Education is all about igniting young minds. While there is no age for innovation, students and student-led organisations are now coming up with innovative solutions to solve real-world problems.
Students have picked machines over books and are taking matters into their own hands to see a change in the society they live in. From building nano satellites to something as simple as inventing water purifiers, these young and creative minds have stood out with their ideas, and some have even created life-changing solutions.
Social Story brings to you top 20 student-led innovations of the year.
Ramansat 2 – miniature satellite
Seventeen-year-old Aabhaas Sikka has built a miniature satellite called RamanSat 2, which was successfully launched by NASA this year. The miniature satellite carried state-of-the-art equipment, which aimed to measure the radiation from the sun and space. The satellite also explored if space was safe for humans and satellites.
The satellite was developed by Sikka during his internship with SPACE-India, an organisation working in the field of astronomy, space education, and technology. SPACE-India also provides the necessary training and guidance to young innovators.
The experiment consisted of a balloon carrying RamanSat 2, which was successfully launched from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in New Mexico in September.
Low-cost cooling system for tractors
At the third edition of Smart India Hackathon, six students from Aligarh’s Zakir Husain College of Engineering and Technology built an evaporative cooling system for tractors using natural and forced draft technology.
It is a low-cost cooling system for tractors using ‘evaporative cooling by natural and forced draft technology’.
Team AgriBOTICS installed a water reservoir in the cabin, and with the help of a centrifugal pump, water was then circulated in the honeycomb pad system to cool the chamber. The blower will further help in cooling and lowering the temperature inside the tractor cabin.
A team of six students, called Team Safety Giants, designed a smart helmet that alerts family members on the rider’s location. It also relays various biological parameters back to the family members in case of accidents.
The team showcased its prototype at the Smart India Hackathon 2019-Hardware edition’s nodal centre IIT Roorkee, which was among the 19 nodal centres for the competition across India. The team also won Rs 50,000 cash prize for the same.
Pratap NM (22), who has built 600 drones all by himself, has been invited to over 87 countries to showcase his drones. He has worked in over six major projects, including one for defence purposes.
Pratap has so far completed six major projects that includes telegraphy in border security, drones in traffic management, UAVs in rescuing humans, auto piloted drones, and cryptography in drone networking.
Pratap’s drones are saving the lives of tribals in Africa by helping deliver medical support in a short period of time.
Affordable water purifier
P Biswanath Patra, a Class 9 student from Berhampur, Odisha, has built an impressive water dispenser as part of the Deep Technology Education Programme, which took place in Sochi, Russia, which was held in collaboration with NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), reports NDTV.
According to him, the Smart Water Dispenser is an electronic water flow controlling mechanism that can replace the water meter and control the amount of water being supplied to the authorities for equal distribution. The cost of the prototype is just Rs 2,000.
The innovation was also selected for Deep Technology Education Programme in Sochi, Russia.
Women’s safety app
Bengaluru-based student Nupur Patny has developed a map called ‘It’s not my fault’. The map shows areas most prone to sexual harassment in the city. The concept aims to help women, citizens, and police curb crimes of this nature.
The 21-year-old states that the app is a free space for women who can share about their experiences in specific locations. To bring the map into the limelight, Nupur met Bengaluru City Police Commissioner, Bhaskar Rao, who showed interest in her project, reports The Logical Indian.
Two 17-year-old Class 12 students – Aditya Uchil and Ankur Samanta – are attempting to help patients with mental health problems with the help of Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The duo is in the process of establishing their startup, VerapAI, which is a platform that will integrate a virtual therapist, apart from live therapists, for the treatment of mental health problems.
On registration, the app gives patients the option to interact with either the virtual therapist, MARY, or with live therapists available on its database. Both the category of therapists can steer social engagement according to the patient’s needs and symptoms by engaging in conversations.
Vigyan STEM Labs
To make science learning fun, easy, and interesting for students, 17-year-old Umang Chamaria and Nilesh Shah launched Vigyan STEM Labs in 2019.
The Kolkata-based lab is teaching and bringing experiments to Class 7, 8, and 9 students. Their labs have impacted 550-600 children so far, and the organisation is currently conducting classes in two schools – Vidyanjali High School and Shree Jain Vidyalaya in Kolkata.
3D printed modular-artificial reef
The coral reefs across the globe are under threat, and have been depleting due to pollution, increased fishing, and rising ocean temperatures.
With an aim to address the issue, Siddharth Pillai, a 17-year-old Class XI student from Mumbai, has come up with a 3D printed artificial reef. Named after the late Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington, it is touted to be India’s first 3D-printed modular-artificial reef.
Siddharth has been working on the design for over a year now and has also patented his system of interlocking blocks. The 20 m 3D-printed reef will be dispersed along the Puducherry coast, and according to a few experts, the marine life will host on the reef within a month, reports India Today.
The teenager has also raised Rs 2 lakh through crowdfunding and developed a 20 m long reef structure to support marine life.
A group of students, consisting of civil engineering students Kunjpreet Kaur Arora, Krishna Chaudhary, Daidipya Kothari, and Honey Singh Kothari, from Techno India NJR Institute of Technology, Udaipur, are producing bricks from domestic and industrial waste.
The team took almost a year to carry out their research with the guidance of their professors. The team then came up with a prototype, which consisted of 30-40 percent of plastic waste, 40-50 percent of demolition waste, and 20 percent of marble and thermal waste, reports Edex Live.
When compared to conventional bricks, these bricks are environment-friendly and can be manufactured in a short span of time. Also, 100-120 bricks can be manufactured in an hour at just Rs 3 per brick.
