KOCHI: Robots that can enter inaccessible places to retrieve things, a traffic system that works on sensors and helps save electricity, a system that prevents home invasion and an operating system that can be modified as per the needs of the user. The mind-boggling list goes on. However, all these tech-products have a speciality, they have been developed by school students!
According to Sajimon P N, district coordinator, Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE), the finesse with which each product has been planned, designed and developed showcases the talent, skill and the scientific bent of mind of our students. “All the 231 students who participated in the residential workshop organised by KITEs in association with Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), are from government and aided schools from all over the state,” said Sajimon.
“This shows the immense progress that has been made in general education. The hi-tech classrooms and facilities provided as a part of the General Education Protection Mission launched by the government have come as a boon for the students,” he said.
Sajimon said the Little Kites clubs train the students in two disciplines -programming and animation.
The residential workshop saw students presenting products under these categories.
An efficient solar power generator
Today, solar energy has become the byword and the number of people adopting this green mode of power generation is increasing. However, the present method of stationary solar panels doesn't make use of the sun's energy to the maximum.“So, the panels charge the batteries only from morning till maybe the late afternoon. But to get the maximum out of solar energy, the panels need to stay in contact with the sun's rays till it sets,” said Devananda T, a class X student of CKGMHS, Koyilandy. Devananda came up with a rotating set of solar panels. “The photodiodes sense the change in the direction of light and accordingly turn the solar panels. So, the panels always remain in contact with the sun's rays. I got this idea from the way the sunflower tracks the movement of the sun,” said the little innovator. Hence, her model of solar panel extracts maximum juice from the sun's rays.
Alert! Your home is being attacked!
As soon as a participant tried to grab a figurine kept inside a model house made by Lincy Lenin, a class X student of St Augustine's Girls Higher Secondary School at Muvattupuzha, an alert sounded in her phone. Lincy immediately foiled her friend's attempt.
According to Lincy, the product works by tracking the heat signature of the intruder. “The sensors that have been installed inside the house pick up heat radiation emitted from the body of the intruder and triggers the software which in turn sends a message to the IP address that has been written into the programme,” said Lincy.
Nandana Biju of St Augustine's Girls Higher Secondary School, Muvattupuzha, developed a system that helps reduce power consumption by streetlights. “Streetlights remain lit throughout the night and sometimes even in the daytime after the persons responsible fail to switch them off,” said Nandana. “However, if the system is used, it would become easy to control the power consumption,” she said. Nandana has used sensors that track heat signatures of pedestrians and vehicles. Once the vehicle comes in the range of the sensor, the light switches on and after it crosses, the streetlights goes off automatically.
A free operating system
The thought that you have to pay a lot of money for an operating system prompted Ron Stephen Mathew, a class X student of St George HSS, Kulathuvayal, to come up with a new operating system called Nova Linux. “It is a free OS and can be modified as per the needs of the user. Why go in for costly operating systems when you Linux for free. But many of the applications only work on the Windows OS. So, I legally made them compatible with Linux,” he said. Ron also developed a voice assistant similar to Alexa called Sanju and a home automation system called Steve.