedures in virtual environments with a special focus of carpentry. Proposed system is designed to replace conventional training in the initial stage of vocational skill training and fasten the skill learning process to a diverse audience with varying skill sets. © 2016 IEEE.

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2017

R. Rahul, Jose, J., Harish, M. T., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Design of a novel Three-Finger haptic grasping system: Extending a Single point to Tripod grasp”, in ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 2017.[Abstract]


Present day haptic devices have yet to achieve multi-finger kinesthetic plus tactile feedback. This paper discusses the design of a Three-Finger gripper module that can attach to a commercial haptic device like the Novint Falcon. It will mimic grasping and lifting action and provide kinesthetic feedback via the Falcon and tactile feedback via the gripper. We first present a study on the forces exerted and typical angle and orientation of fingers while lifting or grasping an object. Based on the results obtained, we present a custom designed Three-Finger gripper module that fits on to the Novint Falcon. We show that when the user places his fingers in the finger holders and when the motors are actuated, the finger holders pull on the users' fingers and provide the required sensation. © 2017 ACM.

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2017

L. M. Goris, Harish, M. T., and Rao R. Bhavani, “A system design for solid waste management: A case study of an implementation in Kerala”, in TENSYMP 2017 - IEEE International Symposium on Technologies for Smart Cities, 2017.[Abstract]


Solid waste management is one of the main environmental problems faced by developing nations like India. To effectively cater to this need, this paper proposes a structured waste management system which was effectively implemented in a community in the Alappad panchayat in Kollam district of Kerala. The system was evaluated based on continuous monitoring at each stage of its implementation. The system contains waste stations with coloured waste bins with specific labels, which made the process of sorting easy for the users. The paper also measures the effectiveness in using this approach and its impact in time saving and increase in participation from the community. © 2017 IEEE.

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2017

S. Gopi, Muir, A., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Naturalistic gestures based Human Robot Interaction on a UGV for outdoor use”, in 2017 1st International Conference on Electronics, Materials Engineering and Nano-Technology, IEMENTech 2017, 2017.[Abstract]


Human Robot interaction (HRI) is the study of interaction between humans and robots. Such interaction can be difficult when untrained people use robots. This work is mainly focus on untrained users in the developing world, i.e. people with less exposure to technology, and less familiarity with interaction methods. This paper reports on work to develop a prototype for gesture based communication between untrained humans and mobile robots (UGVs), in the form of a wearable device on the hand. The study robot is the Husky A200 from Clear path Robotics. © 2017 IEEE.

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2017

N. Ajithkumar, Aswathi, P., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Identification of an effective learning approach to landmine detection”, in 2017 1st International Conference on Electronics, Materials Engineering and Nano-Technology, IEMENTech 2017, 2017.[Abstract]


The Robot based landmine detection problem is a multiphase problem in which one element is the classification of landmines and clutter. To design an efficient and effective classification model requires considering factors such as the failure to detect a landmine, detection time and the high amount of false alarms that occur due of improper classification. In the absence of an extensive analysis on the effectiveness of such models, this project aims to analyze 5 different classifiers namely: Hidden Markov Model, Support Vector Machine, Artificial Neural Network, Gradient Boosted Decision Tree and Adaptive Boosted Decision trees. Two GPR based datasets have been used both of which are open source and contain data for foliage and dry, desert type soils respectively. To make the study comprehensive in terms of class label proportion as well, various ratios of mine to non-mine data is considered. The comparison of the models has been done using confusion matrices with its associated measures. Based on this, a selection table has been designed which allows the user to select the classifier that is most likely to give the best performance with respect to a preferred metric and available training dataset that a user prefers to use for training. © 2017 IEEE.

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2017

B. V. Pradeep, Rahul, E. S., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Follow me robot using Bluetooth-based position estimation”, in 2017 International Conference on Advances in Computing, Communications and Informatics, ICACCI 2017, 2017.[Abstract]


Human-Following robots are being actively researched for their immense potential to carry out mundane tasks like load carrying and monitoring of target individual through interaction and collaboration. The recent advancements in vision and sensor technologies have helped in creating more user-friendly robots that are able to coexist with humans by leveraging the sensors for human detection, human movement estimation, collision avoidance, and obstacle avoidance. But most of these sensors are suitable only for Line of Sight following of human. In the case of loss of sight of the target, most of them fail to re-acquire their target. In this paper, we are proposing a novel method to develop a human following robot using Bluetooth and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) on Smartphones which can work under high interference environment and can reacquire the target when lost. The proposed method leverages IMU sensors on the smartphone to estimate the direction of human movement while estimating the distance traveled from the RSSI of the Bluetooth. Thus, the Follow Me robot which estimates the position of target human and direction of heading and effectively track the person was implemented using Smartphone on a differential drive robot. © 2017 IEEE.

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2017

A. S. Kumar, Manikutty, G., Rao R. Bhavani, and Couceiro, M. S., “Search and rescue operations using robotic Darwinian particle swarm optimization”, in 2017 International Conference on Advances in Computing, Communications and Informatics, ICACCI 2017, 2017.[Abstract]


Swarm robots have the potential to be utilized as a part of various applications due to the obvious advantages they offer, namely their resilience, their adaptability to different environments, and their reduced reliance on humans, particularly for hazardous or laborious tasks such as search and rescue operations (SaR). Several particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithms have been proposed and developed for controlling a robot swarm to achieve the desired behavior in SaR operations. In this paper, we present an implementation of the previously proposed Robotic Darwinian Particle Swarm Optimization (RDPSO); an exploration algorithm which overcomes the limitation of convergence on multiple targets. A simulation of a SaR mission is presented using Robot Operating System (ROS) and Gazebo, with a visualization in Rviz using intensity maps that mimic real-world scenarios, such as victim identification by voice/sound intensity mapping, localization of fire source by temperature intensity mapping, and identification of sources of radioactive leaks by radiation intensity mapping and experiments were conducted using RPSO and RDPSO algorithms for two scenario missions, that is, scenario with two victims and another with four victims. Experimental result shows that RDPSO has better performance compared to RPSO for multiple target SaR operations. © 2017 IEEE.