Digantara Research and Technologies
Digantara Research and Technologies was co-founded by Anirudh Sharma and Rahul Rawat, students of Lovely Professional University, Punjab.
The duo has developed the Orbit Space Debris Monitor, which is a hardware and software-based system. The hardware consists of a flight space-based laser and sensor system that tackles any debris less than 5 cm in size in space.
The software system consists of algorithms, which collect raw data from the hardware stack, and processes it into a debris map, which can be used for operational support, rapid orbital determination, and ongoing orbit awareness.
The Orbit Space Debris Monitor can also be integrated with any type or size of satellite – be it the 1 U CubeSats to humongous multi-million-dollar satellites.
Heritage Xperiential Learning School
Students at the Heritage Xperiential Learning School in Gurugram are encouraged to develop their design and lateral thinking skills, and create devices that can bring about societal change.
For instance, a group of six students from Class 9, 10, and 11 have built smart devices that can better lives around them.
Under the Saksham Project, a part of the school’s pedagogical Maker-centred learning programme, students have successfully designed and developed devices such as an automated walking stick, 3D printed braille cards, and “help me” shoes. The project was introduced in 2016 to enable students to use digital tools to address issues of social relevance.
Developed by Padam Chopra, Keshav Maheshwari, and Aryaman Agrawal, three Class 12 students from Amity International, New Delhi, the ‘Practikality’ app aims to empower people with disabilities.
The machine learning-based app provides a fully-interactive mechanism for the deaf, blind, and mute to communicate with ease, and is in its final stages of testing. The app is scheduled to be launched on Android and on the web in March this year.
Developed by team Facile Fabricators, Autonomous Aquabot was developed by Subasree SR (20), Dhayanandhan C (21), Abarna A (20), Sudhakar K (20), and Sriram N (20). It is interfaced with many necessary sensors for quality maintenance of water bodies such as ponds, lakes, and swimming pools.
Besides, the aquabot comes with various inbuilt sensors for quality management of water such as PH values, temperature, etc., which can be visualised through its app – AQUA. The product will also help people involved in fish culture and pool owners to analyse the water bodies.
Cotton-picking automated arm
Twenty-year-old engineering students from Dr Akhilesh Das Gupta Institute of Technology and Management, Delhi, have developed an automated arm to pick cotton from cotton fields. The team members include Abhishek Kumar Jha, Varun Singh, Manish, Pooja Gupta, Prerna Jain, and Satyam Kumar.
According to the team, the arm can pluck cotton from a plant and store it in a container by itself, which can be a boon to farmers. The product is aimed at reducing the cost of cotton picking and human labour, thus increasing efficiency.
Soil testing device
BTech (electronic engineering) students Medisetty Arun Sai, Aparna Kadiyam, Ramana Botta, Juluri Bharath, Jithin Sri Sai Kalangi, and Vinay Kumar Reddy Komma from Lovely Professional University, Punjab, have developed a device to test soil. Called team Electronica, it aims to aid farmers to optimise their production.
The device, when attached to a tractor, collects soil samples while the vehicle is in motion. Soil sensing probes soil parameters including soil pH value, moisture content, temperature, and also micro-nutrient content like nitrogen, potassium, and sodium.
Once the sensing is done, the device drops the soil and collects a new sample to start measuring again.
Non invasive devices to check BP
Hailing from Rajalakshmi Engineering College, Chennai, Team Stupendous Six has developed a product to measure BP using ultrasounds and the Doppler shift method.
The team used ultrasounds along with the Doppler shift method, through which it was able to measure the velocity of blood in the brachial artery and subsequently calculate the BP using the same mechanism.
The existing methods to identify BP are only cuff-based, which provide BP readings only at a specific instant of time. At present, sphygmomanometers are the only devices that monitor BP, which are also considered invasive.
IoT device to stop fuel theft
Rohan Vamshi G, Robin Wilson, K Santhosh Kumar, Rohit Patil, A Sahithi, and T Rasagna from CVR College of Engineering, Hyderabad, have built an Internet of Things (IoT) based fuel tank guard that can monitor fuel theft.
In-built sensor in the trucks records the value of the float valve. However, that value is not always accurate or absolute. For that, the team has built a device with industry-grade sensors and a three levelled aluminium structure that one has to break through to open a tank. This device is attached to the mouth of the tank.
The in-built sensor of a truck gives only the basic value of fuel levels and is not accurate. The team has programmed its sensor to give accurate results. Team Enigma 99 plans to price its product at Rs 1,500 and sell it to agencies managing trucks and HEMMs.
Air quality monitoring
A team of college youngsters who go by the name Team Elite Air Cops, have developed a new-age device that shows the air quality at any place live on a smartphone.
This device detects air pollutants in a particular area, computes the air quality index (AQI) and provides live data on a user’s phone and website as well. Live sensors are integrated into the system, which is made synchronous with a cloud server, making real-time average AQI values available.
The mobile application is currently available for Android phones, and the web page is made keeping user convenience in mind. Apart from live AQI data, one can look up a less polluted path on the trip as well.
Cardiac arrest detector
Team Dream Rushers from Sri Manakula Vinayagar Engineering College, Puducherry, has developed an entrench gadget, which is an indigestible pill made of biomedical sensors. The pill tracks the body’s temperature, pH level, and heart rate.
According to a team member, they can predict the heart attack before nine minutes by using these parameters. So, the user is alerted, and a message is sent to their caretakers and nearby hospitals along with the current GPS location.
The team comprises six members, of which three are in their third year, while the others are in their final year. The device was made solely using Nanotechnology.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)