Just a fraction of a second after S. Niraimathivanan moved his two eye balls to the right, a light bulb glowed. Similarly it required just the movement of his eye balls to the left to switch off the light.

He was part of a team of students from Mohamed Sathak College of Engineering that took part in the two-day ‘Techknow-2010,' a national expo on student innovation that got under way here on Friday. The expo is being organised by Anna University and All India Manufacturers' Organisation (AIMO).

The spectacles Mr. Niraimathivanan wore had an eye ball sensor module which could also be used by people with disability for operating some home appliances.

Their students' project ‘portable wireless intelligence control system using eye movement control for people with disability,' was one of those displayed at the exhibition.

D. Inayathulla, another member of his team, said the project consists of four major parts namely, eye ball sensor module, two-channel amplifier, microcontroller and a wireless module.

This reliable, low-power and cost-efficient module would contribute towards improving the quality of life of the disabled, said H. Srinivasan, another team member.

A number of students from several colleges in south India made presentation on various projects which tapped the potential of technology and innovations, at the expo.

The projects showcased included a portable wind mill at a cost of Rs.3,500 to generate power for households, improving energy efficiency in solar power generation, voice enabled robotic wheel chair and a ‘pick and place' robot.

“Our innovation is the reduction of the time delay in placing the object by the robot,” said Syed Abuthahir, a participating student.

The application ranges from better cranes for the construction industry to placing microchips with more precision in printed board circuits, he said.

The voice enabled robotic wheel chair devised by a team lead by G.Hemakumar had the ability to sense the temperature level of the patient using the chair to convey message to the caretakers concerned.

R.U.S.S. Ganeshwar, who devised the portable windmill, said “The power generation capacity is set to improve with more innovative aspects and the cost of production would also reduce.” Chairman of Techknow-2010 committee, AIMO-TNSB, K.E.Raghunaathan said “Over seven lakh engineering students are spending more than Rs.200 crore on projects every year. But only around 10 per cent of the innovations are beneficial to society.”

Inaugurating the expo, Vice-Chancellor of Anna University P.Mannar Jawahar said “Students should know about government regulations on implementing their innovation. Many ideas of students are good, but implementation has many challenges.”

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