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January 25-27


June 21, 2018 0

We all know yoga can increase our flexibility and help us “chill out” (who couldn’t relax a little more). But do you know exactly how to even get started? For this DIY Fitness article, our expert sent us over 7 yoga exercises that are perfect for beginners. Give them a try today!

Yoga exercises for beginners!

When some people hear the word yoga, they usually just shrug it off and completely pass-up that opportunity to work out and exercise. Maybe it’s because we’ve all heard it’s a really hard exercise routine where you need to be flexible.

To tell you the truth, there are some yoga exercises that you can easily do. No need to worry about feeling like the newbie.

So let’s start with these seven easy to do yoga exercises which are practical for beginners.

So, are you ready to give yoga a try?

1. Sukhasana or the Easy Cross Leg

This is one of the basic yoga exercises that is fairly easy for beginners. All you have to do is sit

cross-legged. Make sure to keep your posture as straight as you sit on the floor.

Image result for sukhasana

This is a starting point for beginners to assess and while doing this, it improves your back flexibility. Plus, the breathing relieves your physical and mental stress.

2. Tadasana or the Mountain Pose

This is another basic template for starting with yoga postures. This pose starts with standing tall with both of your feet together and with eyes closed. A reminder, your body should not be stiff as a rock.

If so, separate your feet slightly which should be enough to give you a more relaxed posture. Have both of your arms resting at your sides.Image result for tadasana


3. Balasana or the Child’s Pose

This yoga posture is actually a resting pose that you need to maintain for a good few minutes. You have to start with a kneeling position where the top of your feet are face down on the floor.

Keep your feet and legs together while kneeling and then you will have to rest your abdomen and chest on your legs as you place your head on the floor while both of your arms out stretched in front of you.

Image result for Balasana

4. Cow and Cat Pose

After doing the balasana, from your kneeling position you will have to straighten up on all fours. Place your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. All limbs should be vertically on point. It also helps when you are able to equally distribute your weight.

This yoga posture allows your body to stretch from the neck to the tailbone. This yoga pose helps with back pain.

5. Adho Mukha Svanasana or the Downward Facing Dog Pose

yoga exercises downward facing dogAgain, after doing the cow and cat pose you can follow with Adho Mukha Svanasana. Your body will have to stretch out as both of your arms and legs forming in a diagonal stance and allow it to form a triangle. Hands should be pressed firmly on the front of your yoga mat while your feet are pressed at the back.

This pose may require you to take a break and back from the balasana pose. This is good for your flexibility.

6. Baby Pigeon Pose

Getting out from all fours, you will need to move your right knee upfront just between your hands. Then very slowly straighten your other leg behind you while keeping the left knee and foot stretched out and pressing unto the floor. This yoga pose is actually very popular for a lot of runners.

The baby pigeon pose helps in boosting your hip flexibility.

7. Vrksasana or the Tree Pose

This is one of the yoga poses that is quite popular. One look from this stance is automatically categorized as a yoga exercise. You will have to stand up straight when starting with the tree pose and then bringing your hands together similar to a praying position. Next, you will balance on your right leg while bending your left knee out and then placing your left foot to the inner thigh of the opposite leg.

Make sure to press on your left foot and hold for a good total of 30 seconds while lifting your arms over your head and then back to your chest (still in a praying position). This pose aids in improving your balance.


There are many reasons to start doing yoga and adding it to your daily routine.

What are those reasons, you ask? Yoga improves your flexibility and balance as well as building your muscle tone.

It also helps you relieve the stress you’ve been experiencing from work and helps your mind and body relax which is what every one of us needs from time to time.


January 13, 2018 0

Electric Vehicle Summit is a national forum for electric vehicle manufactures, visionary automotive leaders as well as policy makers, innovators, researchers and strategists from India and around the world to bridge their collective strengths and exchange their information, innovation and knowledge. Organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce, supported by NITI Aayog and Ministry of Heavy Industries Govt. Of India with DIYguru as the Skill Partner and co-powered by  India CSR Network, the Summit reaffirms that the time is now ripe for embracing new vision and technology for greener mobility for better tomorrow. Motoring enthusiasts and automotive industry leaders from across the sector will gather at PHD House as national capital shall host the mega Leadership Summit on India Electric Vehicle on January 19, 2018.