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2017

B. M. Menon, Aswathi, P., Deepu, S., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Identification and evaluation of performance parameters for RE-BAR bending training simulator”, in 8th International Conference on Computing, Communications and Networking Technologies, ICCCNT 2017, 2017.[Abstract]


Construction rebars (steel concrete reinforcing bars) are used to provide structural strength and reinforcement for the concrete structure. This requires the bending and cutting of the rebar to proper size before they can be used for construction. A novel haptic based barbending simulator has been devised which enables the trainees to learn and improve the construction rebar bending skill in a safe and controlled way. With its limited assessment and reporting features, the computerised virtual training simulator proves to be effective in training. Adding the features like personalized skill tracking and predictive performance modeling holds even more potential in supporting the training program. Towards this goal, a user performance modeling needs to be done which includes an initial study on performance parameters, assessment criteria and data collection before remodeling the simulator. This paper presents a study on the performance parameters for the bar bending simulator and also evaluates its effectiveness in modeling expert and novice performances. During this study we also hypothesize the parameters that can distinguish an expert and novice performances which was validated with 2 classification techniques - Support vector machine and J48 Decision tree. While revealing the classification rules J48 algorithm provides 78.94% accuracy where as SVM provides 94.737% accuracy. The study also shows that the 2 performance parameters force applied over time and bend angle accuracy are effective to distinguish expert and novice level of expertize for the construction rebar bending skill. © 2017 IEEE.

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2017

N. Amritha, Jose, J., Rahul, E. S., and Rao R. Bhavani, “A tweezer haptic interface for training surface mount device assembly”, in HAVE 2017 - IEEE International Symposium on Haptic, Audio-Visual Environments and Games, Proceedings, 2017.[Abstract]


Given the wide skill gap prevalent in the developing nations today, providing vocational education to the unskilled promises to improve the quality of life of people. Vocational skills are practical competencies and the necessary underpinning knowledge that helps a person acquire gainful employment in the labor market. This paper focuses on a surface mount hand soldering technique which is a vocational skill that is needed in the electronics hardware industry. Surface mount hand soldering is a complex bimanual task that uses a tweezer tool and soldering iron for soldering a surface mount component on a printed circuit board. As this requires a lot of practice to master, our research aims to develop a haptic simulator to train the untrained on the required skills. In this paper we describe the design and development of a tweezer haptic interface for a soldering simulator. It also discusses the user studies and experiments that were helpful in deciding the specification of the device and the skill characterization of tools involved in surface mount soldering. © 2017 IEEE.

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2017

V. S. Mallan, Gopi, S., Muir, A., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Comparative empirical usability assessment of two HRI input devices for a mobile robot”, in 4th IEEE International Conference on Signal Processing, Computing and Control, ISPCC 2017, 2017.[Abstract]


It is now possible to control an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) with a free smartphone app such as ROS Control. Smartphones offer such low cost and easily available human-robot interface (HRI) controlling robots with tilt gestures. However, tilt gestures are not used in the more commonly available UGV control devices, such as joystick and button based gamepads. Tilt gestures have not been studied in terms of their effectiveness for controlling UGVs. If they are effective, then the low cost and high availability of smartphones running apps such as ROS Control can make a huge change in the world of HRI and control devices for UGV for the developing world. They can be ruggedized and are low cost, and more familiar to the general populace - which are factors that can help the adoption of robotics in India. This research explores the ease of use and effectiveness in controlling a UGV by benchmarking a tilt-based HRI (on the ROS Control app) with the more established joystick and button based HRI on a gamepad. A 40-person usability study using both devices in Gazebo, a robotic simulated environment, was conducted. Performance metrics (time on task and lane deviations) were measured, to indicate effectiveness. However, the statistical analysis conducted using Wilcoxon Signed Rank test shows a significant difference in the use of both the input devices in controlling a UGV favoring the gamepad. However, most of the participants report the tilt based app as more controllable and highly usable. © 2017 IEEE.

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2017

K. Rahul, S. Vishnu Rajendran, and Rao R. Bhavani, “Low cost mechanical assistive aid for workers carrying head loads”, in 2017 IEEE Technological Innovations in ICT for Agriculture and Rural Development (TIAR), 2017.[Abstract]


The principal activity in the unorganized sectors like brick kilns, construction sites etc. is load carrying. The workers typically carry heavy loads on their head for over 12 hours every day. This affects their health and renders them as a victim of health issues like musculoskeletal disorders. In order to offset the causes leading to these health issues, a low cost mechanical assistive aid for workers to carry loads on their head is proposed in this paper. Using this assistive aid, the load acting on the head is distributed to the shoulder and the hip, and the results show that 60 to 65 percent of the load is distributed to the hip which reduces the pressure applied on the spine

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2017

R. Krishnan, S. Vishnu Rajendran, Mohan, T. H., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Design and fabrication of a low-cost rice transplanting machine”, in 2017 IEEE Technological Innovations in ICT for Agriculture and Rural Development (TIAR), 2017.[Abstract]


One of the labor intensive processes in rice cultivation is transplantation, where laborers have to work in a slouching position in puddled fields. This leads to physical ailments like musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). This paper discusses the design and testing of an efficient, cost effective and easily reproducible semi-automatic rice transplanting machine to eliminate the drudgery involved in the task, improve efficiency and productivity of farmer while keeping the human-in-the-loop. The focus of the design was to build a prototype using locally available materials. The cost savings of the new prototype was over 80 percent of the commercially available machines. Studies conducted using this prototype have shown that the semi automation process reduces labor effort by 17 percent and additionally reduced the time for transplantation.

