Mumbai: IIT-Bs annual tech fest to display human-like robots, solar-powered chai stall and more

Updated: 15 December, 2018 20:38 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

IIT-B's annual Techfest is back again with a host of innovative technology on display­- right from solar-powered chai thelas to human-like robots

The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay's (IIT-B) Techfest started on Friday with a host on innovations on display, right from a self-testing device for rape survivors, robots that can dance and play football to pothole-mapping devices and a solar chai stall (see box).

In addition to these, the annual festival of the premier technology institute also has a major Artificial Intelligence (AI) display, with presentations from the Indian Army and DRDO. With a footfall of around 30,000 on the first day, Techfest is expecting more than a lakh visitors over the weekend.

On the first day, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama delivered the keynote address to a jam-packed convocation hall. The Nobel Laureate said, "A calm mind is very important to see a holistic and clear picture of any situation." As the fest progresses, more eminent personalities like cricket umpire Simon Taufel, deputy governor of the RBI Viral Acharya, will be coming to the Powai campus as part of a lecture series.

A tricycle for paraplegics
The product, developed by the Industrial Design Centre at IIT-B under the leadership of Prof. Nishant Sharma is aimed at providing paraplegics with a convenient commuting option. "The tricycle provides weather proofing with an overhead cover, good storage capacity and is also lightweight. It can be assembled anywhere," said Sharma. The developers plan to retail the tricycle for Rs 12,000.

Fest your eyes
A device to empower rape survivors
The Shamoon College of Engineering from Israel has developed a self-testing product for rape survivors to provide them with a convenient way of collecting DNA samples of the accused as well as identifying a sexually transmitted disease. The team hopes to make the product available at all pharmacies.

An app that maps potholes
Team of students from IITB's Centre of Studies in Resource Engineering have developed a mobile application to get real-time information on potholes. Currently in its initial stage, the app allows the user to upload images of potholes on geo-tagged locations. The team is now working on further developing the product wherein laser technology will be used to detect potholes by scanning them. The team is planning on working with BMC to have a real-time impact.


Chai from a solar thela
For tea stalls, which are very common across India, IIT-B's Solar Urja Lamp (SoUL) has designed a tea stall which runs entirely on solar energy. The stall, which has solar panels above it, has a hot-plate on which 200 cups of tea can be made per day. The 800WP solar panel's prototype has been made at a cost of Rs 60,000. Pics/Sameer Markande


Meet Erica
Erica, a very human-like robot, developed by Japanese manufacturer A-Lab along with Osaka University, was a major attraction at the fest. Erica is capable of having conversations with real-time responses with any human.

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First Published: 15 December, 2018 12:10 IST

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