The Hindu | Kerala | Thiruvananthapuram |January 17, 2016 | |
As many as five student projects with the potential for application in real-world situations are set to get assistance from the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) for technology upgradation and refinement. The five projects are among those presented by teams from different engineering colleges at this year’s Techfest, the State-level competition for innovative engineering products. They include a package of low-cost energy devices for rural areas, a bionic haptic arm, a device for tranquilisation of elephants, a safety device for electric linemen, and a new carbon nano catalyst for fuel cells. Designed by students of the Sree Narayana Institute of Engineering, Adoor, the low-cost energy package for rural households comprises a box with a primary energy source, LED lamps, fan charging point, connecting wires, and other ancillaries for installation.
A prototype developed by a team from SCMS Engineering College, Ernakulam, the bionic haptic arm is a prosthetic limb for amputees. The device, harnesses the electrical signals transmitted by motor neurons to contract muscles. Designed by a team from Government College of Engineering, Wayanad, the device for tranquillisation of elephants involves a module that can be mounted on the animal and activated when it turns violent. The student team from Mangalam College of Engineering, Kottayam, came up with the project on safety of electric linemen in response to the accidental deaths caused by inadvertent switching on of power lines. It works by controlling a circuit breaker using a password. The new carbon nano catalyst support with a spherical fibrous morphology has been developed for fuel cells to power automobiles. The student team from TKM College of Engineering, Kollam, claims the new generation material can reduce the cost of fuel cells by 25 per cent.
According to Ajith Prabhu, Joint Director, KSCSTE, the five student projects would be given assistance for refinement and development from the prototype level. “Each of the teams will be attached to a suitable engineering college for design engineering to take the technology to the next level. The projects will be assessed for commercialisation and technology transfer.” Executive Vice President, KSCSTE, Suresh Das said the council would support the projects with funding. “The decision to support student projects reflects our thrust on programmes that could impact on the State’s economy. Plans are afoot to partner industry for innovative PhD programmes and bring the end user into the loop for continuous feedback and analysis”. Dr. Das said the whole effort was oriented towards creating an innovation ecosystem and promoting entrepreneurship among the youth. – Courtesy