IIT-M showcases an array of innovative technology

March 03, 2024 11:37 pm | Updated 11:37 pm IST - CHENNAI

Fostering innovation: Over 1,000 students showcased 76 projects at the 16th edition of the annual Open House.

Fostering innovation: Over 1,000 students showcased 76 projects at the 16th edition of the annual Open House.

Students at the Centre for Innovation (CFI), Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M), showcased some of the innovative technology they developed to the public at the 16th edition of the annual Open House organised on Sunday.

More than 1,000 students showcased 76 projects.

In the midst of the counters set up to showcase the innovations was InnoGuide, a robot wearing a check shirt and guiding delegates to the projects related to the domain of their interest. The robot answered questions about the projects.

The seventeen-member team that developed InnoGuide said the project could be scaled up to other innovation centres, big retail stores or shopping malls, and museums.

Four students from the Department of Biotechnology - Atharva Mandar Phatak, Hrutik Ravindra Pawar, Dikshant Pravin Khare and Sumedh Sanjay Kangne, along with Umnag Saroj (Department of Mechanical Engineering) and Konchada Vaishnavi (Department of Chemical Engineering) displayed some crucial products pertaining to agriculture, under the name Agriscape.

“Our mission is to address pressing challenges such as labour shortages, seed wastage, high capital costs, and low yields encountered by small-scale farmers. Through the design and development of user-friendly instruments tailored for small to medium-sized farms, we strive to provide practical solutions that empower farmers and enhance agricultural productivity,” the team said. The team also mentioned about the filing of provisional patent for its latest iterations.

Another project, headed by Asmitha, an electrical engineer, and her teammates Mohini (electrical engineering), Ishita (mechanical engineering), Muskan (bio-engineering) and Gautam (chemical engineering), was a white cane for the visually challenged. “There are nine boxes, and we have nine vibratory devices on the gripper module. So, if there’s an object in a certain box, that particular pin will vibrate. And this will alert the user on the obstacle,” the team said.

Prabhu Rajagopal, Advisor (Innovation and Entrepreneurship), IIT Madras, said, “The CFI, along with Nirmaan Pre-Incubator, play a pivotal in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship among students.”

He went on to add that many of these ideas have actually turned into actual startups that have eventually gone ahead and raised several rounds of funds too. “These are funded through multiple sources, including alumni. Some teams raise funds on their own or from the Central government. Some even manage to get funding in the form of products like tyres, bearings, battery packs, among others.”

Mr. Rajagopal also pointed out that some of these products even get patented. “If we find any idea that is patentable, we immediately pass it on to the IP office (within the IIT-M ecosystem). The team does a quick search on the content, and if they find it good, they immediately do a provisional filing,” he added.

Some of the other projects showcased during CFI Open House 2024 include a reusable sounding rocket, a wearable tool that helps people with paralyzed fingers, an application to simplify the travel planning process, ultrasonic sound-powered metal 3D-printer, a braille book emulator, and an autonomous underwater vehicle for oceanographic exploration.

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