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2017

T. Narayanan, S. Vishnu Rajendran, Rao R. Bhavani, and Vashista, V., “A cable driven parallel robot for coconut farm”, in 2017 International Conference on Advances in Computing, Communications and Informatics (ICACCI), 2017.[Abstract]


This paper presents a cable driven parallel robot for automating the process of coconut dehusking in large and medium sized farms. The robot assists the mechanized dehusking process by performing the activity of fetching coconuts from a heap and autonomously loading them into a dehusking machine's hopper. The idea is to have the existing dehusking machines to be setup right next to a coconut heap in a farmland and get the dehusking operation done with minimum human assistance. The use of a cable robot system in such highly unstructured environment requires it to be portable and reconfigurable. An efficient anchor point estimation technique and installation procedure is presented in the paper along with the system concept. The paper also discusses the kinematic design and workspace analysis of the proposed cable robot.

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2017

N. R. Arjun, Soumya, S. J., Vishnu, R. S., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Semi automatic rubber tree tapping machine”, in International Conference on Robotics and Automation for Humanitarian Applications, RAHA 2016 - Conference Proceedings, 2017.[Abstract]


Hevea brasiliensis/Rubber tree is considered to be the most predominant plantation crop in Kerala which was found to be the major source of income for the 11.5 lakh planters within Kerala. Due to the availability of natural rubber from foreign countries at cheaper price, the current market price as well as the demand of Indian rubber is decreasing. Unfortunately in addition to low income from rubber, non availability of skilled laborers and the increased labor charges prevent the planters from continuing tapping in their plantations. Even though laborers are available for low cost, they cannot be utilized for this job since it requires good tapping skills and prior experience. This paper discusses a semi automatic rubber tapping machine at an affordable price which can be used by an unskilled labor. This proposed machine is a battery powered tool with a specially designed cutting blade and guide mechanism, supported by a sensory system which assists the operator to perform tapping of required quality and standards on all trees in a plantation. For validating the concept a prototype is being developed and tested. © 2016 IEEE.

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2017

B. M. Menon, Unnikrishnan, R., Muir, A., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Serious game on recognizing categories of waste, to support a zero waste recycling program”, in 2017 IEEE 5th International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health, SeGAH 2017, 2017.[Abstract]


Picking up and sorting garbage is a tedious task, and the health effects of garbage on the streets of India is grave. Recycling trash into categories (e.g. hard plastic, soft plastic, organic, paper) requires training to do correctly at speed. Major national clean up campaigns as well as neighbourhood level initiatives require trained trainees who can quickly place each piece into the appropriate place. For this reason, we investigated using a serious game to train people in how to recycle trash quickly. © 2017 IEEE.

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2017

A. K. George, McLain, M. L., Bijlani, K., Jayakrishnan, R., and Rao R. Bhavani, “A Novel Approach for Training Crane Operators: Serious Game on Crane Simulator”, in Proceedings - IEEE 8th International Conference on Technology for Education, T4E 2016, 2017, pp. 116-119.[Abstract]


Any large scale construction related activity generally requires the use of cranes. A crane operator must be appropriately skilled to avoid any mishap at the construction site. This can be accomplished by training crane operators on all the safety procedures and methods of crane operation to be practiced. In this paper we explore a method whereby anyone who is being trained as a crane operator, must first learn all the operational procedures and safety norms by playing a simulation of operating a crane in a serious game. Once the user successfully completes the different levels of this serious game, he can then 'graduate' to operate an actual crane. Serious games are proven method of cost effective and risk free simulated environments where a player can learn all the nuances of any simulated activity, herein operating a crane. We implemented a learning methodology, Gagne's 9 Events of Learning, in order to ensure the player develops a high level of understanding. We used an actual crane as a reference model (Ace14XW) for this game. We surveyed several crane operators and found that this crane model game enhanced their knowledge of handling and precautionary measures. The users also reported an increased confidence level while operating a real crane. © 2016 IEEE.

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PDF iconnovel-approach-training-crane-operators-serious-game-crane-simulator.pdf

2016

P. Aswathi, Amritha, N., Namitha, K., Akshay, N., Balu, M. M., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Bridging the skill gap using vocational training simulators: Validating skill assessment metrics”, in 2016 International Conference on Advances in Computing, Communications and Informatics (ICACCI), Jaipur, India, 2016.[Abstract]


Skill development continues to remain a daunting task, especially in developing countries, owing to the numerous challenges posed by resource constraints such as unavailability of certified expert trainers and lack of tools to measure and quantify human motor skill learning. Attempts are being made to address these problems by introducing technology enhanced learning systems. The APTAH haptic simulator is one such solution that addresses the need for guided instruction, constant monitoring and support in vocational skill training. Each training session using APTAH generates data that needs to be verified for its reliability in revealing relevant information that can support measurements on the trainee's actual learning and progress. The paper presents the experiments performed on simulator generated data, in order to examine the existence and strength of fundamental dependencies among the skill parameters involved. The regression methods used in the analysis demonstrate that the device is capable in capturing many vital relationships that exist between the skill parameters such that it can later be used in enhancing skill learning of the trainee.

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2016

N. Amritha, Mahima, M. M., Namitha, K., Unnikrishnan, R., Harish, M. T., Ravi, M. D. Sankaran, and Rao R. Bhavani, “Design and development of balance training platform and games for people with balance impairments”, in 2016 International Conference on Advances in Computing, Communications and Informatics (ICACCI), Jaipur, India, 2016.[Abstract]


Medicine in India has an emerging need for balance rehabilitation due to its growing population of elderly, diabetics and stroke patients. In this paper, we describe the design of a cost effective system that provides static and dynamic balance training through interactive virtual reality games. The intention is to positively influence the activities of daily living (ADL) of patients suffering from balance disorders. The test-retest reliability of the balance platform is evaluated using intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) and standard error of the measurement (SEM). Thirty healthy individuals performed quiet standing with eyes opened/eyes closed and activities of daily living for twenty seconds. The center of pressure (COP) path length, mean velocity and range of displacement are computed to demonstrate device consistency across different trials. We also discuss the results of a pilot study on the utility of the device among clinical practitioners of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

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2016

Maya Menon, Udupa, G., Nair, G. J., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Localization and Mapping Using Statistical Image Processing Methods”, in International Conference on Advancements in Automation Robotics and Sensing (ICAARS), India, 2016.

