Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Sohum made in India low-cost hearing screening device for newborns launched

Sohum, made in India low-cost hearing screening device for newborns launched

SOHUM, an indigenously developed newborn hearing screening device has been launched by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology.

SOHUM, an indigenously developed newborn hearing screening device has been launched by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology. The aim is to make this battery-operated non-invasive device available across India to cater to nearly 26 million babies that are born every year in India.

Early screening will help minimising or reversing the damage that is caused by hearing loss
This innovative medical device has been developed by the School of International Biodesign (SIB) start-up Sohum Innovation Labs India Pvt Ltd under the Department of Biotechnology (DTB).

More about SOHUM:

·       Sohum is a low-cost portable device which uses brain-stem auditory evoked response, a best screening choice recommended by the American Association of Pediatrics and National Health Services of UK

·       It measures auditory brain waves via three electrodes placed on the baby's head

·       When stimulated, electrodes detect electrical responses generated by the brain's auditory system. If there is no response, it indicates child cannot hear

·       Once it is detected at quite an early age, measures can be taken to prevent other problems such as impaired communication skills and even possible mental illness

·       It is battery operated device and is non-invasive, it doesn't require babies to be sedated, which is risky, testing in process at present

·       It has in-built algorithm that filters out ambient noise from the test signal. This is important because health clinics can be crowded and noisy

What is School of International Biodesign?

SIB is a flagship Program of the DBT aimed to develop innovative and affordable medical devices as per India's unmet clinical needs and to train the next generation of medical technology innovators in India. It is implemented jointly at All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and IIT Delhi in collaboration with International partners.

Biotech Consortium India Limited manages techno-legal activities of the Program, which serves as a valuable contribution to the Make in India campaign by the Government. 

Monday, 3 July 2017

Line inspector creates electrical map of his town

Custom app helps linemen speedily find and repair faults in Khammam

Kilaru Nageswara Rao is a line inspector with the Northern Power Distribution Company of Telangana. He has spent 20 years inspecting electricity lines, and knows the job, literally, from the ground up to the top of the 25- to 35-foot poles on which electricity wires rest.

A few years ago, Mr. Rao devised a low-cost tool — footwear in a metal frame that holds onto the poles — to help line men climb them easily and safely.

From hardware, he has now put his creativity to work using digital tools. He recently developed a prototype of mobile app he calls Google Electrical Map.

Khammam has 10 electricity sub-stations, 29 feeders, 1150 Distribution Transformers, and 10,000 electricity poles; using Google’s map-making tool, Mr. Rao plotted and colour-code them all.

Kilaru Nageswara Rao climbs an electricity pole using an improvised device.

Prevents accidents

The app allows field staff to swiftly locate faults and reach them quickly, so that the town’s 55,000 consumers don’t suffer long when things go wrong.

The app has many uses, he says; for instance, assessing loads, minimising power interruption and line losses, and preventing accidents during breakdown services. He plans to upgrade the app to help field staff in other areas harness its benefits too.

In March, Mr. Rao and his app basked in the limelight at the Rural Innovators and Startup Conclave in Hyderabad in March this year, and then at the Innovation Festival 2017 in Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.

“I have experienced myself the challenges of climbing tall electricity polls, working on them close to the electricity lines and locating the faulty lines in the vast power distribution network,” he says.

“This has prompted me to find tangible solutions to the recurring challenges.”



Wednesday, 14 June 2017

These easy to assemble toilets developed by CSIR will be a boon to areas without toilets

These easy to assemble toilets developed by CSIR will be a boon to areas without toilets
Chennai's CSIR-SERC came up with an easy to assemble toilet that could solve all the problems regarding lack of toilets in the interior regions of India.
 (Representational image)
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Structural Engineering Research Centre (CSIR-SERC) in Chennai has come up with an easy to assemble toilet that could reach interiors of India where there are a severe lack of toilets.
More about the easy to assemble toilets:
·       The toilet can be assembled in less than 5 hours
·       It will weigh less than 500kg
·       The toilet is made with a textile reinforced concrete (TRC) panels developed by CSIR
·       The life span of the toilet would be around 25-30 years
·       These sheets vary in thickness from 15mm to 25mm and there is absolutely no need for moulds in order to prepare these sheets
·       These sheets are corrosion free and are able to hold in rough winds; so, these sheets will withstand every kind of weather
·       For now, each toilet costs between Rs 12,000 and Rs.15,000. With buildtex-the textile used in building applications--being manufactured in India, the cost is expected to come down.
As reported by The Hindu, on Saturday a memorandum of understanding was signed between CSIR-SERC and Smart Build Prefab Pvt. Ltd, Hyderabad for the transfer of manufacturing TRC panels required for the construction of such toilets.
The TRC panels can also be used as flooring, roofs, doors, walls, etc. The sheets are reinforced using a glass textile mesh along with a grained cementious binder. It was in 2014 that the CSIR-SERC applied for a patent for this versatile piece of technology.
This memorandum is said to have been signed during the foundation day programme of CSIR-SERC, which was presided over by Santosh Kapuriya, Director, CSIR-SERC.
About CSIR:
CSIR is an autonomous body and India's premiere research and development (R&D) organisation. Its other activities include research in structural engineering, life sciences, chemicals, aerospace engineering, ocean sciences, mining, leather, food, petroleum and environment.The CSIR laboratories have achieved expertise in structural components, design and testing of structure and analysis. It's primarily funded by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology. The services are sought by the union, state as well as public and private sector undertakings.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

