TechTatva’16: Vedanth 6.0
Vedanth, a featured event in TechTatva, is one which everybody looks forward to. One can compare its spectacle to the glitz and glamour of the fashion show held during the cultural fest, Revels. This year, Vedanth 6.0 brought to light ingenious inventions which would truly take one’s breath away.
A two day event, Vedanth 6.0 saw as many as eleven projects on display on the first day.
A bot model, inspired by the architecture of an insect’s ligaments, was created with the aim of making it all- terrain. Each leg was provided with three degrees of freedom along with a rough surface for traction. Its inertial measurement unit keeps track of the environment, using a gyroscope to calculate the angle of friction so as to maintain its balance on every possible terrain.
Every constellation and star has a fixed set of RA and DEC coordinates. Using these, along with the user’s location on that particular date, a constellation can be exactly located to a precision of 0.05 along two axes, using this telescope.
Gesture Imitated Humanoid:
This interesting project, based on live gesture imitation aims at detection of human movement. It calculates the relative change in angle and transmits the same to the servers. After processing, the data is used as an input for the bot, which is programmed to imitate the interpreted motion.
How amazing would it be if one could just draw a musical instrument on a piece of paper and play it, complete with the right melodies- without the actual instrument itself? This is exactly what the ‘Paper Piano’ did. Using a webcam to detect the movement and feed it as an input, the music was being produced as one would on an actual piano, without the use of sensors.
Day two of this featured event saw a fierce battle ensue as eleven teams put up more than a few months worth of diligence on display. They were being judged on the criterion of commercial viability, the actual prototype, its working, and the presentation. Vedanth sees an exponential increase in the standard of projects every year, with the previous edition’s winner being a Braille Printing technology that had been modified so much so that its cost was cutback from the initial five lakh rupees to five thousand rupees.
This year, the projects were so impressive that each of the participants was personally appreciated by the Director of the institution, along with the HoD’s of several departments who were on rounds that day. While several of the projects were purely based on engineering, there were a few brilliant ones that dabbled in the field of medicine, seeing which, Dr. G.K. Prabhu specifically called for Dr. (Col) M Dayananda, Chief Operating Officer and Medical Superintendent of Kasturba Medical College to acknowledge the noteworthy innovations.
Some of the highlights of the second day were:
Real Time Braille Reader:
An extremely useful innovation in the field of universal communication allowing a physically able person to interact with the blind without any prior knowledge of Braille. The user has to feed the message onto the computer which is broken down into alphabets. This is transmitted to a small box with six micro-server motors connected to six pins which are pushed in or out according to the alphabet being represented. Being portable and economical, this device was one with potential in the optometric industry.
The HandTAP was quite similar to the ‘AirMouse’ project on display the previous day – the only difference being that this was a keyboard. A wearable keyboard with flexed sensors for three fingers, any alphabet of a normal qwerty keyboard can be reproduced on this glove. Every alphabet is associated with a combination of three numbers which can be reproduced using appropriate gestures.
The Smart Menu was a delight to every food lover. The moment one enter’s a restaurant and signs into their WiFi, he/she is immediately redirected to the eatery’s page listing out the entire menu -along with an option to click on any entry- to see it’s cost, ingredients used, and recommendations It stores a customer’s contact and order details for up to three months which seemed to be the perfect way to manage restaurant records and maintain good relations with the customers.
The one project that stood out for its simplicity and potential impact was ‘Smart Farming’ which was based on the concept of Aquaponics – an amalgamation of agriculture and pisciculture. Keeping in mind the beneficiaries of this project, Udit won the first prize for his idea. His project centered around the waste produced by fish in water which can in turn be used as manure for plants and simultaneously cleanse the water, re-supplying it to the fish tank. The idea also accommodated a provision of an artificial environment to grow all kinds of plants in any terrain and climate. This was carried out with the help of sensors for detection of ideal temperatures, the right composition of moisture, carbon dioxide and other essential gases in the atmosphere, and making sure that the ideal pH level is maintained in the soil.
The event concluded well before the expected time on both days, resulting in a lot of people who were hoping to look at the projects at a later time, to miss it. But those who did witness it, were pleasantly refreshed at the extensiveness of the innovations. Col. CMS Kalakoti, Chief Warden of the MIT Hostels, said “In the initial years, it just started off as a science exhibition which wasn’t too inspiring. Now, it is amazing to see how people are creating technologies that are community- centered as well as economically viable. The idea of competing with some of the best minds of the college makes the students raise the standard of their own projects. The quality of research and the finesse in scientific thinking is increasing exponentially every year, putting MIT, Manipal on the map and out there”.