A project done by four students of Canara Engineering College was displayed at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, as part of “Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award-2012” held in April and organised by Sristi.

The project was among 40 selected projects out of 12,000 entries, Padmavathi Shenoy, Chief Coordinator, IIP Cell and Student Welfare Office, Canara Engineering College, told The Hindu.

A team consisting of Varsha Kamath, Swapna Shenoy, Priya Baliga, and Suman Shenoy, all students of Computer Science, worked on the “mattress disinfection unit” project guided by Ashok Nayak, a businessman.

Varsha said the idea for the project came from Swapna Shenoy. On a visit to a hospital, Swapna had noticed that the mattresses were stinking. While hospitals changed bed-sheets, the mattresses were soiled, especially in case of accident patients, were not cleaned.

She said they applied basic science to think of a way to address the problem. Their solution is based on treating the mattress with chemicals in aerosol form, she said. Varsha said the students had asked for financial assistance from the National Institute for Technology-Karnataka, Surathkal, and from ABLE. While the machine would cost Rs. 75,000 to build, the consumables cost Rs. 25 to clean one mattress.

One, since it was a disinfectant, it kills bad and good germs. So it must be kept in a place that is far away from patients. Two, the chemicals used must not leak into the atmosphere. Three, the mattress must be completely dried before used.

Mr. Nayak, their project guide, told The Hindu that a timer had been fixed so that the time required for drying the mattress was ensured. “Required certification will be obtained,” he said about using the chemicals.

Padmavathi Shenoy, Chief Coordinator, Student Welfare Office, Canara Engineering College, said the all-girl team had proved it wrong that a project could not be done across streams. “They are Computer Science students but the project is based on Science and Mechanical Engineering. Students say they need a long time but this team did the project in 10 to 15 days,” she said.

“It can be used in hotels.... We applied basic science and created a way to disinfect mattresses....What good is Android if you are sick and in bed?,” said Varsha.

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