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The Times of India | Saurabh Sinha | TNN | Apr 6, 2017 |
NEW DELHI: A mechanical engineer from IIT Delhi is on his way to develop hybrid planes in the US and hopes to sell the same in India for about 1,100-km-long regional flights by early 2020s. Ashish Kumar, CEO and founder of Kirkland (Washington)-based Zunum Aero, is developing regional hybrid-electric aircraft whose range will go up to 1,600 km by 2030. “Boeing and JetBlue (via JetBlue Technology Ventures subsidiary) are backing us. We will first come out with a sub-20 seater hybrid aircraft. We hope to have the first prototype flying in two years and begin commercial production in early 2020s,” Kumar, a PhD in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Cornell University, told TOI.
“Our planes will be way cheaper for airlines to operate. They will not go as high as commercial aircraft due to the distances they will be covering. While they will be slower than other planes, their ability to land at airstrips closer to final destination will significantly reduce door-to-door time for flyers,” said Kumar. Founded in 2013, Zunum Aero is building a family of commercial hybrid-to-electric aircraft designed for regional transit, and powered by quiet range-optimized powertrain and propulsion technologies. The company’s vision is to develop 1,000-mile electric air networks to bring fast and affordable travel to every community. “The shift of the industry to large aircraft and long ranges driven by gas turbines has concentrated almost all air traffic to just one percent of our airports, creating a massive transport gap over regional distances where there is no high-speed alternative. Hybrid propulsion is an industry-changing solution, enabling mid-sized aircraft on regional routes to have better cost efficiencies than airliners,” he said. The hybrid planes, Zunum claims, will have 80% lower emissions. The low operating cost of these planes, Kumar says, will allow airlines to offer cheap fares. “We are looking at India in a big way,” he said. – Courtesy / Read more… / http://zunum.aero/
Economic Times | By PTI | Mar 30, 2017 |
NEW DELHI: Telecom gear maker Ericsson has signed an agreement with IIT Delhi to jointly work on a programme for 5G technology development in India. “Ericsson and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly roll out a ‘5G for India’ programme,” Ericsson said in a statement. Under the agreement, Ericsson will set up a Centre of Excellence with a 5G test bed and incubation centre at IIT Delhi and use this facility to drive the development of the country’s 5G ecosystem. The first series of tests under this programme are due to begin in the second half of 2017 and will place India on par with other developed countries in terms of 5G network and application deployment. Globally, limited deployment and 5G trials are expected to start by mid-2018 while commercial availability is slated for 2020.
“The 5G for India programme is a major step towards understanding the power of 5G technology and how it can help aid Digital India initiatives, including the development of smart cities. The programme will focus on delivering research, innovation and industrial pilots that use next-generation 5G networks as an enabler,” Ericsson’s Head of Region India Paolo Colella said. This programme has been conceptualised to fast-track realisation of Digital India initiatives and aid application development for Indian start-ups and industries, the statement said. In addition to hosting the Center of Excellence, IIT Delhi will conduct research and development to explore how some of the country’s challenges can be addressed with mobile technologies, it added. “IIT Delhi has been committed to developing the latest technologies in close collaboration with industry. We are glad to be hosting the Ericsson Centre of Excellence and Incubation Centre, providing a big leap forward for 5G technologies ecosystem development in the country,” IIT Delhi Director Ramgopal Rao said. – Courtesy
The New Indian Express | By Richa Sharma | 19th March 2017 | Opinion |
NEW DELHI: The great Indian IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) dream may be losing its charm. A study has found that these premier institutions lag way behind in producing quality research in engineering which is their core area. The study, published in the country’s prestigious scientific journal Current Science and conducted jointly by authors from the Banaras Hindu University and South Asian University, reveals that majority of the research output from IITs is in subjects such as physics, chemistry and material science. For IITs to be placed high among the global institutions, a lot of effort and support is required, it states. The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are laggards in producing quality research in engineering. Publishing research is important for any institution, for it helps in determining its international reputation and funding in case of private institutions. A joint study by authors from Banaras Hindu University and South Asian University analysed research performance of 16 IITs. At present, there are 23 IITs in India but data of rest seven was not available. “The discipline-wise research performance analysis indicates that majority of the research output from IITs is in Physics, Chemistry and Material Science and research in engineering disciplines lags behind substantially,” observes the study.
