Colleges

Getting REAL

Ensuring safety Project smart helmet has very useful features that caters to the safety of the rider   | Photo Credit: mail

Bengalureans are well aware of the formation of snowy froth in Varthur and Bellandur lakes. But only a few get cracking on such issues. Pavan, a third year student of Aeronautical Engineering, MVJ College, is one of them who was not only disturbed by the extreme water pollution but wanted to find solutions as a student of science and technology.

The first step was to find out what chemicals the lakes contained. As it was being contaminated by sewage water, phosphates, sulphates and nitrates were the major pollutants. “I wanted to find out a sustainable and economical solution. I looked out for similar exercises worldwide. Luckily, in one of the research papers there was a reference to the way Nigerians purified water used for mining Copper (Cu). The miners used to fill the Cu-contaminated water in the musk melon shells in the night and drink it in the morning. With this clue, I began experimenting with fruit peels,” explains the budding Aeronautical Engineer.

Pavan realised ‘fruit peels which are semi-permeable in nature can act as terrific filters’. He then made the polluted water collected from the lakes pass through these membranes. “Initially I never got desired result. Finally after a hundred trials, my apparatus began to show results. I then got it checked with the State Pollution Control Board. In the observation of the board, water purified by this method can be used for all household purposes except for drinking,” he informs.

For purifying small quantity of waste water, physical contact method can be applied. “This method is suited for filtering waste water from apartments, temples and restaurants. Whereas for treatment of large quantities of water, agitated tank method can be employed. In this method, as the fruit peel membrane is reduced to nano particles, the time taken for filtration process is significantly reduced. Fruit peel membraned check dams can also be effective if the water has to be filtrated in the natural environment,” he explains.

Apart from environmental degradation, another major concern in the city is ‘safety’. An electronic and Communication student at MVJ, Sai Venkat and his team has designed a Smart Helmet that detects accidents, falls or injuries to the rider. The apparatus immediately alerts the rider’s emergency contacts along with the location of the mishap.

The helmet can also determine the severity of the damage. “The other features are,” Sai Venkat enumerates: “it can detect alcohol consumption. The bike does not switch on if the rider is drunk. It has a special bluetooth feature that does not cut out outside noise as it is crucial for a rider to have a sense of his surrounding when he is on road.”

Another student project of MVJ by Nishant Shastry and his team caters to the hearing-impaired. “The inspiration for this project is pianist Beethoven. How he used to listen to (what he played on) his piano with the help of a rod after he lost his hearing capacity is well known. We applied the same principle here -- conduction of sound through the bone,” says Nishant.

The conventional medical solution for this problem is ear surgery which inserts implants made of titanium. “This is not just cumbersome, but also has risks and social stigma attached to it,” he adds. For finding an alternative to the surgery, the team has come up with spectacles that conduct sound via the bones.

Similar to the above experiments, many projects that have immediate value to the real world problems are being carried out at MVJ College of Engineering, Whitefield, Bengaluru. Srinivasan D., Research and Development Cell, MVJ informs: “We call out for project ideas twice a year and our main requirements are -- the project idea needs to be multi-disciplinary and it should be implementable, if developed. Once the teams are selected, we offer basic workshops for product development and later allot them lab space for developing the same.”

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 10:07:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/colleges/getting-real/article29173681.ece

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