Who would have thought that a final year engineering project would be what the world needs at this pivotal moment when non-renewable sources are fast depleting? A team of four final year students from BMS College of Engineering, Basavanagudi, under the guidance of Madhav Murthy, an assistant professor in the department of mechanical engineering, has developed a digital fuel indicator for two-wheelers.

Mr. Murthy said, “The device consists of a micro controller, sensors which detect the volume of fuel, load cells which weigh the amount of fuel and an LCD display which reads fuel value”. One of the students involved in the project, Gagan S., said, “The current analogue meter in vehicles is inefficient as it does not give an accurate reading of the fuel in the tank. This is an easy opportunity for motorists to be fooled in petrol bunks or be misled as to the amount of fuel left in the tank when the indicator hits reserve. In contrast, the digital meter we have made gives a precise reading.”

The device, which involves notions of instrumentation coupled with those of mechanical conjectures, was developed over a period of four months and cost Rs. 15,000. “The perfected model, when mass-produced after collaborating with vehicle manufacturers, will cost only Rs. 4,000,” Mr. Murthy said.

While it is to be noted that certain four-wheelers already have such a digital meter, no such attempt has so far been made on a two-wheeler. Karthik Hebbar, another student involved in the project, now placed at Robert Bosch-Bangalore, said, “The making of this device was complex. Even after completion, we have found one disadvantage. The load cell, which is the foundation of the device, collapses when excess weight is applied on it, for instance when little children are seated on the engine of the scooter.” The students plan to get over this by replacing the load cell with an ultra-sonic sensor.