It adds that IITs being primarily engineering and technology institutions should produce more research work in core engineering disciplines. The IITs lag behind as they are not focusing on publishing research in right kind of publications internationally. The analysis also explains that there is a substantial difference in research performance levels of old IITs compared to the new IITs. Among 16 IITs, seven are old—Kharagpur, Bombay, Madras, Kanpur, Delhi, Guwahati and Roorkee. While nine others—Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Jodhpur, Patna, Ropar, Indore, Mandi and Varanasi—have been established in the last 10 years. “The new IITs are very young for a research performance in comparison with old IITs. Some new IITs, particularly the IITI, show promising research performance.” The research also stresses that one of the major outcomes of the analysis was that even the best-performing IITs of India are behind two top-ranking world universities—Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in research. “Of these, NTU (established in 1991) is younger than the five older IITs, which shows that the age of an institution alone does not only call for higher performance. If a new institution like NTU can achieve higher research performance levels then why not some of the Indian IITs?” it questions. – Courtesy / Click here to View / Download the Article Fulltext Research performance of Indian Institutes of Technology by Banshal, Sumit Kumar ; Singh, Vivek Kumar ; Basu, Aparna ; Muhuri, Pranab Kumar, Current Science, Vol. 112, No. 05 – 10 March 2017 – 10 Pages
The Indian Express | Shruti Dhapola | New Delhi | February 28, 2017 |
HyperLoop One, the US-based startup that wants to revolutionise how the world travels, today showcased its vision for India.
Hyperloop One, the US-based startup that wants to revolutionise how the world travels, today showcased its vision for India at an event in Delhi. Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu and Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant also attended the event. For those who don’t know, Hyperloop as an idea was originally proposed by SpaceX and Tesla boss Elon Musk. Hyperloop could allow for passengers, freight to be transported at super-fast speeds, more than 1000 km per hour which is faster than airlines, in a levitating pod that would travel in a vacuum tube. Hyperloop One’s own website describes the mode of transport in these words, “We use a custom electric motor to accelerate and decelerate a levitated pod through a low-pressure tube. The vehicle will glide silently for miles with no turbulence.” Essentially these pods are autonomous, and it would mean high-speed travel inside a tube. Hyperloop One, which has been around for two years, held a global competition in 2016 asking contestants to pitch a proposal on where all the network should be built. The company says it received over 2000 entries, and out of the 30 semi-finalists it has picked five from India. Interestingly Hyperloop claims India had the highest number of registrants. The list of semi-finalist teams from India are AECOM, LUX Hyperloop Network, Dinclix GroundWorks, Hyperloop India, and Infi-Alpha.
Each of these teams has proposed a route for the network according India. For instance, Dinclix GroundWorks has pitched an ambitious 55 minutes travel time from Delhi to Mumbai via Jaipur, which is a total distance of 1,317 kms. AECOM has pitched Bengaluru to Chennai, which is 334 kms in 20 minutes. LUX Hyperloop Network has proposed route for Bengaluru to Thiruvananthapuram in 41 minutes. Hyperloop India has pitched Mumbai to Chennai via Bengaluru in 50 minutes. Finally Infi-Alpha has proposed Bengaluru to Chennai in 20 minutes. While Delhi to Mumbai in 55 minutes sounds like the stuff of dreams, Hyperloop is an idea that has not been tested. The company is still testing its original pod technology, and will be doing the first public demonstration of its technology in Nevada desert in the summer of 2017. But it seems the idea has found some initial enthusiasm in India. Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said the Indian government will be exploring these new technologies keenly, and will see what else can be done to improve transportation in the country. “The government of India will be delighted to work with Hyperloop One. We have to transform urbanisation and how we do transportation, and for that we need disruptive technology, that changes how we transport. Hyperloop One is one way,” said Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant at the event.
