Students from Jamia Milia Ismalia never imagined that a mere thought will become instrumental in changing so many lives across India. The Hybrid Human Powered Electric Vehicle, which won the first prize at the third edition of the annual national intercollegiate engineering design contest QuEST Ingenium 2013, was among many creations displayed by young engineers from across the country. The runners up were Siddaganga Institute Of Technology, Tumkur for their ‘Intelligent Wheelchair’ followed by the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi for their affordable cell-phone based indoor navigation system for the visually-impaired.
Making life simpler
Students from Jamia Milia Islamia showcased the Hybrid Human Powered Electric Vehicle at the event. They presented the vehicle as a substitute for the current public transport. “We are trying to revamp the existing auto rickshaw and cycle rickshaw by providing an eco-friendly solution. The vehicle can be operated manually and it also has an electric motor,” said Alan Babu. Not only environment friendly, the vehicle is also a good option for the physically challenged. For future scope, it will be modified so that the physically challenged can also drive the vehicle. “For example, for people with no hands there will be a pedestal for their feet with sensors,” he added.
The vehicle is also equipped with a mobile charger and green water filter. The students claimed that the vehicle can run upto 100 km at a time.
“Autos are very expensive. We are trying to bring down the cost of the product and it will be charged at `15,000,” said Prateek Bansal. After a market research, the boys found out that even rickshaw pullers are open to the idea. A lot of them face health issues because of pulling heavy-weight. “A lot of auto drivers are cheated when they take the auto on loan. They have to pay the rent their entire lives. Here, we have come up with a solution for that. After 25 months of procuring the vehicle, they don’t need to pay rent. We will also provide free charging facilities,” said the engineers.
Giving them eyes
Engineers from IIT Delhi came up with an affordable cell phone based indoor navigation system for the visually impaired. The device consists of three modules. One that the user wears on the waist, one that is installed on the wall and an android application. “We will place the wall module in the building and the map can be downloaded from the android application. So, when a user enters a building, he can specify his destination for example first floor, third room. Through messages he will be guided to his destination,” they explained. Spending time with the visually-impaired over a period of time, led the team to build this device. “Similar ideas were being developed in our system technology lab in college. We got to interact with several visually-impaired people and that is where the idea stemmed from,” said Dhruv from the team.
Students of Siddaganga Institute Of Technology, Tumkur were applauded for inventing the Intelligent Wheelchair. After doing a market survey on manual and electric wheelchairs, these students realised that there was no real solution to problems faced by the physically-challenged. Complete with three different controls systems, the third generation wheelchair makes life easier for the disabled. The wired control comes with buttons and the person sitting on the wheelchair can control the vehicle easily. The tilt control can be attached to the head of the person. Through head movements, the vehicle can be steered. The wireless control can be used by the assistant of the disabled to move the vehicle,” they said.
Cleanliness freak robot
Though all inventions revolved around social issues, students from Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, Bangalore stood out with the High Clean Spiderbot. Complete with brushes and wheels, the robot is designed to clean glasses of high rise buildings. “It works on the principle of suction. It can climb vertical glass surfaces. It can also used for inspecting bridges and gathering information,” said the students.
The idea was born two years ago when Shanmugha T S, witnessed a horrible accident in Mumbai. “I had gone for an event. After the event we were all standing out when a man, who was cleaning window panes on the opposite building fell and died. That’s when the idea struck me,” he said.
The engineers said that the robot is an effective device for a city like Bangalore which is flooded with high rise glass buildings. With this invention, companies don’t need to hire a team of cleaners. They can cut down on their costs too. However, the engineers said that still a lot of work needs to be done before the product is finally launched in the market.