The Hindu | TIRUCHI, April 2, 2016 | A gift to differently-abled persons |
The vehicle is a mix of technical features of an autorickshaw and a car
Eight undergraduate mechanical engineering students of Saranathan Engineering College at Panjapur near the city have developed a proto-type of an amputee driven car to meet the needs of physically challenged persons capable of driving a four-wheeler but do not have specially designed vehicle to suit their needs. ‘Maatri yose’ (think differently), as the group has called the vehicle, can be driven by a wheel-chair dependent person skilled in driving. The vehicle is a mix of technical features of an autorickshaw and a car. It does not have a conventional steering wheel of a car but operates like an autorickshaw. The vehicle had been developed at a cost of about Rs.1.30 lakh but the cost can be curtailed to Rs. 40,000 if produced on a large scale, said the students, who launched the car at a function held in the college on Friday. The vehicle has a two-stroke engine with 149.5cc capacity. It is 2.6 metre in length with a seating capacity of one person (physically-challenged person) with a ground clearance of 16.5 cm. “This is the first amputee driven car using petrol as fuel although similar cars using electronic devices are available,” said S. Ravindran, secretary of the college, who had an interaction with the students at its launch. The vehicle can reach a speed of 65 km per hour. The vehicle offers a mileage of 17 km per litre, according to the team members. It has four gears — three forward and one for reverse direction.
An amputee, seated on a wheel-chair, can easily access the car through a ramp at its rear and the wheel chair turns as the driver’s seat. The driver can easily control its operation using hands. Use of accelerator, brake, clutch and gear shifts can be managed using left hand. With modifications, the vehicle can be developed into a taxi or cab so that the differently-abled persons could earn a decent living. It can be maintained at low-cost, they said. The team members, all final year students, F. Servath Khan, Shaik Ibraheem, R. Anandh, M. Govindarajulu, S. Rajeshwaran, V.P. Siva Balan, D. Divakar, M. Md Thousef Hassen, were honoured on the occasion. The students hit upon the idea after a differently-abled person expressed his desire to drive a car to Servath Khan and suggested a design for a vehicle. The students have also planned to obtain patent for the vehicle. Ajitha Prabhu G, Managing Director, Kriatec Services Private Limited, Chennai, who introduced the car, promised all support to the students in obtaining the patent for the vehicle. D. Vallavan, Principal, and G. Jayaprakash, Head of Department, Mechanical Engineering, said that the project was taken up in December last and the team had completed it within a short span of time. Karthikeyan, an auto-mobile industrialist, who drove the car, said it would be a gift to the differently-abled persons. – Courtesy