2016

R. Unnikrishnan, Amrita, N., Muir, A., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Of elephants and nested loops: How to introduce computing to youth in rural india”, in Proceedings of the The 15th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, 2016.[Abstract]


We present Haathi Mera Saathi (My Elephant Friend), a game concept which serves as a tool for teaching programming and computational thinking to underprivileged children in rural India. It provides a metaphor and gameplay for embodied and tangible games, and creates a soft early ramp up into the conceptual and digital space of learning to code. We discuss the urgency of digital inclusion for Indian rural children, with reference to technology as an amplifier which they need to learn to direct. We contrast the grounded, embodied style of Haathi Mera Saathi with the current crop of mini-languages and coding games, with particular emphasis on the need for physicality and tangibility in the very early stages of learning to code. We further discuss our experience conducting workshops for students from the tribal and rural belts of India, where we see HMS as an effective approach for taking them from a state of having no background in computers or computing, to a state where they create interactive applications in a Java based environment. Recommendations are given for researchers interested in working with rural village children.

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2016

S. J. Soumya, S. Vishnu Rajendran, Arjun, R. N., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Design and testing of a semi automatic rubber tree tapping machine (SART)”, in IEEE Region 10 Humanitarian Technology Conference 2016, R10-HTC 2016 - Proceedings, 2016.[Abstract]


Rubber tree tapping is considered to be a skill oriented job and the availability of such labors are getting worse day by day. This is considered to be the one of the reason which affected the natural rubber productivity from Indian plantations. Even though cheap unskilled labors are available, they cannot be used for tapping by using the traditional V groove knife or Jabong knife. So this paper discusses about a low semi automatic rubber tree tapping machine (SART) which can be used by an unskilled labor to perform tapping on the rubber tree by preserving the tree health. The proposed machine is fabricated and tested on the tree. Also a comparative study is made on the effort required to operate the machine with the traditional tapping knives used for the purpose. © 2016 IEEE.

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2015

S. Sheshadri, Coley, C., Jagadeesh, S., Kongeseri, S., Devanathan, S., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Community Centric Vocational Education: A Strategy for Implementation of Computerized TVET Delivery in Rural India”, in International Conference on Emerging Trends In TVET : Vision 2025, 2015.

2015

C. Coley, Sheshadri, S., Karanayil, L., Bonin, S., Dr. Sriram Devanathan, and Rao R. Bhavani, “Ensuring training-transfer and personal performance after TVET: A strategy within the rural, Indian context for post-training engagement of TVET students for long-term success.”, in International Conference on Emerging Trends In TVET : Vision 2025, 2015.

2015

R. Sreelakshmi, McLain, M., Rajeshwaran, A., Rao R. Bhavani, Jayakrishnan, R., and Bijlani, K., “Gamification to enhance Learning using Gagne's learning model”, in 2015 6th International Conference on Computing, Communication and Networking Technologies (ICCCNT), 2015.[Abstract]


Technology enhanced Learning has brought drastic changes in the field of education in the modern world. In this study we explore a novel way to improve how high school students learn by building a serious game that uses a pedagogical model developed by Robert Gagne. By integrating serious game with principles of Gagne's learning model can provide engaging and meaningful instructions to students. The game developed in this study is a waste sorting game that can easily and succinctly demonstrate the principles of this learning model. All the tasks in the game that the player has to accomplish correspond to Gagne's “Nine Events of Learning”. A quiz is incorporated in order to get data on the progress made by the player in understanding the concept and as well as to assess them. Additionally, an experimental study was conducted which demonstrates that game based learning using Gagne's event is more effective than a traditional classroom setup.

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PDF icongamification-enhance-learning-using-gagnes-learning-model.pdf

2015

U. V. Archana, Rajeshwaran, A., McLain, M. L., Bijlani, K., Rao R. Bhavani, and Jayakrishnan, R., “Game based learning to reduce carbon footprint regarding food style”, in Emerging Research in Computing, Information, Communication and Applications, 2015.

2015

C. Coley, Sheshadri, S., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Training India’s first female toilet builders: An argument for improving sanitation through women empowerment and social inclusion”, in 2015 International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD), 2015.[Abstract]


Basic sanitation facilities are inaccessible to 40 percent of the world’s population (World Health Organization 2014). The call to address the Sixth Sustainable Development Goal of “Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” has never been so imperative, particularly in a nation such as India where open defecation is most rampant (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/focussdgs.html, accessed June 14, 2015; World Health Organization and UNICEF 2014). Girls and women in rural India are disproportionately affected by limited access to adequate sanitation (WSSCC et al. 2013). Despite countless attempts to counteract the practice of open defecation in India, the kind of attitudinal and behavioral change necessary to end open defecation on a large and sustainable scale have yet to bring about widespread toilet use (Coffrey et al. 2014). The limited extent to which sanitation projects have achieved social inclusivity among marginalized communities is recognized as a contributing factor to the persistence of poor sanitation in India (UN Water 2008; Coffrey et al. 2014). This paper will discuss early stages of an intervention that places a specific focus on engaging women in rural villages within India in the goal to end open defecation. The project, Women Empowerment: Sanitation (WE: Sanitation) is currently in implementation in seven states throughout India and proposes that the goal of improving sanitation may best be achieved by empowering women through vocational and life skill development. By training India’s most unskilled population to build, use and maintain toilets, the problems of poor sanitation, community buy-in, as well as unskilled labor may be simultaneously addressed. This paper will discuss findings from the early stages of the WE: Sanitation intervention in rural villages within the Indian states of: Karnataka, Gujarat and Goa, where previous sanitation efforts have failed to take hold. More »»

2014

R. Ranjith, Akshay, N., Unnikrishnan, R., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Do It Yourself Educational Kits for Vocational Education and Training”, in Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Interdisciplinary Advances in Applied Computing, New York, NY, USA, 2014.[Abstract]


Human motor skill training forms a large portion of the curriculum for any vocational education and training course. Construction personnel such as carpenters, plumbers and masons require long hours of training in order to gain expertise and workmanship to perform complex tasks skillfully. Poor skill in the use of tools results in sub-optimal outcome; compromised work quality and consumes additional cost.

