To help farmers who use tractors, Tamilarasan Krishnasamy and Vishnu Sundaram, Mechatronics students from Kongu Engineering College, Erode, have developed an automatic braking and plough control system in tractors. Driving tractors for long intervals can be taxing. To reduce the burden, the students minimised the steps that need to be taken manually to drive the vehicle, with their design.
“The driver has to turn the steering wheel, apply the brakes and lift the plough in order to take a turn. With this automated system, he can perform three actions simultaneously. There is less human effort and that will lead to more work being done,” says Tamilarasan.
While the driver would just need to steer the vehicle, the control system automatically ploughs and applies brakes. This control system makes ploughing comfortable, thereby increasing efficiency.
Developed as a part of DesignACE 2014 competition held recently, which saw entries from around 560 engineering students, the tractor concept was adjudged the best and the duo won a prize of `33,000.
DesignACE is an annual engineering contest organised by Barry-Wehmiller International and SolidWorks Inc. The contest is open only to students from the South Indian States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. Keeping in line with the theme of the contest, ‘Sustainable products through manufacturing’, the runners up too had some interesting concepts for the jury.
First runners-up Roshan Kumar Sahu and Avishek Mishra, students of Automobile Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from SRM University, developed a power generator that can harness electrical energy from the exhaust gas of automobiles. This detachable device can be used to charge batteries and other vehicle components, says Roshan.
The jury comprising Suchit Jain, vice president, Strategy, SolidWorks; Phil Evans, vice president, Engineering, Hussman Corporation, and PV Mohanram, Principal, PSG Institute of Technology and Applied Research, Coimbatore, were visibly impressed, he adds.
Rama Chandran Baskaran and Varun Jaganathan, students of Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology, second runners-up in the contest developed a wall paint scrubber cum wall-putty applying machine, which reduces the time taken for putty application. “The paint scrubbing operation can be done by fixing a scrubbing disk, and for putty application, we can replace the disk,” says Rama Chandran.
PV Mohanram says that the students had very good modelling skills. “One needs a lot of practice to come up with such innovative solutions. They also incorporated green engineering concepts to reduce the carbon footprint,” he says, adding that applying classroom concepts in this way can change students’ attitude to engineering.