Flood rescue kits, interactive models for blind students at IIT-B design show

Jun 13, 2015, 08:00 IST | Shreya Bhandary

From helping visually challenged students learn concepts of science better, to waterproof kits for flood rescue operations and purifiers to help victims get pure water, the exhibition has several projects on display

Students with visual impairment could soon learn concepts of science that involve visual representations; victims of floods could have easier access to pure water; a doctor will no more have to poke a patient with a needle many times to find the correct vein.

How? The annual design show this year by the students of the Industrial Design Centre, IIT-Bombay, will be showcasing projects that seek to find easier and cheaper solutions to such problems.

For years, schools catering to visually impaired students have modified their syllabi so as to accommodate such wards, but one of the designs that will be a part of the Design Degree Show 2015 (June 13 to June 17) provides a better solution.

Designed by student Sylvan Lobo, ‘Atomatic,’ as it is called, is a hands-on interactive model of the atom that can help blind students easily learn the concept of the atom. Another student, Trivikram Annamalai, has designed a portable vein-detecting device that can help a doctor find the right vein of the patient while giving injections.

Tanmoy Phukan’s project caters to people stuck in flooded zones in the form of an inflatable structure, which can ferry close to 10 people at once. Some students have also designed interesting educational tools that could be applied in places where the system seems flawed.

Keerti Choudhary has created an animated dictionary a software application for students with learning disabilities like dyslexia. Using an audio-visual medium of animation, this dictionary can help to provide the much-needed help to schools while teaching.

Annamalai has also designed a developmental aid for people with cerebral palsy. “As of now, there are two separate devices used by these patients one for seating and another for standing. My design combines both these devices and also comes at a cheaper cost,” he said.

Most of these designs will be presented to NGOs, hospitals, and government departments for verification and to check their user-friendliness. “The approval also comes from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and I already have received a lot of positive feedback from different sources. However, the true test is when the relief forces can use our work during crisis,” added Phukan.

Flood rescue kit
Tushar Wankar, a student, will be presenting a rescue kit that can be used by rescue officials during floods. “Since, during rescue operations, the officers end up wading in water for days, it is important for the rescue kit to be waterproof, which is not happening at present. 

Not only is my design lighter and cheaper, but is also more useful,” said Wankar. He added that the rescue kit also has a special type of foldable and sturdy foam, which can be used to carry objects as heavy as 100 kg. The kit is also designed to have more air ducts to not only help the rescuer float better, but also to protect him.

Purifying flood water
“Our projects have to be solutions to problems faced by everybody in their day-to-day life. For one of our projects, we had to go back to our hometowns and find out one problem faced by everybody; this was during the 2013 Uttarakhand floods and we realised there’s a need for a device that can purify flood water for consumption purposes,” said a student, Trivikram Annamalai.

While there is already a purifying device which is not only expensive, but also can be used only by one person for one-time consumption of water, Annamalai’s product can purify water for as many as 20 people at the same time, at a very low cost.

“The government, during floods, usually depends on plastic water bottles, which add to the pollution. My product is environment-friendly,” he told mid-day. While the government sends Rail Neer bottles that cost Rs 15 a litre, Annamalai claims his product can provide water at Rs 1 a litre.

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