Researchers explain the science behind projects

People with visual impairments struggling to measure liquid in a glass will soon be empowered with a spoon that helps them to do so. This capacitor-based electronic spoon informs the user about the quantum through vibrating points on the spoon. It is still under development at the Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing Department in the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.).

Other gestating products are a shoe-making machine, gas cylinder weighing machine, the 3D printer (in the conceptual stage), folding cycle and garbage segregation.

They held visitors in awe when the IISc. threw open its gates as part of its Open Day 2013 on Saturday, allowing those interested to catch a glimpse of what was going on in this premier research institute. Thousands of people made a beeline for the famed laboratories on the sprawling campus while research assistants and students stood patiently explaining the science.

Nitrogen and ice-cream

“I learned that liquid nitrogen could be used to freeze ice-cream,” said Abhishek, a Class 7 student eating the cold dessert that emerged from the fun experiment even as IISc. student Shashank H.R. explained the process. Due to nitrogen’s extremely low boiling point i.e., minus 196 degrees Celsius, it is possible to achieve such a feat.

For students it became a learning experience, witnessing the practical applications, functioning prototypes and admiring the large-sized laboratories. “It’s an innovative step and gives us good exposure with future in research. I really liked the liquid measuring device made for the visually challenged people,” said an excited Nishit H. Mehta, a science student from KLE Nijalingappa College here.

Model airplanes

The Open Day also offered a mini-air show for those who missed the big jamboree during Aero India last month at the Air Force Station, Yelahanka. For, 13 aeroplane models took off while volunteers controlled them from the ground.

“We are flying unmanned air vehicles with fixed wings and rotary wings. However, we are also working on indigenous development for civil and defence services,” Omkar S.N., principal research scientist from Aerospace Department, said. He added that in future, these planes could be used for aerial monitoring or videography or even agricultural purposes.