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Tuesday , January 8 , 2013
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Science of progress

A three-day science fair, part of the Children Science Congress, saw students from across India showcase their innovations. If there were young scientists from Odisha and Andhra Pradesh with improvised chulhas, students from Rajasthan brought with them innovative irrigation tools. Boys from Bihar explained how power can be generated from vehicle pressure to light up a highway and its nearby villages while inventors from Bengal worked on how coal can be saved. Here are some of the projects by India’s
Gen Y

Rishabh Mishra, a Class X student at Fravashi Academy in Nashik, has invented an improvised wheelchair that can sense any obstruction in its way and alert the user. Named after Aamir Khan’s Phunsukh Wangdu, the scientist in 3 Idiots, the Wangdu Chair can also detect light. Persons with paralysis of the lower body or with speech impairment can use the chair with their tongue. “An artificial palate with in-built sensors has to be fitted to the user's mouth,” said the young scientist, who has applied for a patent. The total expense on the wheelchair is Rs 5,000.

You have made calls, texted, surfed the Net, played games and clicked pictures on your cell phone, but now you can use it to rescue people trapped in a fire as well. The mobile-operated rescue robot designed by Kaustav Kundu of Kendriya Vidyalaya in Bamangachhi, Howrah, promises to do just that. “Rescuers put their own lives at risk. Instead, this robot can be sent to the site of fire. It will pick up the victims, put them on stretchers fitted inside and carry them to safety,” said the Class XII student.

You have known James Bond, Secret Agent 007, now meet Shakuntala C 007, the anti-terrorist robot. She can be operated using mobiles, laptops, remote control and motion sensor. She can climb stairs, diffuse bombs, send live pictures and videos. “This robot can be used to detect terrorists hiding in a building, for operations in conflict areas and for patrolling in sensitive zones,” said Rajendra Narayan, a student at Rajabhau Mone Higher Secondary School in Raigad, Maharashtra. Rajendra has invented the device along with Mahendra Narayan, a student at the same school.

Remember the flying machine from
3 Idiots? Rohit Dey of Kendriya Vidyalaya, NAL, Bangalore, has built a quadcopter out of scrap. The copter weighing 900 grams can fly up to a height of 500 metres when controlled manually and carry a load of up to 1kg. The copter can be operated on remote control and can also take voice commands. It can be used in disaster management to locate victims and for surveillance. It can also be used to spread manure on fields. “The quadcopter has a 8 megapixel camera with 10X zoom. The central motherboard of this device is my creation and I have been working on it for the last four years,” said the Class X student who wants to do research in aerodynamics.

Text by Shweta Keshri. Pictures by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya & Arnab Mondal