IndHyperloop One, a company that is building what it calls the next generation travel infrastructure, is now here in India. The company held a media event in Delhi on Tuesday to announce that it was actively looking to develop five high-speed corridors in India, linking the major cities of India, with Hyperloop that is a theoretical transportation mode with speed of as high as 1100 kilometres per hour. Although for now the whole thing is a concept, Hyperloop One said that with help from Indian government it could make the super high-speed travel in India a possibility in the coming years. Indian Railways minister Suresh Prabhu, who was at the event, said that the government was “very keenly watching the new developments and technologies. “We are watching all of these (new technologies) very keenly and we are working to modernise the Indian railways,” said Prbhu, while adding that all companies are welcome to explore their ideas with the government. He also said the Indian government has a very rigorous and transparent bidding process through which it awards contracts for projects like new transportation corridor.
India Today: Javed Anwar – 28 Feb 2017 | Hyperloop, as a concept, envisages special pods with passengers moving at a very high-speed inside sealed tube-like tunnel. The pods are accelerated using electric motor and because the tube is sealed there is very little resistance inside it, which helps the pods move at a very fast pace. Hyperloop One says that it is the only company that has been able to demonstrate that this technology can work. “While other start-ups have not yet moved beyond basic research, Hyperloop One is the only company that is building a functional Hyperloop system (part of a pilot project in the US),” noted the company. “Hyperloop One will help accelerate India’s growth towards building substantial infrastructure that is financially and environmentally sustainable,” said Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One. “We are already working with the governments around the world on passenger and freight projects, and we look forward to also partnering with India to support this endeavor.” Hyperloop One said that it got 126 applications from India in response to its Hyperloop One Global Challenge last year. The campaign was launched to seek route ideas from people. Of the 126, the company has shortlisted 5 routes in India on which it wants to focus. All of this sounds pretty well. So what is the problem? There are two. One, the Hyperloop is still a concept. It’s a technology that companies are working on but they are yet to show its viability from technology as well as financial point of view. The second problem is that Hyperloop One would need to a lot of permissions from Indian government and will have to enter into a partnership with the public sector. This sounds easy but it is actually pretty tricky as well as can take a long time. So, for now as well as for another 5 years at least, if you want to go to a city in quick time, your best bet will remain airplane. Courtesy / https://hyperloop-one.com/
By PTI Feeds | February 26, 2017 | Thiruvananthapuram | PTI |
‘TechTop National Innovation Challenge’, a contest for engineering students, will be held in New Delhi from July 14-15.
TechTop Innovation Challenge and Summit is India’s prime celebration that celebrate the award winning innovations of young innovators in the country. 11 years of successful hosting of the Annual TechTop Innovation challenge, we can now proudly claim that India is now a hotbed of technological innovations. Just over the past few years we have witnessed over 30 startups from our past winners and participants. Our aim is to make India a birthplace for many hard scientific innovations that can change our planet to a beautiful place it is made to be. Now the Annual Innovation Challenge is converted as a month long Innovation Summit to bring the global innovation community to India to share their experience and to innovate solutions along with India’s young engineers.