How 5 IIT graduates are changing the way slum kids play

How 5 IIT graduates are changing the way slum kids play

Swings made from old car tubes

By: Vidya DeshPande

Get five architecture students from IIT together. Throw in some used tyres and what do you get? The most colourful play zones for underprivileged kids. That's exactly what Pooja Rai, Nancy, Nupur Agarwal, Vishesh Gupta and Souradeep Paul from the 2015 batch, IITKharagpur do, with their company, Anthill Creations.

The five batchmates decided to put their architectural training to good use by building slides, swings, jungle gyms for kids who don't have access to proper play zones. What started as a college project has now turned into a full-time passion. In fact, two of them, Pooja and Nancy, have quit their jobs and are devoting all their time to setting up these play spaces.

Power Play
They chanced upon this idea of recycling tyres while one of them was on a college internship in Morocco.

The architect they were interning with was passionate about recycling non-biodegradable materials and using them in buildings. They decided to use this as the main theme for their playground projects. Their first project was on their college campus, the Disha Seema Care Center, a school for children from villages around the IIT-Kharagpur campus.

They got tyre company Michelin to help them with the funding and set up a colourful playground that became the talk of the town. "We all started working in our fulltime jobs, but my passion was to build these playgrounds," says Pooja Rai, cofounder and CEO at Anthill Creations. "We set up the company in Bengaluru after we graduated but, last December, Nancy and I decided to quit our jobs and devote all our time to fulfill this passion," she says. The other three are part-time directors and help with projects in Delhi, where they are based. Nancy is the company's chief operating officer, while the other three function as parttime directors.

Their first project was in a Bengaluru slum area, where they built a small playground. "The whole setup cost us about `20,000 and was finished in just five days," says Pooja. Inspired by the success of this play zone, they tied up with a local non-profit, Mantra4Change, and set up an innovative library using recycled tires for chairs and tables at the Florida English School in Goripalya, which caters to children from slum areas.

Another volunteer group, Storytime, ran a campaign in Bengaluru and got books for this library for 850 students. Since then they have done eight other projects in Pune, Delhi, Auroville and Nizamabad.

But now they have hit the financial hurdle. "While we have some projects in hand, we are finding it difficult to find funding," says Pooja. Why haven't they approached tyre companies to help them out? "Most tyre companies have waste/old tyres in their factories and it costs us to transport them to our site. We find it easier to source the tyres from scrap and tyre dealers locally," she explains.

Anthill Creations is looking for a way to monetise the projects better. They are trying to contact private builders and set up play areas in their condominium projects. The plan is to use the money they make from these private projects to fund the playgrounds for underprivileged kids.

"We want to scale up by doing 100 projects in the next six months," says Pooja. Anthill is also talking to central and state governments to set up cost effective, eco-friendly play areas in government schools. It isn't proving easy. "Somehow, we have not been able to get access to the government and have been finding it difficult to explain our process to them," says Pooja. But these charged youngsters don't want to wait for collaborations. "We will continue building projects and are willing to form collaborations as we move on."

Anthill also wants to revitalise public spaces not only for kids but also for the whole community to use. "Unused spaces, streetscapes, parks, public plazas can become hubs for community interactions, if properly planned," says their mission statement. Congestion, traffic, has overrun most public spaces and the green zones have got eaten up by pollution and over population, explains Pooja. By reclaiming these spaces and building them with recycled materials, Anthill wants to create sustainable and long-lasting solutions.



There's no doubt that their playgrounds have become a big hit. "Our biggest testimony: the smiles on kids' faces when they have fun on Anthill's colourful tyre swings, tyre tunnels, and tyre slides," grins Pooja.


Friday, 5 May 2017

Sam Pitroda’s varsity to launch low-cost water purifier

Sam Pitroda’s varsity to launch low-cost water purifier
BENGALURU: City-based Trans Disciplinary University (TDU), the brainchild of technocrat Sam Pitroda, will launch a simple copper-based water purification device called TamRas, which costs a fraction of the price of reverse osmosis units available in the market.

TamRas is the university’s first commercial product developed after successful field tests in seven villages in Karnataka and two sites in Kenya.
The university claims that pathogens causing diarrhea get killed once water is stored in the copper-based unit for
8-10 hours.

“The ancient practice of storing drinking water in copper vessels is mentioned in ancient Ayurveda texts. Our first successful experiment was by storing contaminated water in copper pots. Since copper vessels are expensive, we have come up this innovation that does not require any electricity or fuel,” said Padma Venkat, professor and advisor at TDU School of Life Sciences. “There is huge potential for this product because diarrhea is the second-largest killer of children below the age of five, after pneumonia.”

At Rs 1,500, the copper-based device will be sold along with a 15-litre water container to which it is optimized. It will be launched Monday in Bengaluru as well as in HD Kote, MM Hills and Raichur.