In this paper, we describe the design of a novel do-it-yourself educational tool that is built using low cost materials, open source software and hardware, the designs for which are freely downloadable. This educational toolkit uses haptic technology to augment the need for realism and is used to provide skill training in the use of vocational tools. The aim is to generate interest in vocational education and to provide greater accessibility for base level skill training.

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PDF icondo-it-yourself-educational-kits-vocational-education-and-training.pdf

2014

J. Jose, Unnikrishnan, R., Marshall, D., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Haptic simulations for training plumbing skills”, in Haptic, Audio and Visual Environments and Games (HAVE), 2014 IEEE International Symposium on, 2014.[Abstract]


The objective of this work is to augment actual hands-on conventional vocational training workshop with simulated training using virtual haptic simulations as part of computer-based vocational education and training. We have developed a system to simulate various common tool exercises and procedures in virtual environments for vocational training programs targeted towards illiterate and semi-literate populations. In our previous work, we designed a cost-effective multi-tool haptic simulator that can train the use of 19 hand-held and powered tools. This simulator is designed to replace traditional training tools and materials in the primary stage of vocational skill training. This paper discusses the design and computational modelling of the virtual training interface that allow this simulator to be used for training in multiple vocational trades - with a special focus on plumbing-that bring the experience of a vocational workshop training environment to the end user. This approach of a virtual, computer-based vocational training environment holds the potential to offer vocational training to a diverse audience with varying skill sets.

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PDF iconhaptic-simulations-training-plumbing-skills.pdf

2014

J. Jose, Akshay, N., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Learning Elementary Physics Though Haptic Simulations”, in Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Interdisciplinary Advances in Applied Computing, New York, NY, USA, 2014.[Abstract]


Because many concepts in physics are non-engaging and difficult to understand, instructors in physics are challenged to fully engage students in the study of physics. For even the best students, current practices are not fully engaging and do not provide a deep understanding of fundamental principles. While traditional laboratory exercises are a good way to support and reinforce learning, haptic simulations can be more effective. Haptic feedback can increase understanding within a virtual environment in certain instances and can provide an additional modality for imparting tangible principles. In this paper, we discuss the design of an educational simulation tool using audio, visual and haptic feedback for learning basic concepts in physics at the elementary school student level.

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PDF iconlearning-elementary-physics-though-haptic-simulations.pdf

2013

M. Minsky, Akshay, N., Amritha, N., Anila, S., Nair, A. C., Gopalan, A., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Soft Circuits for Livelihood and Education in India”, in FabLearn 2013, USA, 2013.[Abstract]


A workshop on the design of soft circuits in the contexts of undergraduate engineering education and empowerment of rural, economically disadvantaged women in India was conducted at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. We report that the soft-circuit workshop complemented existing undergraduate engineering education with increased expressivity, initiative, improvisational engineering skills, and integration of hardware and software skills. The workshop participants also explored the viability of the oftcircuit experience as a source of livelihood and technical education for rural women, and developed a Livelihood-Education plan that will be piloted with rural women who are in vocational training, over 60% of whom have dropped out of formal schooling before completing 9th grade. We highlight aspects of our workshop and the resulting economic and educational empowerment plan that are particular to cultural contexts of women in India, to vocational training of underserved populations in India, and to undergraduate engineering education in India

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PDF iconsoft-circuits-livelihood-and-education-india.pdf

2013

R. Unnikrishnan, Moawad, K., and Rao R. Bhavani, “A Physiotherapy toolkit using motion tracking and haptic devices”, in IEEE Global Humanitarian Conference , 2013.

2013

N. Akshay, Deepu, S., Rahul, E. S., Ranjith, R., Jose, J., Unnikrishnan, R., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Design and evaluation of a Haptic simulator for vocational skill Training and Assessment”, in Industrial Electronics Society, IECON 2013 - 39th Annual Conference of the IEEE, 2013.[Abstract]


While mainstream haptics has been focusing on training elite skills, the haptic simulator described in this paper addresses a problem with a phenomenal social impact that addresses teaching of vocational skills to the growing unskilled and impoverished populations in India. This is an unconventional attempt at designing a multi-tool haptic trainer that could potentially replace traditional training tools and materials in the primary stages of vocational skill training. After an exhaustive analysis of all the tools used in the various vocational trades of the construction industry, we categorized and sorted the tools based on their properties and functions. Using this information, we designed Amrita Progressive Training Assistance using Haptic simulation (APTAH), a cost effective haptic simulator that can train the use of over nineteen hand-held and powered tools used in several vocations. The simulator provides audio, visual and haptic cues that can help the novice master the use of the tools in the absence of a human trainer. This paper also discusses the preliminary trials conducted to study training effectiveness of the haptic simulator proposed.

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PDF icondesign-and-evaluation-haptic-simulator-vocational-skill-training-and-assessment.pdf

2013

J. Jose, Ramesh, S., Akshay, N., and Rao R. Bhavani, “TryStrokes: Learning on a digital canvas to paint in the real world”, in Global Humanitarian Technology Conference: South Asia Satellite (GHTC-SAS), 2013 IEEE, 2013, pp. 68-73.[Abstract]


In rural and tribal communities, producing handicrafts act as a source of supplementary income and a means to preserve the uniqueness of their arts and craft forms. Developing skills requires practise and knowledge of native techniques. In activities such as painting, skill in application of pressure and tilt of the brush are very important parameters that contribute to creating beautiful artwork. Technology can play a vital role in aiding to preserve traditional techniques and skills. In this paper we discuss the design of a software application that contains a skill database that stores expert brush stroke techniques and help the novice learn to apply the brush strokes by providing feedback based on the expert stroke. This computerised training solution is scalable, portable and cost effective.