The event will be hosted by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)- Delhi, its organisers – Techtop Charitable trust said here in a release. Innovative project ideas from student teams of recognised engineering colleges across the country are invited, it said. The last date to receive online applications is March 5 . The most innovative project that addresses an important concern of society and chosen by an expert jury will win the Rs One Lakh TechTop cash award, the release said. The second and third prizes are Rs 50,000 and Rs.30,000. A cash prize of Rs 20,000 will be awarded to the best innovation from ‘All Women Teams’, it said, adding, there are two more Rs 20,000 prizes to be won. TechTop Charitable Trust has been successfully organising TechTop Innovation Challenge for the last 11 years, the release added. – http://techtop.in/ / YouTube Video—> TechTop Innovation Competition 2015 @ MBCET, Mar Baselios College of Engineering & Technology, Thiruvananthapuram
The Hindu Business Line | Ahmedabad, February 3, 2017 | GTU-Bosch Rexroth open Centre of Excellence in automation |
With the financial support from Bosch Rexroth, GTU set up four laboratories at the Centre including Pneumatic Lab, Hydraulic Lab, PLC Lab, Robotic & Mechatronics Lab and Sensor Lab. The i 4.0 Automation Technology is a project of German Government towards the fourth industrial revolution under connectivity – automation after mechanisation, electrification and digitalisation. The University has sourced equipment for the Centre of Excellence from Germany. Bosch Rexroth managing director, Hans Bangert joined by the Gujarat government’s minister of state for higher and technical education, Jayadrathsinh Parmar inaugurated the Center here on Friday. – Courtesy / http://www.boschrexroth.com/connected-automation
The Hindu | January 22, 2017 | Kozhikode | Architect proposes elevated highway over railway line
The project with high safety standards can be executed with minimal investment, says N.M. Salim
Kozhikode: As a cost-effective substitute to the proposed widening of the national highway by acquiring vast area of private land, N.M. Salim, a city-based architect, has come out with an innovative proposal for constructing an elevated highway over the railway line. A preliminary report in this regard submitted to various departments suggests that the construction of a four-lane elevated highway over the railway line will help the State accomplish its dream of having a high-speed roadway with minimal investment and high safety standards. However, Mr. Salim, who has been in the field for decades, says the construction of the 600-km-long road with a width of 45 metres in the existing circumstances does not sound workable owing to impediments including land acquisition. “We will have to wait for several years before carrying out such a huge undertaking, which involves mobilising the consent of land holders,” he points out.
The main advantage of the elevated highway, according to him, is that it hardly requires large-scale land acquisition. “A policy level decision can definitely usher in a change, where the government can bring down the expected cost of ₹34,000 crore for the construction of the widened national highway,” he says. The proposal that describes the concrete road as a ‘white top road’ will be more vehicle-friendly and offer smoother and fuel-efficient ride. It will also help the government bring down the annual road maintenance cost, besides enabling travellers to save time. Also, Mr. Salim points out that the State can project the enterprise as a milestone in its developmental history. “Such a highway above the railway line with proximity to the Arabian sea will be an asset to the tourism sector, and it can even claim a world-record for its uniqueness,” he adds. The engineer also stresses the need for conducting a feasibility study and holding consultations with the Railway authorities. “Once approved in principle, the government can go for a detailed engineering study. A detailed project report can be prepared with the support of expert government agencies,” he points out. – Courtesy / http://www.nmsarchitects.com/
SRKR student Muttukuri Rajasekhar gets US patent for his dream project Brain-Computer Interference (BCI) device
The New Indian Express | Express News Service | 05th January 2017 | ECE student gets US patent for BCI device | The Hans India |
BHIMAVARAM : In a major achievement, Muttukuri Rajasekhar, a final year Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) student of SRKR Engineering College, has got the US patent for his Brain Computer Interface (BCI) device. As part of his research project, Rajasekhar has designed wireless sensors to record the activities of the brain while an individual is asleep. The sensors help record the dreams of the human brain through a computer. Rajasekhar spent about Rs 15 lakh to develop the BCI device. The Hewlett Packard company provided him Rs 12 lakh to take up the research. He spent Rs 3 lakh more to develop the device. The engineering student who applied for a patent for his device two months ago, got confirmation from the US authorities now. If the HP sells the BCI device developed by Rajasekhar in the market, he gets royalty.
