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Microsoft India today hosted AXLE, a Microsoft Academia Accelerator an annual showcase of collaboration between Microsoft and academia. This year’s AI for Good theme packed in a rich agenda of keynotes, tech talks and student projects that showcased innovative ways of using technology to solve real-world challenges. The event brought together Computer Science faculty, Microsoft leaders and employees, several industry influencers and students from top engineering colleges of India who showcased innovative ways of building state of the art technology to predict or manage natural disasters better.
Microsoft's Academia Accelerator is a programme designed to build a deep, meaningful, and long-term relationship with academia and industry. With Academia Accelerator programme, the students will get mentor support from Microsoft team to further enhance their CS skills.
Chitra Sood, Director of Business Management, Microsoft India (R&D) Private Ltd said
Academia Accelerator aims to provide insights to students about important technology trends and practices and adding industry know-how to the existing Computer Science curriculum. At Microsoft, we see unique ways of how AI can be used to improve products, services and how fostering the dialogue on the beneficial use of AI can help in enabling long term sustainable solutions to large scale challenges. India has immense potential to be a hub of development for AI driven solutions. Microsoft’s engagement with the Academia reiterates our commitment to engage and enrich the innovation journey of students in Engineering schools. It makes AI and its benefits accessible and drive digital transformation at the grassroot level. We are excited by the enthusiasm shown by students using AI and anticipate that they will apply their learnings from this challenge through their career.
Winning Team Projects
IIT Madras: UAVs for Disaster Management (WINNER)
Whenever disaster strikes, access to accurate information and the capacity to respond with life-saving assistance is critical. The project aims to solve this exact issue by creating an end-to-end autonomous system, to provide precise information about where exactly the people are stuck, with the use of UAVs which are powered with AI and Computer Vision. The system can efficiently distribute the drones to cover maximum area, and perform intelligent tasks such as detecting people (both visible and partially visible), whether they are able to move or not and activity recognition to help in optimizing the resources available.
IIT Guwahati: DUBG (First Runner up)
DUBG is a mixed reality app for efficient post-disaster management. Rescuers are busy during operation, which is why this app is based on Mixed Reality so that rescuers don’t waste time on pre-planning their routes and operating any device for communication. DUBG makes basic tasks like communication, navigation and current status monitoring easy for rescuers. The team’s vision is to create an Augmented Reality based navigation system enhanced by voice assistant to make the rescue drives hassle free. Using the current technology of Microsoft such as Mixed Reality and Azure Speech Recognition, the IIT Guwahati team has reimagined current disaster management system.
IIT Jodhpur: Disaster Chain (Second Runner up)
The project is a distributed IoT-based solution, deployed in different sections / rooms of the building with the target as home / building automation solution, which acts as an early warning system and takes precautionary measures on detection of disasters, offloading crucial immediate steps from the cloud to edge, while staying connected to the cloud for data storage and further analytics. It works with an Android app (skinapp), using an exported tensor flow model trained on Microsoft's custom vision service (cognitive services) to predict skin diseases offline (for survivors rescued from the disaster zone).