How Ather Energy used MATLAB to simulate tests and put its bikes on the road
MathWorks recently conducted its annual flagship event, MATLAB Expo 2019, in Bengaluru, putting the focus on IoT, Deep Learning, Smart Vehicle Design, and Automation. It also showcased how simulation software has helped innovators keep up with emerging trends, and how it has supported startups and entrepreneurs at early stages of inception.
One of the startups includes Bengaluru-based electric bike manufacturing company Ather Energy, which received initial support from MATLAB to use its simulation software to carry out certain tests. Ather created different sets of virtual models on MATLAB software to decide certain aspects like motor and battery sizing of the vehicle or how to enhance the overall efficiency and mileage per charge.
When YourStory asked MATLAB how it had helped Ather Energy to develop its vehicle, Shivaram NV, Senior Engineer, Systems Design, at Ather Energy, said:
Instead of carrying out tests in the real-world scenario, we did our entire vehicle testing on computers through simulation. We also ran several tests on the basis of what our riders need. So, if a rider asks us s/he needs this much mileage on a single charge, we could insert specific codes that would create a virtual scenario and tell us how much power the battery should discharge and the maximum rate of acceleration that should be maintained.
In terms of efficiency and productivity, Shivaram said,
What we initially thought would take us months – building a design for our vehicle - took us only two weeks with MATLAB software. Also, we used a few algorithms developed using MBD (Model Based Design) to find field bugs, that helped us save 50 percent of the total time in testing our vehicle.
Besides major industries, PSUs, and government agencies like the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), startups have also started depending upon simulation software like MATLAB to design their products.
Commenting about startups coming from fields/sectors that use MATLAB extensively, Sunil Motwani, Industry Director, MATLAB, said,
Most entrepreneurs are coming from the engineering field and medical devices sector. Also, those who are working in the IoT sector have also come forward. We support and help them convert their ideas into end products like Ather Energy, for instance.
Today, over 3,000 startups globally use MATLAB software in AI, robotics, and renewable energy. MATLAB believes it will scale up working with startups in India and is keen to showcase more success stories like Ather Energy.