The Summit is being supported by the Ministry of Heavy Industry which under the guidance of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed for converting all vehicles in India to electric mode in next 13 years.


India, being one of the largest and booming economy, this is high time to exchange the ideas on how India automotive sector can contribute to the India’s vision and priority of replacing conventional vehicle to electric vehicle by the year 2030. The forum will bring all key stakeholders of the emerging electric vehicle market to discuss and deliberate to pertinent issues and concerns. It will be a unique forum to discuss challenges and opportunities of emerging electric vehicle market too.

The EV summit is also aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goal of taking actions in providing clean energy and to the Paris Declaration on Electro‐Mobility and Climate Change & Call to Action that calls for a commitment as stated, “With varying mandates, capabilities, and circumstances, we commit to advance our work individually as well as collectively wherever possible to increase electro‐ mobility to levels compatible with a less‐than 2‐degree pathway.”


The Summit is the forum where visionary leaders and innovators of the automotive sector will share their views, thoughts and knowledge as well as their agenda on Electric Vehicles. Forum provides comprehensive overview on the electric automobile industry in India. This would also provide useful reference for drawing up new plans, reviewing trends and also in evolving marketing tools and strategies.

Delegates will interact with like‐minded firms and stakeholders and discuss important aspects of electric car and bike, commercial vehicle opportunities and trends etc. The summit allows companies to optimize their presence among stakeholders.

The Summit will attract technical leaders and executives from Indian and global auto companies to reveal what is driving the demand and shaping novel technologies and new innovations at the cutting edge.


  • Low‐carbon transport system
  • Technology and Innovation for Mobility
  • Innovation and Promotion Policy for Electric Vehicle Development
  • Affordability & Durability of Eclectic Vehicles
  • Technology and Innovation for Mobility
  • Energy Supply & Storage Systems
  • Development of Charging Infrastructure
  • Make in India & Skill India
  • Incentives and Investment Promotion for Electric Vehicle
  • Future Trends and Market of Electric Vehicle
  • Roads and Support Infrastructure Development
  • Subsidies for Electric Vehicles to the Costumers


India led by visionary Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has a vision for converting all vehicles in India to electric vehicles by 2030.

Automotive Mission Plan has been finalised jointly by Government of India and Indian Automotive Industry. The vision of AMP 2026 is “By 2026, the Indian Automotive industry will be among the top three of the world in engineering, manufacture and export of vehicles and components, and will encompass safe, efficient and environment friendly conditions for affordable mobility of people and transportation of goods in India comparable with global standards growing in value to over 12% of India’s GDP and generating an additional 65 million jobs.”

Auto sector has become one of the largest in the world due to the competitive market. The turnover of the sector is equivalent to 7.1% as per the Review Report of Automotive Mission Plan 2016. Govt. approved the National Mission on Electric Mobility in 2011 and subsequently National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 was unveiled in 2013. As part of the mission, Deptt. of Heavy Industry has formulated a scheme ‐ FAME – India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India) for implementation with effect from 1st April 2015, with the objective to support market development and Manufacturing eco‐system.

Scheme is proposed to be implemented over a period of 6 years, till 2020, wherein it is intended to support the market development and its manufacturing eco‐system. The scheme has 4 focus areas i.e. Technology Development, Demand Creation, Pilot Projects and Charging Infrastructure.

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has issued notification No. GSR 643(E) dated 19.08.2015 vide in which the mass emission standards for Bharat Stage IV shall come in to force all over the country in respect of four wheeled vehicles manufactured on or after the 1st April, 2017. India will evolve from Bharat Stage (BS) IV emission norms to BS VI by 2020.

Electric car uses alternate fuel electricity instead of petrol or diesel. There is a growing acceptance for hybrid and electric cars and manufacturers are entering this niche segment. Electric vehicles has a potential to save fossil fuels worth about $100 bn annually, which in turn would save foreign exchange, prevent the dependence on imported petroleum products and reduce the pollution in cities.