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PDF icontrystrokes-learning-digital-canvas-paint-real-world.pdf

2013

R. Unnikrishnan, Moawad, K., and Rao R. Bhavani, “A physiotherapy toolkit using video games and motion tracking technologies”, in c2013 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference: South Asia Satellite, GHTC-SAS 2013, Trivandrum, Kerala, 2013, pp. 90-95.[Abstract]


This paper proposes a software toolkit that Physiotherapists can use to integrate physical therapy exercises with a variety of video games. The toolkit will support a variety of motion tracking technologies and the data from these sensors will help the therapist monitor the performance of the patients and control parameters to advance the therapy appropriately. This technique will be especially useful for disabled patients in developing nations with little access to quality rehabilitation facilities but where computers and mobile phones have penetrated extensively. Using popular games for therapy helps the patient become motivated enough to perform therapy exercise steps repeatedly. © 2013 IEEE.

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PDF iconphysiotherapy-toolkit-using-video-games-and-motion-tracking-technologies.pdf

2012

N. Akshay, Sreeram, K., Anand, A., Venkataraman, R., and Rao R. Bhavani, “MoVE: Mobile vocational education for rural India”, in Proceedings - 2012 IEEE International Conference on Technology Enhanced Education, ICTEE 2012, Kerala, 2012.[Abstract]


The aim of this paper is to present the design of a project that involves deployment of computerized vocational training courses comprised of multimedia enhanced video lectures, virtual reality games and low cost haptic device based simulations built on mobile-learning platforms and delivered using automobile units. These mobile vocational education units are developed as a model to make vocational education and training more accessible to the rural and tribal populations of India. The paper gives an overview of the design of the mobile vocational education units and details the architecture and communication interface for the m-learning application. It further describes the software architecture of the vocational education application that is specifically designed to easily scale across various vocational trades and languages of delivery, provide flexibility and increase accessibility for vocational training. © 2012 IEEE.

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PDF iconmove-mobile-vocational-education-rural-india.pdf

2012

N. Akshay, Deepu, S., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Augmented vocational tools using real time audiovisual feedback for psychomotor skill training”, in Proceedings - 2012 IEEE International Conference on Technology Enhanced Education, ICTEE 2012, Kerala, 2012.[Abstract]


This paper presents the concept design of SMART (Skill Mentoring and Assistance in Real Time), a novel motion monitoring and audio-visual feedback device for the students in Vocational Education and Training (VET) to assist in minimizing and in correcting the errors in the use of occupational tools. SMART is easily attached to any vocational tool and can guide the user to conform to specific spatiotemporal trajectories and orientation as described by template shape. The paper provides a description of the low cost accelerometer, gyroscopes and an input interface that are integrated with the micro controller and proposes an algorithm to provide such guidance for the tool. © 2012 IEEE.

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PDF iconaugmented-vocational-tools-using-real-time-audiovisual-feedback-psychomotor-skill.pdf

2010

Ca Venkittarayan, a, J., Gopal, VaMadan, Kartikkumar, Ra, Nitin, B. Sa, Madan, Na, Rajamani, Kb, Dr. Krishnashree Achuthan, Bijlani, Bb, and Rao R. Bhavani, “Virtual soldering environment using touch and gesture for engineering labs education”, in TechSym 2010 - Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE Students' Technology Symposium, Kharagpur, 2010, pp. 206-210.[Abstract]


Labs form a central component especially in engineering education. The objective of our current work is to enhance the possibility of teaching, learning and experiencing engineering lab targeted towards teachers and students of various disciplines in engineering. This is achieved by developing virtual computer based lab environments. The experience of these environments is enriched with touch based technology. This paper talks about creation of virtual soldering environment. We have successfully implemented a working prototype which would enable the end user to get a feel for real time soldering. This approach of 'virtual' computer based training environment has great potential that stimulates self-learning process of soldering. © 2010 IEEE.

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PDF iconvirtual-soldering-environment-using-touch-and-gesture-for-engineering-labs-education.pdf

2010

Rao R. Bhavani, Rajamani, K., Bijlani, K., Achuthan, K., Sreedha, N., Nithyanandan, V., Rahul, J., and Sheshadri, S., “Virtual media enhanced vocational education curriculum”, in 2010 Second International Conference on Computer Research and Development, 2010, pp. 280-284.[Abstract]


The following paper discusses the development of a virtual media enhanced vocational education curriculum that ultimately aims to reduce the digital and economic divide by targeting the illiterate and neo-literate sectors of India. While the application utilizes enhanced graphics, the end user experiences a simplistic interface. The virtual environment is developed in a modular way, enabling the user to learn methodically and at their own pace. The application's key usability element is that the fully developed virtual media enhanced vocational education curriculum will be web-based, where the user can access the program from any location through the medium of a computer and internet. Such an application has the potential to impart effective vocational training to the masses and at a pace that is at the comfort and pace of individual users. While the following paper discusses a specific application developed to train plumbers, the concept is generic and can be extended to any vocational training.

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PDF iconvirtual-media-enhanced-vocational-education-curriculum.pdf

2010

Rao R. Bhavani, Sheshadri, S., and Unnikrishnan, R., “Vocational education technology: rural India”, in Proceedings of the 1st Amrita ACM-W Celebration on Women in Computing in India, 2010.[Abstract]


Vocational Education and Training (VET) helps bridge the gap between limited education and gainful employment. However, it is difficult to make VET readily accessible to economically and educationally challenged communities. To meet this challenge, we introduce a novel solution that adds unique elements to the realms of education technology: vocational education enhanced through both multimedia and haptic technology. This paper will present conceptual elements of revolutionary haptic technology to be applied in ...

