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Robots to Play Dahi Handi of Lord Krishna in Robocon 2008

Dahi Handi is a major event during the Sri Krishna Jayanti festival. Such is its popularity that the festival itself is at times referred as Dahi Handi festival. In the Asia Pacific Robot Contest, Robocon 2008, this popular game of Krishna and Gopas will be played by robots. A few robots will also attempt to steal earthen pots with ‘dahi’ (yoghurt) from Gopis (young girls).

The theme of Robocon 2008 is based one of the most popular childhood pranks of Lord Krishna. Shri Krishna and his friends (Gopas) used to steal milk, yoghurt, butter and cheese from kitchens in Vrindavan. The pots with butter and yoghurt are usually suspended from high poles to avoid children and domestic animals from reaching it and breaking the pot.

But the cunning Krishna and his friends used to form human pyramid and steal the contents of the pots. They also used to break the pots with ‘dahi’ carried by girls (Gopis) in the village.

Each year during the birthday of Sri Krishna, Dahi Handi competitions are held throughout India. Human pyramids of more than 10 storeys are created at this time by participating teams.

In Robocon 2008, two opposing teams will operate Manual machines and Autonomous machines and attempt to get at the pots of butter placed at a height and remove the large cube of butter from the bowls.

A few of the machines would also attempt to “Steal” the Earthen Pots (Matkas) containing balls of cheese being carried by the young girls.

Points are earned when the butter is removed from the bowls placed at a height.

Points could also be earned when a pot and/or Cheese is transferred to a basket.

The team which picks up all the three butter cubes directly from the bowls and holds them in the air will be declared ‘Govinda’ (the winner) and the game will be over.

Dahi Handi competitions involving robots are taking place in various Asian countries presently. The winner from each country will participate in the final Dahi Handi event to be held in Pune, India, from August 29, 2008 to September 2, 2008.