  • India spent Rs 7 Lakh Crores in 2016‐17 in importing crude oil. Electric Vehicles will help lower the bill.
  • The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) targets seven million electric and hybrid vehicles by 2020.

The Summit aims to bring together automotive visionary leaders, innovators, scientists, researchers to exchange and share their experiences and research results. It also provides a premier interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in Indian scenario.


The Summit will bring together the Indian and global H /EV manufacturing industry in the automotive hub of India. Summit will be attended by automotive industry leaders, Govt. leaders, policy makers, business people, innovators, technicians, consultants, and research and development professionals, all looking for greater efficiency, safety, and low carbon vehicle.

  • Access prospective customers, partners and existing clients
  • Network with representatives from the entire H/EV manufacturing supply chain
  • Stay informed on the latest trends


Co-organized by the PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industries (PHD Chamber) and India CSR Network with the Summit reaffirms that the time is now ripe for embracing new vision and technology for greener mobility for better tomorrow.

The Summit is being supported by the Ministry of Heavy Industry which under the guidance of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed for converting all vehicles in India to electric mode in next 13 years.

In a statement issued here today, President, PHD ChamberAnil Khaitan said, “The time is now ripe for embracing new vision and technology for greener mobility for better tomorrow. The day long summit (leadership talk, panel discussion, and exhibition) will focus on sustainable mobility drive amid growing air pollution problem and fossil fuel demand and will be addressed by various regulators, technocrats and captains of Auto and ancillary industry”.

“As India needs an environment where global majors in this space and domestic producers can all gainfully invest, innovate and rapidly scale-up, the national forum will deliberate and discuss pertinent issues of country’s interest.”, said Rusen Kumar, Managing Director, India CSR Network.

To initiate and move forward towards low-carbon transport ecosystem, the Summit is also designed as a national forum for manufacturers, visionary automotive leaders as well as policy makers, innovators, researchers and strategists from around the world to leverage their collective strengths and exchange their information, innovation and knowledge.

The Chamber is of the view that India, being one of the largest and booming economy, this is high time to exchange the ideas on how Indian automotive sector can contribute towards accomplishing India’s vision and priority of replacing conventional vehicles to electric vehicles by the year 2030.

The forum will bring key stakeholders of the emerging electric vehicle market to put their views on key challenges, concerns, and opportunities.  Forum provides comprehensive overview on the electric automobile industry in India. This would also provide useful reference for drawing up new plans, reviewing trends and also in evolving marketing tools and strategies.

Delegates will interact with like-minded firms and stakeholder and discuss important aspect of electric car and two wheelers, commercial vehicle opportunities and trends etc. The summit allows electric vehicle companies to optimize their presence among stakeholders.

The summit is also aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goal of taking actions in providing clean energy and to the Paris Declaration on Electro-Mobility and Climate Change & Call to Action that calls for a commitment as stated, “With varying mandates, capabilities, and circumstances, we commit to advance our work individually as well as collectively wherever possible to increase electro-mobility to levels compatible with a less-than 2-degree pathway.”

Team DIYguru in collaboration with Vecmocon Technologies has prepared a one-of a-kind certified Electric vehicle course.  The coursework provides advanced knowledge and hands-on labs in the design, analysis, control, calibration, and operating characteristics of EVs. Whether you are a graduate or undergraduate student, you can integrate any number of these courses into your degree.

Click here to register



January 3, 2018 0

Electric vehicles (EVs) are growing in popularity and certainly in mind space. They are cleaner and more efficient, and even fun (think Tesla). Their growth, however, is still considered just a market problem: The end user should choose on the basis of what it costs to buy and run, or how it performs, etc. Markets matter, but there is also a need for government and policy inputs. EVs, after all, operate within broader energy and transportation ecosystems with their own distortions. Unless we understand Indian-use cases, drivers, limitations and opportunities, we risk ambitious targets that remain aspirational.