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2009

K. Bijlani, Pai, C., and Rao R. Bhavani, “E-Learning in Social Applications”, in EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology, 2009.[Abstract]


Rural areas are picturesque but often have a lack of access to education and training facilities. E-Learning can provide a mechanism to bridge this gap. The A-VIEW E- Learning framework provides live interactive training and a social environment for the participants to cooperate and learn. In this paper we describe how the A-VIEW framework is being adapted and deployed for social applications in rural areas. Keywords: A-VIEW, E- Learning, Rural, Social More »»

2009

N. Gupta, Yogeshwara, K., Kumar, R. N. Vinay, Bisht, R. Singh, Ginnela, Y., Rajamani, K., Bijlani, K., Krishnasree Achuthan, and Rao R. Bhavani, “Virtual fabric paint environment using touch and gesture for vocational training”, in Haptic Audio visual Environments and Games, 2009. HAVE 2009. IEEE International Workshop on, 2009.[Abstract]


The objective of this work is to enhance the pace of learning occupational skills by developing multimedia enriched computerized vocational training programs targeted towards the illiterate and neo-literate sections of a society. This is achieved by developing virtual computer based vocational training environments. The experience of these environments is enriched with touch and gesture based technology. This paper talks about the creation of virtual vocational training scenario of a fabric painting application. We have successfully created a working prototype which brings out the real experience of fabric painting to the end user. Emphasis is placed on human-computer interactions that will allow simplistic interface for illiterate or neo-literate individuals. This approach of ‘virtual’ computer-based vocational training environment has great potential that stimulates self-learning processes of these vocational skills to a diverse audience with varying skill sets.

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PDF iconvirtual-fabric-paint-environment-using-touch-and-gesture-vocational-training.pdf

Publication Type: Conference Proceedings

Year of Publication Title

2018

A. Chandran, E.S, R., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Significance of Haptic Feedback in Learning Lathe Operating Skills”, 2018 IEEE Ninth International Conference on Technology for Education (T4E). pp. 97-101, 2018.[Abstract]


Significance of haptic cues, in a manual lathe operation, is less acknowledged and has not been given much emphasis, during lathe training. In this paper, a formative usability approach was pursued to appraise the importance of including haptic feedback from the hand-wheel of a lathe. The primary data was collected with a survey questionnaire, adopting purposive sampling method. The target population included people familiar with lathe operations, grouped into strata of beginners, intermediates and experts. The hypothesis formulated from the empirical study was tested using the Chi-square test. The result showed a significant trend between the intensity of haptic feedback, the participants perceive on the user hand-wheel and their experience-level in using a manual lathe. The results of this study can contribute to development of a haptic simulator, designed to train manual lathe operators, with sophisticated skills.

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2018

J. Nanda, S. Vishnu Rajendran, and Rao R. Bhavani, “Experimental Evaluation of the Dynamic Performance of Ingeniously developed Wearable Assistive Device”, Technological innovations in ICT for agriculture and Rural Development (TIAR 2018) (In Press). 2018.

2018

, Sugunan, N., Krishna, ,, ,, ,, ,, K, S., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Design and Emotional evaluation of Pepe Jr: A cost effective platform for HRI studies”, International Confernece on Distributed Computing, VLSI, Electrical Circuits and Robotics(DISCOVER 2018). 2018.

2016

J. Jose, Unnikrishnan, R., Marshall, D., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Haptics enhanced multi-tool virtual interfaces for training carpentry skills”, International conference on Robotics & Automation For Humanitarian applications (RAHA 2016). Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, India, 2016.[Abstract]


This paper presents the design and computational modelling of a virtual simulator of a multitool, for training vocational skills in a hands-on way. Here we describe the audio-visual-haptic elements for the customized simulation interfaces for training carpentry tools and skills and the computational mathematical model to render haptic feedback for these actions. Finally the paper will explain the trainee's skill learning curves through these simulations, based on analysis of data from user studies. In our previous work, we designed a haptic training simulation interfaces for plumbing tools as part of Computerized Vocational Education and Training (CVET). As an extension to this we had developed a cost effective system to simulate various common tool exercises and procedures in virtual environments with a special focus of carpentry. Proposed system is designed to replace conventional training in the initial stage of vocational skill training and fasten the skill learning process to a diverse audience with varying skill sets. © 2016 IEEE.

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PDF iconhaptics-enhanced-multi-tool-virtual-interfaces-training-carpentry-skills.pdf

2016

K. Gokulnath, Jose, J., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Human-In-The-Loop Industrial Robot Control by 3DOF Haptic Device”, International conference on Advancements in Automation robotics & sensing. (ICAARs 16) . Springer, 2016.

2013

J. Otelsberg, Akshay, N., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Rethinking Representation and Relationship: Issues in the UI design for a content rich vocational training application for digitally illiterate populations”, International Conference on Education and Education Technology. Barcelona, 2013.

Publication Type: Book Chapter

Year of Publication Title

2018

J. Jose and Rao R. Bhavani, “Bimanual Haptic Simulator for Training Hand Palpation and Lumbar Puncture”, in Haptic Interaction AsiaHaptics 2016. Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering, vol. 432, S. Hasegawa, Konyo, M., Kyung, K. - U., Nojima, T., and Kajimoto, H., Eds. Singapore: Springer, Singapore (Springer book series), 2018.[Abstract]


This paper addresses a bimanual haptic simulator for training human hand palpation and needle insertion motor skills in lumbar puncture medical procedure using two haptic device for medical students and physicians. This virtual reality environment simulates the human hand palpation and needle puncture with visual and haptic feedback. In this work, we studied lateral haptic model for rendering human hand palpation and layered haptic model for lumbar needle puncture. We have developed a training simulator for detecting the lumbar position and spinal needle insertion skills for lumbar puncture that can be demonstrated as a concept prototype to the medical haptic simulations.

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2018

A. Balakrishnan, Sheshadri, S., Nagarajan, A., Unnikrishnan, R., Kongeseri, S., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Role of ICT in Enhancing Scale, Quality, and Reach of TVET in India”, in Handbook of Vocational Education and Training: Developments in the Changing World of Work, S. McGrath, Mulder, M., Papier, J., and Suart, R., Eds. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2018, pp. 1–19.[Abstract]


India's skill requirement calls for millions of individuals to be formally trained and qualified for employment. What underlies an acknowledged dearth of skilled labor, impeding India from reaching its potential, are issues of quality, standardization, and accessibility to skill development, especially to and within existing vocational training programs. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reiterated the urgent need for improved inclusion in skill development among socially and economically vulnerable groups to strengthen the prospect of decent employment and income generation, as indicated in the sub-goal of SDG 4 on quality education. Skill development practitioners and academicians recognize information communication and technology (ICT) as a critical component in addressing issues of inclusivity, quality, and standardized skill development. Discussion of ICT-integrated TVET primarily takes place in the context of formal training; however, a significant portion of skill development in India takes place along the lifelong learning continuum, outside of the formal context. This chapter, therefore, takes a wider perspective to review how ICT is reforming TVET delivery practices in India across formal, nonformal, and open and distance learning settings.