Venkat’s team worked on TamRas in collaboration with scientists from the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkata and Christian Medical College, Vellore. Field tests were funded by Grand Challenges Canada, an organization funded by the Government of Canada.
The university is working on another product to treat a livestock disease called mastitis. “Preclinical trials are done and its efficacy has been proven. We’re just looking to finalize a particular formula for it to become more effective,” TDU vice-chancellor Balakrishna Pisupati said. One more product in the pipeline deals with prophylactic treatment schedule for malaria, he added.
TDU was formally launched in 2014 with a focus on leveraging traditional medical knowledge. This academic year, the university will offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in life science, conservation, computer science and herbal quality assurance. Funding for the university will be anchored by business tycoon CS Sunder Raju, who will give “hundreds of crores,” Pitroda told ET.
“We want to be an innovative university and do things that no one has done in higher education,” said Pitroda, known as the father of India’s telecom revolution. “The system may not allow this today, but it will tomorrow. It’s just like how the system did not allow us to get connected 30 years back, but now India has a billion phones.”

ISRO unveils solar car made of desi resources

ISRO unveils solar car made of desi resources

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) recently demonstrated a solar hybrid electric car, designed and developed using in-house resources, at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvanathanapuram.May 04, 2017

MUMBAI: The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) recently demonstrated a solar hybrid electric car, designed and developed using in-house resources, at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvanathanapuram. Isro made an announcement about this environment-friendly car on Monday.

VSSC is Isro's centre for making various types of rockets like the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and the Reusable Launch Vehicle. The demonstration of the green-friendly vehicle, held in the last week of March, included a successful uphill drive. Isro is now researching ways to cut down the car's cost.

Isro said vehicles using fossil fuels cause problems to environment and life. "An ideal transportation system should envisage zero emission without any pollution," it said.

The car is run using high-energy lithium ion batteries, which can be recharged using sunlight, said sources. The main challenges in developing the vehicle included designing a solar panel on top of the car and also control electronics for the battery and solar panel interface and, what is known as, "drive electronic" to run the car smoothly.
Source: unveils solar car made of desi resourcesIsro unveils solar car made of desi resourcesIsro unveils solar car made of desi resources

Friday, 28 April 2017

HP Lubricants and Leo Burnett India create innovative, intelligent road systems   |   New Delhi, April 28, 2017 | Posted by Dhruv Paliwal | UPDATED 17:26 IST

HP Lubricants and Leo Burnett India have together innovated for the implementation of the world's first anti-collision vehicle management system for India's national highways. RoadsThatHonk is aimed at safer highways across Indian roads. The innovation, that has been conceptualised, designed and executed by Leo Burnett India, was launched on NH1 in North India, along the Jammu-Srinagar Highway (a road that is touted as one of the most precarious highways by National Geographic).

RoadsThatHonk adopts SmartLife poles at sharp curves and hairpin bends, that employ advanced networked devices and combine wireless technology, radar systems, and an anti-collision warning system, all powered by solar PV modules. SmartLife poles are placed on each side of key hairpin bends. The poles detect speeds of oncoming vehicles, then communicate with each other to caution approaching vehicles on either sides with a horn.

Announcing the commencement of the project, Rajdeepak Das, Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett, South Asia, said, "2016 recorded numerous accidents across national highways and this is a major concern for local and state administration. We are glad to have been behind an innovation that harnesses the power of technology, and uses radar signals to intimate drivers. We are confident that RoadsThatHonk will significantly reduce accidents and save several lives every year. Every life saved is a measure of success and reinstates our belief that RoadsThatHonk has the potential for further scale on highways across the length and breadth of the country."


The functionality is achieved by transmitting an electromagnetic wave in 24 GHz frequency range (K-band), and measuring the frequency shift of the reflected electromagnetic wave. The frequency shift is caused by the Doppler effect of the moving target on the electromagnetic wave. As the relative speed between the radar sensor and the target increases, the detected frequency shift also increases, thus enabling the radar sensor to precisely determine the target speed.

The smart pole is a unique device created specifically to reduce the risk of accidents in hilly areas, funded and executed by HP Lubricants and Leo Burnett India. The aim is to observe the progress of the device and then further amplify the scale and magnitude of the project. India is a land of multiple terrains and there are several areas where the device is applicable and can save lives by reducing the risk of accidents.  

The Police department overseeing this 110 km of Jammu-Srinagar Highway belt has experienced over two-three vehicular incidents daily. Post the installation of the SmartLife pole, the department believes this number has reduced significantly.

Commenting on the project, Mr. Chander J. Singh - Deputy Superintendent of Police, Chenani Range, said, "The Jammu-Srinagar highway is one of the most dangerous highways in the world. It has various hairpin bends and vehicles often speed at these turns resulting in fatal accidents. RoadsThatHonk is a great innovative technology which will help save lives and make our roads safer."

The combination of communications infrastructure and technology provides a strong foundation and a way-forward towards smarter and safer mobility. The technology adapted through RoadsThatHonk is a vision for long term growth and evolution of a host of capabilities and possibilities that will enable safer commute across cities.