While the digital age has brought with it a host of new challenges for the IT companies, a crop of new age startups in Kerala is stealing the spotlight with unique and innovative solutions
The Neera Extractor
NAVA Design and Innovation Pvt Ltd, a startup incubated by Maker Village, cheered up coconut farmers by developing a machine to tap neera. Coconut tree tappers, who need to climb 40 to 50 feet thrice a day to extract neera, can reduce their exertion if they install the new device.
They can do it in two climbs - to install the device and remove it 45 days later. Charles Vijay Varghese, a native of Erumathala in Aluva and an electrical engineer by profession, had been working in West Asia as the assistant manager of a trading company when he started designing the automated toddy tapper.
The electric ‘Sapper’ developed by Charles includes a device that beats and slices the inflorescence thrice a day as per the timings programmed. Neera then flows into the centralised tank. With refrigeration facility, it can be preserved without preservatives. Charles is planning to launch the product, to be priced around Rs12,000, within six months.
Marine cargo carrier drone
Three researchers experienced in aerospace technology have formed a startup to develop marine cargo carrier drones that can deliver cargo weighing up to 10 kg to ships.
C Rajeev of Kuttamassery, J Navaneeth Krishnan from Bengaluru and G Akhil of Tiruvalla, who completed their studies at the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram, have come up with the novel idea. “The drone under development can travel 20 km,” said Rajeev. “It is a cost effective optimised solution aimed at tapping the market for last minute delivery of life saving medicines and courier to mother ships.
Landing a drone on the deck of a moving ship is challenging. With a maximum speed of 80 kmph, the prototype will be ready within three months and the final product within 18 months.” In case of technical snag, the drone will land in the sea with the help of a parachute.
Solar power for home inverters
Though competition has reduced the cost of solar power, household solar power system is still out of bounds for the common man.
Five young entrepreneurs are set to launch the cheapest solar option. NyQuest Innovation Labs - a startup launched by Akhil M S, Harsh Mohan, Ganesh V S, Binuraj N and Rakesh K - has developed a product that can convert an existing household inverter into a solar power system.
The product, priced between Rs 5,000 and Rs 6,000, will hit the market within three months. “ We are providing solar systems for inverters with 12 volt and 24 volt capacity.
Our solar systems will be connected to the inverter battery and, once the battery is fully charged, it will switch off the main line and provide power supply from the solar panels. After field tests, we will introduce 10,000 units in the market. Hikon and Eurotech have evinced interest in our product,” Ganesh said.
A smart wearable for women safety
Amid growing concerns about women safety, Ajay Sangwan is introducing a wearable device that can help women defend themselves. The product - a T-shirt with an electronic device -can detect improper touches and any kind of pressure on the body to neutralise the attacker with a 500 volt low impulse electric shock.
The device will also send an alert to three phone numbers. The Delhi native, whose Nyokas Technologies is headquartered in Kochi, graduated from the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Delhi with electronic textiles being his research subject. “I am planning to launch the preorder sales in September.
The product will be launched on March 8, the International Women’s Day,” said Sangwan. The detachable device can be washed and reused.
The firm is planning to develop two more devices - a medical textile which will have a temperature sensor, ECG, blood pressure and blood sugar monitor, and fitness wearable for sports persons.