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2017

Rao R. Bhavani, Sheshadri, S., and Maciuika, L. Aswati, “Addressing the First Teachers: Education and Sustainable Development for Children, Families and Communities Through Vocational Education, Technology and Life Skills Training for Women”, in Children and Sustainable Development: Ecological Education in a Globalized World, A. M. Battro, Léna, P., Sorondo, M. Sánchez, and von Braun, J., Eds. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2017, pp. 319–334.[Abstract]


Supporting children's education and development has long been a focus of institutions and non-profit organizations in developing countries. Mounting evidence from developmental psychology and neuroscience continues to point to a child's environment, including resources and quality of caregiver interaction, as critical to healthy development in childhood and into adulthood. Since mothers most often serve as a child's first teachers in shaping a child's cognitive-emotional learning and values, empowering women also can support higher quality development for children. Amrita University's AMMACHI Labs addresses children's first teachers through empowering women with a multidisciplinary, computerized approach to vocational training and skill development, including life skills training, and personal and community development. This paper presents a case study of AMMACHI Labs' WE: Sanitation Project with rural women in India, supporting sanitation, skills, and increased capacity through skills training in toilet building, hygiene education, and life skills training, leading to increased participation in the family, community and economy.

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2016

K. R. Parvathy, McLain, M. L., Bijlani, K., Jayakrishnan, R., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Augmented Reality Simulation to Visualize Global Warming and Its Consequences”, in Emerging Research in Computing, Information, Communication and Applications: ERCICA 2015, Volume 2, N. R. Shetty, Prasad, N. H., and Nalini, N., Eds. New Delhi: Springer India, 2016, pp. 69–78.[Abstract]


Augmented Reality (AR) technology is considered to be an important emerging technology used in education today. One potentially key use of AR in education is to teach socio-scientific issues (SSI), topics that inure students towards social conscience and critical thinking. This work uses multiple markers and virtual buttons that interact with each other, creating a life-like visual spectacle. Learning about issues such as global warming by using AR technology, students will have an increased sense of experiencing immersion, immediacy, and presence, thereby enhancing their learning as well as likely improving their ability to make better informed decisions about considerations of such issues. Another advantage of AR is that it is a low cost technology, making it advantageous for educators to adapt to their classrooms. Also in this work we compare the effectiveness of AR versus ordinary video by polling a group of students to assess the content understandability, effectiveness and interaction of both the delivery methods.

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PDF iconaugmented-reality-simulation-visualize-global-warming-and-its-consequences.pdf

2016

P. Meera, McLain, M. L., Bijlani, K., Jayakrishnan, R., and Rao R. Bhavani, “Serious Game on Flood Risk Management”, in Emerging Research in Computing, Information, Communication and Applications: ERCICA 2015, Volume 2, N. R. Shetty, Prasad, N. H., and Nalini, N., Eds. New Delhi: Springer India, 2016, pp. 197–206.[Abstract]


The applications of using serious games as a teaching tool are vast. One of the fields of knowledge that is now being implemented in serious games is Disaster Relief Management. Serious games use a variety of multimedia and strategies that allow the learner to participate in a graphic simulation of a disaster. This work gamifies the topic of flood risk management. Floods are a unique type of disaster in that they have an element of predictability. This predictability can be utilized as a gaming element involving time limits to reduce the amount of destruction and loss of life due to flooding. Of the many benefits of using games for educational purposes, it can help people who live in rural areas who may have limited education comprehend this complex material in a meaningful way. A learning approach called Kolb’s Learning Model is used to convey the material. It familiarizes people with the different responses and terminologies of the hazard while achieving high concentration and interest from the learner. After developing this game, the effectiveness of this gaming method is analyzed by a comparative study of text book learning and this serious game.

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PDF iconserious-game-flood-risk-management.pdf

2016

U. V. Archana, Rajeshwaran, A., McLain, M. L., Bijlani, K., Rao R. Bhavani, and Jayakrishnan, R., “Game Based Learning to Reduce Carbon Foot Print”, in Emerging Research in Computing, Information, Communication and Applications: ERCICA 2015, Volume 2, N. R. Shetty, Prasad, N. H., and Nalini, N., Eds. New Delhi: Springer India, 2016, pp. 89–98.[Abstract]


Technology in the classroom is changing the way educators teach. When a serious game is combined with a pedagogical learning strategy the probability of learning and synthesizing new concepts can become much greater. In this work we take the concept of learning about one’s carbon footprint and combine it with the step by step process of Bloom’s Taxonomy, a proven and well-established learning method, and incorporate it into a serious game. The objective is to demonstrate that learning in this way will result in higher learning motivation and a better understanding of the subject matter. In the game the player needs to reduce their carbon footprint in an office building. Unlike in a traditional classroom where the student is only a receiver of knowledge, in this serious game the student has a more direct experience of the subject, eliciting good decision making and improving subject comprehension.

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PDF icongame-based-learning-reduce-carbon-foot-print.pdf

Publication Type: Patent

Year of Publication Title

2015

Rao R. Bhavani, “A Drone Aircraft for Harvesting Coconuts”, U.S. Patent 5319/CHE/20152015.

2014

D. Ravi Sankaran, Radhakrishnan, U., Nagarajan, A., Thettemmel, H. Mohan, and Rao R. Bhavani, “Balance Monitoring and Training System”, U.S. Patent 4724/CHE/20142014.

2014

Rao R. Bhavani, Sankar, S., Radhakrishnan, U., and Sangiorgio, M., “A Progressive Computer Simulated Haptic Training System for Bar Bending Skills”, U.S. Patent 4548/CHE/20142014.

2013

R. Kannan and Rao R. Bhavani, “COCONUT TREE CLIMBER”, U.S. Patent 4794/CHE/20132013.