Indians are famously value conscious. This is why consumers love diesel cars, despite their higher MRP and pollution relative to petrol counterparts. Even at today’s low oil prices, running a diesel sedan can cost about Rs3.8 per kilometre versus petrol’s Rs5.5. In contrast, CNG costs roughly Rs1.9/km, but it’s not widely available. The cost of EVs depends on electricity price, which varies significantly. At Rs7/kWh (kilowatt hour) of power, they cost only about Rs1.1/km This saves consumers driving 5,000km per year over Rs20,000 annually, and taxis much more as they drive 10-15 times as much.

The catch is the upfront cost. EVs are expensive, primarily because of the battery. A single kWh of electricity is enough to go about 6km, so a 200km “full tank” range requires about 35 kWh of battery. Today’s prices for lithium ion batteries are about $250/kWh globally, which comes to Rs5.7 lakh in battery costs, excluding import duties. Even with an eight-year lifespan and a 12% interest rate, justifying the battery costs on per kilometre savings alone means one would have to drive over 25,000km per year. However, when battery prices fall to $100/kWh, as projected a few years out, EVs can become a game changer.

Electric Vehicle Course: Certification & Workshop


November 27, 2017 0

At Dubai’s Global Grad Show which features the cream of young design talent from across the world, you sort of expect the driverless pram (hold on moms, it hasn’t hit the market yet) and the cute but gimmicky mirror that will turn on only when you smile. What you don’t expect is a low-tech contraption like a shovel that will let thousands of Indian women scoop up cow dung without getting their hands dirty.

Anmol Gupta, a student of Delhi’s Pearl Academy, says she got the idea while living in a village in Rajasthan. “It’s always the woman’s job to pick up dung and doing it by hand is not just yucky, it exposes them to bacteria,” says Gupta, who modeled her Gomi shovel on a dustpan and broom. It’s an open source project and she hopes that fabricators will soon manufacture the low-cost device.

It’s one of those why-didn’t-anyone-do-that before ideas and while it may not change the world, this Indian innovation grabbed the attention of both visitors to Dubai Design Week and the global press. “There is an assumption, especially in Silicon Valley, that problems get solved only by new technology. It’s very good that young designers are not buying that and not feeling obliged to make an app or use artificial intelligence,” says Brendan McGetrick who curated the event that has become the largest and most diverse student gathering for design globally. This edition showed 200 projects from 92 design schools in 40 countries.

Three designs from IIT Bombay’s Industrial Design Centre made it to the grad show tent which has become one of the highlights of the annual Dubai Design Week. Nishith Parikh focused his energy on a portable solar lamp that kids can use to study and adults can use to cook, light up the bathroom, or carry like a torch when they go out. “In a bathroom or in front of a stove I realised that people need a light with a stand. Everyone has disposable PET bottles lying around and these double up as a stand for my lamp,” says Nishith who tested the prototype in a village in Maharashtra where there are frequent power cuts. Assembly is also DIY so that villagers don’t need to rely on external help.

After extensive interviews with CRPF jawans, Devanshi Saksena set out to fix the problem they have getting clean water on the move. Her bottle, which she’s named Jiva (alive), islightweight and comes attachedwith a removable filter. Arun Shah fashioned a portable dental chair that can be used in dental camps where patients are usually just made to plonk on plastic chairs with no way of leaning back. McGetrick says he was intrigued by the local response to a local issue. “A lot of the projects in the show try to use design as a kind of relatively simple, small intervention in someone’s life that could open up more possibilities than they had before,” he says.

Agam Arora, who specialized in Toy and Game Design at NID, Ahmedabad, used one of his favourite childhood games, hopscotch, to reimagine passcodes. A recent study showed that passcode patterns were as predictable as passwords, making them vulnerable to attacks. Enter a play-based passcode that will be both fun and secure. Arora is already on the next step by making his passcode more senior-friendly. “For instance, a 60-yearold woman could have a password based on her personalised biryani recipe, he explains. And good luck trying to hack that!

Originally published in TOI.


October 25, 2017 0

We are surrounded by multitalented personalities who always want to do more. It can be somebody with a great product in mind, or a game, or a musical instrument or any innovative solution to the challenges faced by us. S.T.E.A.M School has been put together to bring makers from everywhere, together on a platform. It adds a new perspective to the Maker’s community where individuals come together, interact and learn the process of ‘innovation’. Individuals participating are guided by mentors from various backgrounds to innovate new products and showcase ideas.



