Parth is part of the first Indian college team to build a 100% Ethanol-based vehicle – Team Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani – on in short – team BITS. He is in the publicity team as the pitching head and also head of the autonomous team – creating the autonomous software for the vehicle and some of the safety features.
Team BITS and Parth:
This is the transcription of my interview with Parth
What made you get into ML\CV? What are your goals in the field?
“I have my B.E(Hons.) in Mechanical Engineering, and I was part of a Technical team at my college (Team BITS) that used to take part in the Shell Eco-marathon, Asia, every year. I read the (50-page long) rule book for the competition and all the categories to take part in, and I saw autonomous driving. It was quite overwhelming to see tbh as the first year. When I searched more on the internet, I was very intrigued by what small student teams are doing in this field. It was my first introduction to AI/ML. During the semester break, I explored some introductory courses like LFD from Caltech, loved it. And explored further in Deep Learning and CV. A lot of guidance from seniors and the internet was a big help.”
His mother is a lecturer in mathematics so it helped him be ahead in math from a young age.
“I was fascinated by how people use complex mathematics to make exciting products – always wanted to do something related to maths. There is an exam in India – GMO-2015 was the only student from the state out of 33 in all India (Rank-14) to qualify. Was quite into robotics originally – that’s why went into mechanical engineering. Interested in how mechanical engineering combines macro and micro components that operate together.”
About Team BITS
“Hailing from Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, Team BITS is a team of dedicated engineering and science majors sharing a mutual love for automobiles and the environment and compete at Shell Eco-Marathon every year. The team aims to build the most fuel-efficient vehicles with the most sustainable materials. With its inception in 2012, the team has won numerous accolades both nationally and internationally in the past few years. Additionally, the team boasts of being the First Indian college team to build a 100% Ethanol-based vehicle. Currently, having done and dusted with the designing phase of India’s First Car run on SPCCI Engine, the team has proceeded towards its manufacturing phase.
The entire project for ethanol cars costs around $15000 supplied from sponsors like Panasonic, Shell, SKF, and many more.
To be very honest, capital has never been enough to quantify the talents and technologies the team can introduce to the world. Being the pitching head and the head of the autonomous team (responsible for creating the autonomous software for the vehicle and some of the safety features) I would take this opportunity to extend welcoming arms to all the readers. If the work of the team excites you and you want to contribute towards the cause or are looking to invest your firm’s CSR funds towards a noble cause that concerns us all; we’ll be more than happy to host you as sponsors of the upcoming vehicle.
You can read more exciting stuff about the team at www.team-bits.com and follow our social media handles as well. I guess that has been a pretty long sales pitch but trust me if you’ve read the entire passage till here, you are actually concerned about the same cause as we do. So what are you waiting for? Drop us an email at [email protected] and the team would reach out to you as soon as possible! “
Your autonomous software – what cool things did you do there?
“A category where you must develop safety features for the car – saw one of Lex Freedman’s videos where he built a model for eye tracking (eye on the road and hands-on the wheel) – built the model – if you are not paying attention to the road or your hands are busy in phone or somewhere else, Car should alert – built the eye-tracking and hands on the wheel part.
It can be implemented very cheaply in daily cars. Deep learning model – product-based implementation.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
“In five years, I hope to have completed my master’s (in mathematics) with an excellent thesis in an ai related field and hopefully working in similar areas, gaining some experience, and hopefully contributing towards some impactful advancements. Higher studies are also an option that I’m open to but not yet hard set upon.
I hope to work in a gig or deadlines-based job profile where I do not have to work in standard 9 to 5 shifts. I mostly work in sprints, mostly late at night or early morning.
My master thesis is in the field of production optimization\supply chain – making processes inside the supply chain automated (working on automating invoices for a transportation company – want to automate the entire process with CV – car papers, driving license, invoices, etc.). When did B.E. (Bachelor of Engineering) work on Supply chain optimization, Lean Manufacturing, Sustainable Manufacturing.”
How did you first find 2d3d?
“I saw your Reddit post on the lecture’ 2D to 3D using neural nets’ on the r/MachineLearning subreddit. It was a field I had not explored much, but I always wanted to and attended the lecture. It was a fantastic lecture, and I stayed tuned for more such studies. I joined the r/2D3DAI subreddit and discord server right away.
I thought it was an excellent effort on your part to make such a community. I have attended almost all lectures baring one or two, and I always look forward to new posts or your newsletter.”
What do you find cool\exciting about the community? What cool projects have you been working on in the field?
“First things first, I love your logo and its color scheme too. It’s one of the best out there, tbh 😉
I love how 2D3DAI has people from virtually every field when you scroll down in the introduction channel, ranging from CG generalists and designers to people with years of experience in the area.
It’s a friendly community with absolutely zero spam/banter, and multiple people are keen to share their experiences in case of any query. I also find some interesting reading material, too in the process.
My first significant AI project was with my senior on Sanskrit OCR – it was his semester project, a basic project in college (senior has worked with Oracle and now working with Samsung R&D). Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages globally and is the primary sacred language of Hinduism and contains quite a lot of wisdom and Knowledge. I have worked as a Summer Intern with India’s largest automobile manufacturer, ‘Maruti Suzuki.’ I have also worked with a supply chain-based startup in India, Procol, which is exciting.
2 years senior friend coming from the same cultural association for the state of Haryana in India. Had to do a lot of work from scratch to create the OCR – published paper (Senior’s paper) – he improved it last year and planned to publish it – it was just a fun project. Can use the paper for his master thesis but prefers working also on optimization.
The main contribution was they created a significant open-source dataset that was not existing before based on Sanskrit.”
What cool tech do you see evolving, and how could we use it to make social life better?
“Blockchain can be an exciting thing to look out for; taking the WhatsApp debate these days, services based on the blockchain can do wonders for privacy. Moreover, the technology could encourage a freer internet and discourage censorship.
Also, I am very hopeful about AI and ML in transforming the world and being the driving force behind a lot of other future technologies.”
Is there any significant paper\research\project you were exposed to lately which you would like to share with the community?
“DALL-E is very exciting that creates images from text captions for an extensive range of concepts. It will become so much better two years down the line, and it’s pretty good even now. Making ‘watchable’ movies from scripts in 20-30 minutes ‘might be’ possible in the not so far future.
‘Attention is all you need.’
I am eagerly waiting for the paper to get more details and other applications as we all know cherry-picked examples can be quite misleading sometimes. But given OPENAI’s past work, I am hopeful.”
You can contact Parth through his linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/parth-batra99/