He has also developed a Remote Patient Monitoring System (RPMS). It is immensely useful to provide proper medical aid to the patients living in remote areas after the system is fully developed. The RPMS works with the help of a mobile phone. About 90 health problems can be examined through the system. The RPMS kit is directly linked to the satellite to send the information to its destination without any hassles from any remote area. His other invention is eyeglasses through which the wearer can get the matter translated into several languages by giving a command. The kit cost him Rs 8,000 only. Senior IAS officer B Udayalakshmi who witnessed the functioning of his devices at Amaravati recently, commended Rajasekhar. National Remote Sensing Centre Director YVN Krishna Murthy, who visited SRKR Engineering College last month, also appreciated his research activities. Software major TCS adjudged one of his projects the best and presented him a cash prize of Rs 20,000. Rajasekhar who hails from Valaparla village in Martur mandal of Prakasam district, got distinction in his secondary school education. He got many first prizes for his exhibits in the district science fairs. His parents Venugopal and Prabhavathi who are teachers, encouraged him a lot to take up various research projects. SRKR Engineering College principal G Pardhasaradhi Varma also extended all necessary assistance to Rajasekhar, besides providing him proper guidance in conduct of his research. / Courtesy / Hans India
Business Insider India | Sam Shead | Dec 28, 2016 |
Apple has stayed true to its promise and published its first academic paper on artificial intelligence.
The world’s most valuable company has traditionally kept its AI research private but earlier this month Ruslan Salakhutdinov, director of AI research at Apple, made a pledge to start being more open. The new Apple paper – published December 22 and titled ” Learning from simulated and unsupervised images through adversarial training “ – gives an insight into some of the techniques that Apple is using to develop AI. In the study, which was published through the Cornell University Library, Apple researchers explain a technique that can be used to improve how an algorithm learns to “see” what is in an image. The paper’s six authors state that using synthetic images (such as those seen in a video game), as opposed to real-world images, can be more efficient when it comes to training AI models known as neural networks, which are designed to think in the same way as the human brain. Why? Because synthetic image data is already labelled and annotated while real-world images aren’t. However, using synthetic images has its problems. The Apple researchers write that they are “often not realistic enough, leading the network to learn details only present in synthetic images and fail to generalise well on real images.”
In order to get around this issue, the researchers propose using a technique they call “Simulated+Unsupervised learning,” which combines unlabelled real image data with annotated synthetic images. The paper’s lead author was Apple researcher Ashish Shrivastava. Other authors include Tomas Pfister, Oncel Tuzel, Josh Susskind, Wenda Wang, and Russ Webb. Apple’s paper comes after Facebook’s head of AI Yann LeCun said that Apple’s reluctance to let researchers publish their work could be hindering its hiring efforts in the highly competitive field where Google, Amazon, and DeepMind are also looking to recruit the best talent. Describing how Facebook gets the most talented software engineers in the world to come and work on Facebook’s AI efforts, LeCun said: “Offering researchers the possibility of doing open research, which is publishing their work.
“In fact, at FAIR [Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research], it’s not just a possibility, it’s a requirement,” he said in London. “So, [when] you’re a researcher, you assume that you’re going to publish your work. It’s very important for a scientist because the currency of the career as a scientist is the intellectual impact. So you can’t tell people ‘come work for us but you can’t tell people what you’re doing’ because you basically ruin their career. That’s a big element.” Jack Clark, who writes the Import AI newsletter, wrote in his latest email: “Apple’s participation in the AI community will help it hire more AI researchers, while benefiting the broader AI community.” It’s likely that majority of Apple’s AI research takes place at its headquarters in Cupertino but the iPhone maker also has a number of satellite AI outposts around the world, including a secret Siri lab in Cambridge, UK. Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. – Courtesy / Learning from Simulated and Unsupervised Images through Adversarial Training by Ashish Shrivastava, Tomas Pfister, Oncel Tuzel, Josh Susskind, Wenda Wang, Russ Webb / Click here to download the article