Held under the umbrella of Bonjour India 2017-18, this Indo-French partnership programme will bring together 100 participants from India & France. Projects will be designed, built and viable with incubation support.

Join them to spend 10 intense days of brainstorming, project-based learning, field trials, mentoring sessions and digital prototyping with participants & mentors from across the world. Drive social impact by solving the world’s biggest problems and learn how to use some of the coolest prototyping tools from our experts!

The challenges will be based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the final projects will be showcased at the TECH2017 Conference, by UNESCO & MGIEP, in Visakhapatnam on 16-18 December 2017. The conference is aimed at developing Digital pedagogies for Building Peaceful and Sustainable Societies. Participants of S.T.E.A.M School will work in teams with mentors and peers from the industry, academia, government and the scientific community.


Students, Entrepreneurs, Artists, Designers, Programmers, Academicians, Scientists, Engineers, Architects, Doctors, Environmentalists, Strategists besides others in the creative economy.


 6th to 15th, DECEMBER 2017




S.T.E.A.M. School

Have a look at S.T.E.A.M School Season 1 (2016)


October 16, 2017 0

Autonomous cars are not science fiction anymore. Leading automobile giants, as well as tech giants, have joined the revolutionary race to build an autonomous car. There’s no doubt that autonomous cars have captured our imagination. The allure of sitting back, relaxing your car effortlessly whisks you around is undoubtedly tempting. But are they a possibility for India’s notoriously chaotic roads. A new tech startup from Kolkata thinks so.

Autonomous cars rely on special sensors and powerful onboard computers to drive. It’s hard to predict how soon the driver will become redundant thanks to some incredible breakthroughs in software.  Through significant advances in machine learning, LIDAR, radar, computer vision, and real-time computational power, the technology industry is poised to tackle this challenge like never before.

Fisheyebox‘s Project Aerodrive is the first step into the new world of autonomous cars. They have converted a Maruti Celerio into a rudimentary autonomous car with a Rs.20 lakh budget and are looking for an investment to go to the next level.

Aerodrive has a voice recognition software which fires the K10 engine with a ‘START ENGINE’ voice command. There is no steering wheel in the car. A $2000 joystick is used to engage autonomous driving mode by pulling back and toggling a switch to select the autonomous mode.  Aerodrive has a limited speed to 25kph as doesn’t have the capability to stop. It also has a manual mode. Push and pull movements of the super-sensitive joystick are to accelerate and brake, while side movements steer the vehicle. The Aerodrive Celerio navigates itself quite easily and precisely. It also has  Pedestrian Detection Control (PDC) in which the camera picks up the pedestrian and signals Central Processing Unit (CPU) to bring the car to a gentle stop.

This car is far from being ready to be driven on public roads, and it’s not just about safety but it’s against the law as well. No doubt, a dramatic amendment of the Motor Vehicles Act will be needed to say that it’s safe to drive with your hands on the wheel. Theoretically, what Aerodrive has achieved is level 3 of autonomous driving. This is the breakthrough Audi has achieved with the all-new A8 which makes it perfectly safe to check your messages and even watch a video while on the move. Given the resources Fisheyebox has at its disposal, it’s truly incredible what this startup has pulled off which no Indian manufacturer has managed so far.  It’s a case of Indian ingenuity at its best.


Future of a country is highly dependent on the students, so nurturing them is need of the hour. Theoretical knowledge very much differs with a practical orientation. Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the right stuff to turn our dreams into reality.

Join the maker’s platform now :


October 6, 2017 0


India, the world’s fifth-largest automobile market, plans to sell only electric vehicle  by 2030 in a bid to slash its oil bill by $60 billion and emissions by 37%. Automotive giants TATA and Mahindra are in the front-line of this ambitious project.

