Celestini Project India 2017-2018

If you would like to solve an important social problem while working with the latest technology and learning from incredible mentors, we have a project for you. You can win cash prizes and meet technical pioneers in the internet and communications. This project, called Celestini Project , has caught the interest of undergrads from both India and Uganda

This year we invite all Indian undergrads to participate in Celestini Project India. Our competition goal will be to solve an important socio-economic problem using data analytics on a network of sensors. Consider the example from 2017 where we use analytics from camera sensors to reduce traffic and enhance road safety in Delhi. With more traffic fatalities than any other city in India (1622 last year) and with 5.7 lakh vehicles entering the city daily, we believe that this project goal can improve the lives of many in Delhi.

Our project focuses on using machine learning and data analytics on a network of IoT or mobile devices to solve important socio-economic problems (such as road safety, air pollution, water quality) where the data collected from sensors, such as video cameras, air/water quality sensors, is used in real-time to make inferences, update models, and generate alerts. We solicit student teams to participate in this two-phase project led by Dr. Aakanksha Chowdhery (Princeton University and 2012 Marconi Society Young Scholar) and Prof. Brejesh Lall (IIT Delhi) as directors.

The Marconi Society is a foundation dedicated to benefiting mankind through scientific achievements in the internet and communications. Each year, we recognize a group of inspirational graduate researchers with the Young Scholar award.

Our Young Scholars are passionate about working with students in developing countries to help solve important social problems. This work, called the Celestini Project, has successfully improved the health of pregnant women in Uganda and expanded to India in 2017 in partnership with IIT Delhi.

Details for 2018 Competition

Each participating team must be comprised of two-four undergraduate students enrolled at an Indian engineering institution. The team can also involve a faculty mentor from their institution. The team must arrange equipment at their own cost for Phase I. To participate in 2018, please submit your team details by Mar 3, 2018 to this link. For questions, please email celestiniprizeindia-AT-gmail.com.

Phase I: We will give a take-home exam (comprising of coding+open ended design questions) on a March weekend. Two participants from each team must take the exam for their team to qualify. Each team will submit a document on their proposed approach to solving problems around theme given by organizers.

Phase II: The selected teams will intern at IIT Delhi for three months between May 15-Sep 1. Each team will comprise 2-4 members and each student team member will receive a stipend of $200 for the internship. The top team will receive Phase II prize of $1500 and their entry will compete in Celestini Prize at International level.


The prizes are sponsored by Marconi Society and Google.

Stipend for Phase II: The teams entering Phase II are awarded cash stipend to work at IIT Delhi: $200 per student

Prizes for Phase II: The winning team with best working prototype will win a $1500 cash prize and will compete for Celestini prize with a team from Uganda.

Brief summary of 2017 competition

30 students participated in Phase I and 6 students in Phase II. The team of 6 students in Phase II created a testbed in IIT Delhi experimenting with collaborative driver assistance to prevent collisions with pedestrians and other vehicles; designed using cameras connected to Raspberry Pis that communicate to cloud via mobile phone app. Their poster presentation was accepted at top-tier ACM MobiCom conference. This technology is being considered as a use-case for 5G pilot deployment in IIT Delhi next year. The student team is motivated to continue graduate school after their undergraduate work.

Award Ceremony: Prize was awarded to the winning team Drizy on Nov 10 and was attended by Vice Chairman of Marconi Society Robert Tkach. The agenda and flyer for the award ceremony are as follows.

The video of the winning entry is on this link.

How it Worked in 2017

Our project focused on increasing road safety by using analytics from network of cameras mounted on vehicle dashboards.

Phase I (Feb 15 - Jun 1)

Ten teams participated in Phase I from all over India. Each student team prototyped video analytic algorithms on Raspberry Pi 3 Model B to process video data of cameras mounted on vehicle dashboards. The video analytics algorithms analyzed real-time from video of camera facing front of the vehicle: detect pedestrians and their trajectory, infer position or lane of the vehicle on the road, and the density of vehicles in front of the vehicle where camera is mounted. Each team trained their vision models, but the model accuracy will be tested on dataset provided from Delhi highways.

Phase II (Jun 1 - Sep 1)

The top team from Phase I entered phase II. In phase II, the team worked at IIT Delhi to build a testbed where a network of cameras update information and receive alerts from backend servers with a visualization API to detect vehicle-to-pedestrian collisions and vehicle-to-vehicle collisions.