A group of students of the Pankajakasthuri College of Engineering and Technology here has come out with a prototype of a hands-free automobile as part of their final year project.
The automobile which they call ‘combo’ can be driven without ever using hands, they say.
The controls, including the turning of vehicle, accelerator and brake, and even the electrical controls, can be operated using legs.
The team says such an arrangement will help people who have lost their hands or are paralysed following accidents or disease to drive the vehicle easily.
The team comprises A.R. Aneesh, S.P. Amal Vishnu, A.S. Aneesh, Arun S. Babu, R. Rinesh Babu, and S.G. Sreejith of the mechanical engineering branch. The vehicle runs on a two-stroke petrol engine with 7.9 bhp, which they say will give better performance and adequate power. The students designed the complete components and structures, including the chassis, suspension, control pedal (operated only by leg), silencer, and other interior designs, to minimise the construction cost.
The main electric components used are engine cut-off switch, starter, auto headlight assigned with a pneumatic system, and reverse switch, all of which are operated by legs. These electric systems are powered by a 12V 32 A battery. In case of any emergency, the driver can easily shut down the engine with the help of a cut-off switch, they say.
The students were guided by M. Sreehari, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the college.