Mahindra & Mahindra’s ventured into the electric vehicle space almost half a decade ago, by acquiring REVA and launching e2o Plus, and now wants to make the most of the opportunity by offering customers more options to choose from. The car-maker has officially announced that it is working on two more electric vehicle , one of which will see the light of the day in 2018, and the other by mid-2019.However Mahindra has not revealed any details about the  Electric Vehicles. Given its wide SUV portfolio, it is anticipated the company’s next electric vehicle turns out to be a Electric SUV.

The announcement came as Dr Pawan Goenka, managing director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, interacted with the media to clear the air around the EESL tender under which Mahindra will be delivering 150 eVerito cars by November 30, 2017. The eVerito has a range of 170-180km per charge exceeding EESL requirement of 130kms. They have plans of increasing EV production capacity from 500 currently to 5000 in the next year and a half. Mahindra will invest Rs 600 crores more in electric ventures, which includes production and R&D costs as well.

As industry slowly shifts to electric alternatives, a surge in demand for skilled engineers and workers is inevitable. India is estimated to have more than 30.81 million electric vehicles sales by 2040. By 2022, the world-wide electric vehicle value chain will likely be greater than $250 billion

Having the right skills is crucial to be a part of this transition.  Hence team DIYguru in collaboration with Vecmocon Technologies has prepared a one-of a-kind certified Electric vehicle course.  The coursework provides advanced knowledge and hands-on labs in the design, analysis, control, calibration, and operating characteristics of EVs. Whether you are a graduate or undergraduate student, you can integrate any number of these courses into your degree.

Click here to register and get the early- bird discount.


September 26, 2017 0

If you’re an aspiring vehicle designer, forget supercars. Figure out trucks. That’s where the big money is. Ford’s F-series pickups are the best-selling vehicles in the US, followed by Chevy Silverados, and Dodge Rams. (The first car on the list is the Toyota Camry, in fourth place.)

This is no new trend. Ford’s F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the US since 1981, and it’s critically important to Ford. Trucks are profit centers for automakers, which is why Ford agonizes over every change and update. A switch to aluminum construction in 2014, to save weight and fuel, was a bold gamble. What if consumers didn’t like it?

And that was something under the skin, something most buyers would never see. Ford makes visible changes with the same kind of trepidation. Most changes are to incorporate features that make the truck more luxurious or capable—and let Ford charge more money.

All of which makes it surprising that Ford is asking a bunch of students to radically rethink its next generation of trucks, to help the automaker hold retain its market dominance in a changing automotive world. The automaker is teaming up with the Detroit based College for Creative Studies, and setting a group of 16 students a challenge.

“The project we’re giving them is ‘Future Truck’,” says Craig Metros, Ford’s exterior design director. “We just rolled out a brief, with history of F150, how it’s developed as a product, where it is today, and glimpses of it going into the future.”

Metros then left the students to begin their brainstorming. He’s hoping to get a more youthful perspective on where truck design could go next, from people who haven’t yet internalized the challenges and constraints that pro industry designers grapple with. “What I’m looking for is some of the rocks that haven’t been uncovered yet,” he says.

A loyal Ford truck fan, Metros owns a 1950 F1, and a 2017 F-150. “It’s amazing to look at the two products side by side,” he says. But as drastic as the differences are—airbags, LED lights, turbocharged engines—he predicts that the next 15 years will see even more rapid change than the last 30.

In particular, he wants the students to think about the roles that autonomy and electrification will play in the future. The design brief says “autonomy will fundamentally change our notion of a traditional customer,” and Ford believes that different ways of owning, renting, or just riding in cars and trucks will trigger design changes in proportions, packaging, and aesthetics.

The students will have to produce a “video journey”, showing how they tackled the problem. They will ultimately present just one design solution, which distills down all their future thinking, and create a 3D model of that truck to present to Ford in December.

To keep pace, students—aka outsiders without preconceptions—are a valuable resource for anyone trying to break out of a status quo. Google runs a science fair that features innovation from all over the world. Shell hosts an eco-marathon that challenges student teams to build fuel-efficient cars. Elon Musk’s SpaceX puts on a competition to build key components of his proposed hyperloop system.

