[Super Student] A career on the verge of a mighty take-off: Peek into the life of Priyans Murarka

By Ganesh Nagarsekar|2nd Jun 2013
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Super Student is a new series under Student Story that will cover students who have accomplished extraordinary things while still in school/college. From GSoCers to guys with IEEE papers, from emerging entrepreneurs to stock market prodigies, we’ll cover them all.


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This week’s Super Student is a third year undergrad from BITS Pilani

Goa campus. Priyans Murarka, also known as “The bird” among his

friends for his close resemblance to the big red bird from Rovio’s Angry

Birds series! But don’t be mistaken; with two research papers, a patent

and an undergraduate thesis at IISC Bangalore under his belt, this is no

ordinary bird. From being the President of the IEEE BITS Goa chapter,

to attending conferences in France, this guy has a lot to boast about.

 

The pledge

Friend 1: Nice keychain. The red angry bird is like Murarka.

Friend 2: Why?

Friend 1: Because, the red one has no superpowers.

When Priyans entered college he was a lot like the 600 other guys who joined that year. But sometime in his first semester he started working on small projects under the IEEE Student Branch . After working for a while with image processing and coding related assignments, the space of hardware related projects grabbed his attention. “I used to get a real kick out of developing small ideas using hardware products. Seeing my idea manifest itself into a working model was truly exhilarating,” he says, as he passionately talks about his first encounter with the world of hardware. “Seniors from IEEE also helped me a lot in the initial period,” he adds.

The Turn

It was around this time that he started working on a hobby project along with a few

college seniors; something that would go on to be called Smartplug

SmartPlug.

Current home automation solutions require systems/servers to be manually programmed

with the list of connected appliances and devices. SmartPlug, something that he and his group

has developed completely avoided this through automatic device detection.

The project aims to be an interface between individual houses and the Electric Grid. With the current Smart Grid technologies, it will be extremely helpful in getting detailed data about the power consumption and a local system in the house itself that can perform consumption optimization.

While doing so, Priyans and his team have come up with a system that seamless integrates into the environment whilst achieving the above objectives using novel techniques. He also uses this technology in bunch of other smart applications for achieving context based home automation and safety automation, across the grid in which it is deployed

A wonderful project. But you’re looking for something more aren’t you? That is why every magic trick has a third part. The toughest, the part we call...

The Prestige

From humble beginnings the project has reached great heights, with two papers published and one patent pending!

International conferences

They were selected in iThings - 2012, France; where he and Abhinav had gone to present one of their papers. They were among the youngest students to present a paper at that conference. “It allowed us to network with some phenomenal people and also gave us some feedback on the idea.”says Priyans.

MIT Media Labs

It doesn’t stop there, after his gig in France he attended a Design Innovation workshop that was conducted by MIT Media Labs at PESIT Bangalore. Here he worked on sensor environments for a five day workshop where he and his team developed BeatFeet which will allow musicians, guitarists and keyboardists to set the beats according to the music they play, without getting up from their place or even without lifting their hands off the instrument!

IISC Bangalore

Now, he has just started work at IISc Bangalore as a bachelor thesis student on an open source inertial navigation system called Openshoe.It is a joint Indo-Swedish project between IISC Bangaloree and KTH Royal institute-Stockholm.

He is also working on a book that will have applications of Arduino and Xbee that is set to be published early next year.Talking to us about his future plans Priyans tells us that he wishes to work in the emerging fields of wireless sensor networks and ubiquitous computing.

If you think you deserve to feature in this column or know anyone who does, you can drop a mail at ganesh[at]yourstory[dot]in

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