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Innovations with bright expectations spark India International Science Festival

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New Delhi: Uzma Bano, a class 8 student from Lucknow, took not more than a month to design and build a solar-powered air conditioner to help relieve long power cuts her school would endure during summer months. That was a reward in itself for this daughter of a cold drink seller. But showcasing it in India International Science Festival (IISF) at IIT-Delhi made her feel proud.

My design will help children in the school as well to save electricity. This is eco-friendly and will not cause global warming, she said.

Her AC consists primarily of a 25-litre ice-box, a portable table fan, and a solar panel and it cost her about Rs 3,500.

Bano’s is just one of the 800 projects made and displayed at IISF by pupils of classes 6 to 10 from across the country, offering energy solutions to the world that is desperate to move away from burning more hydrocarbons.

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Participants, representing all states and remotest of places, including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, had to win district and state-level science competitions to qualify for IISF. Their models had to be built keeping in mind the problem their district or state was facing.

From a garbage management system to a solar-powered hybrid bicycle and a thermoelectric generator, the students brought the best of their ingenuity to bear on the challenges their communities faced.

Oza Alay Kumar’s ‘artificial tree and wind tunnel’ was adjudged the best model. The boy from Gujarat’s Mehsana district got the gold medal for it.

The silver medal was bagged by Ananya Y R of Karnataka’s Chikkmagaluru district for her ‘biodegradable plastic’ model.

Prithvi Raj of Jharkhand’s Garhwa district won the bronze for his jacket that helps the blind.

In addition to top honours, 57 participants were given awards of appreciation. (IANS)

(Picture Courtesy:pib.nic.in)

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IIT-Delhi Collaborates With Indiana University To Help Visually Impaired

The new approach can be used for exploring semantic communication, developing fun tactile game, educational pedagogy, retention and memory

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the collaboration is taking place to develop the tactile graphics. Wikimedia Commons
  • IIT-Delhi and indiana University collaborates to help the visually impaired
  • The collaboration has taken place for the developement of tactile graphics
  • India has largest number of visually impaired people in the world

A three-year collaborative research by IIT-Delhi and Indiana University in the US has led the team to new technologies and cognitive strategies that could improve the lives of the blind and visually impaired (BVI).

The collaboration has resulted in research for the development of a novel new design approach to tactile graphics.

IIT Delhi and Indiana university collaborate to help visually impaired. Pixabay
IIT Delhi and Indiana university collaborate to help visually impaired. Pixabay

“Tactile graphics” — sometimes called as raised line drawings — are two-dimensional images composed of linear and textured design elements raised very slightly above a flat surrounding surface.

“It’s not that what we are doing is attempted for the first time in the world, there are people who have formed similar solutions in the US, Europe, Britain, Japan etc. But the key challenge was to make it cost-efficient for developing countries like India,” M. Balakrishnan, Professor at IIT Delhi, told reporters.

“Tactile diagrams have been here for a long time. While the US-based tactile diagrams cost more than $2 per page, we have produced it for 25 cents and we hope to go further down to 5-7 cents over a period of time,” he added.

According to World Health Organisation estimates, there are 38 million visually impaired people of which 90 per cent of them live in the developing world.

As per 2011 census, India has more than five million visually impaired people – largest for any country.

Out of all the visually impaired people in the world, 90% are in sync with the technicalities of the world. Pixabay
Out of all the visually impaired people in the world, 90% are in sync with the technicalities of the world. Pixabay

Books for visually impaired people are normally completely in Braille text with no accompanying graphical images.

Introduction of low-cost Tactile Graphics will create a noticeable improvement in the quality of education of visually impaired people.

Tactile Graphics generally use a design strategy that distills pictures of objects or scenes into simple contour line drawings.

Also Read: Visually Challenged, yet a Printing Expert: Meet Kalim Iftikar Shaikh of Mumbai

It then translates these into raised lines that blind and visually impaired students trace with their fingers, much as they read Braille.

The new approach can be used for exploring semantic communication, developing fun tactile game, educational pedagogy, retention and memory. IANS