As for the CCS students, they’ll be looking for a job soon enough, and experience working with Ford will certainly look nice on their resumes. Metros is always on the lookout for fresh minds. “One of the reasons for that relationship is to keep an eye on the talent that is coming out, and to get to know the students even before they even graduate.”

If they can make the truck of the future in the meantime, all the better.


September 19, 2017 0

In the past year, flying cars have gone from LOL, to maybe a real thing, to a booming industry raking in VC cash and churning out sweet renderings of an aerial future.

The chance to trigger the next great transportation revolution has drawn in big companies, like Airbus and Uber, big names, like Google’s Larry Page, and naturally, a horde of startups. They all believe the proliferation of vertical takeoff and landing (or VTOL) aircraft, which combine the best features of helicopters and planes, can make traveling throughout and between cities not just faster, but maybe cheaper and greener.

AI expert Sebastian Thrun thinks the idea will only climb higher, especially once these aircraft can fly themselves, and he wants to help make it happen.

“I see a future where everybody flies at least once a day,” he says. Getting there, however, will require a ton of work: building the aircraft, making them reliable, teaching them to land safely and avoid each other in congested airspace—and doing it all without human pilots in charge. That means finding people who can develop complicated software that accounts for the vagaries of aeronautics.

“Merging those two is a gap you don’t see many people bridge,” says Richard Pat Anderson, who runs the Flight Research Center at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is developing his own VTOL aircraft.

So Thrun, best known for launching Google’s self-driving car program (now known as Waymo), plans to make that gap a lot smaller. Next year, his online education company, Udacity, will inaugurate the Flying Car Nanodegree Program. The course—whose cost and duration remain TBD—promises to prepare anybody who meets some key requirements for a job in this most Jetsons-y of industries.

Raff D’Andrea, co-founder of Kiva Systems, which Amazon bought in 2012 to operate its fulfillment centers, will help create Udacity’s Flying Car Nanodegree program.


Udacity hasn’t finalized the prerequisites for this course, but Thrun guesses they’ll look similar to those for the self-driving engineer course he started last year: strong programming skills and a good deal of math know-how. Anderson recommends students be skilled in things like differential calculus before signing up. “They require a pretty extensive skill set just to sit in the seat,” he says.

That’s because this is hard stuff. Udacity’s flying car cadets will have to master things like designing aircraft and controlling them in three dimensions while the wind is gusting in different directions. They must develop vehicles that can perfectly perceive the world around them, avoid fellow travelers, and identify safe landing spots, even (especially) when sensors fail and things go haywire.

Students should expect to spend 10-20 hours a week on the course. They’ll be doing projects instead of sitting through lectures, working in flight simulators on all of the above tasks. To build the curriculum and run the classes, Udacity has brought in a few experts: Nicholas Roy, from MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Angela Schoellig from the University of Toronto’s Institute for Aerospace Studies; and Raff D’Andrea, co-founder of Kiva Systems, which Amazon bought in 2012 to operate its fulfillment centers.

Anderson may doubt the efficacy of online education—he says his students perform better when he works with them in person—but he agrees there’s serious demand for this kind of expertise from the bevy of people trying to deliver flying as personal transport. And one of the key advantages of Udacity’s approach is that its courses are open to anyone who meets the prerequisites and has the money to pay for it (the self-driving engineer program, for examples, costs $2,400 for a 27-week course). You don’t have to go back to school full-time or somehow warp back into your 19-year-old self to get started on a new career.

So for anyone psyched about this future of flight, the good news is that all the companies trying to make it happen might soon have access to a bigger workforce. And for anyone who understands differential calculus: Go make us some flying cars already.

The Course is Available Here –


September 16, 2017 0

The Hyperloop is getting closer and closer to becoming reality, but if it is still not coming fast enough for you Dianna Cowern (aka Physics Girl) has a decent placeholder for you. It can’t carry passengers, just batteries with magnets attached; it isn’t sealed off in a near-vacuum; and its max speed looks to be about 7 to 8 mph, but hey, it’s a start.

It’s fantastically DIY, to the extent that Cowern can make it on her bed. This would be a great project to show a young kid the power of magnets and motion. Watch for the train, stick around for the quick lesson in electromagnetic physics.

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