Thursday November 15, 2018
Home Science & Technology India Interna...

India International Science Fair: 15-year-old Jharkhand student develops jacket that helps the blind

0
//
Republish
Reprint

New Delhi: Unlike most children of his age, Prithvi Raj isn’t interested in science experiments like baking soda volcanoes or balloon rockets.A class 10 student from Rajkiyakrit (Government) School at Garwah in Jharkhand, Prithvi has built a jacket which enables visually impaired people to walk more accurately.His innovation won him the bronze at the 5th INSIPRE EXPO at the first India International Science Fair (IIFS) in IIT-Delhi earlier this week.

After working on the concept for more than five months and understanding the basic structure of a circuit diagram, Prithvi Raj created a jacket and a fire alarm device which would help visually impaired individuals. The combined cost of the two devices is less than Rs.1,000 ($15).

A science enthusiast, Prithvi Raj said that he had always desired to build a device which would help the blind live more independently. He said the reason behind this was he wanted to help his grandmother and uncle, both of whom are blind.

“The population of blind people in this country is greater than what we realize. At my home, my grandmother and my uncle are visually impaired. So I’ve always dreamt of helping such people. I kept conceptualizing this idea for five to six months. After that it took me merely 10 days and I made this fire alarm and jacket,” Prithvi Raj told  a news agency.

The jacket can be used in two ways. First, it would help a blind person walk on the streets and second to enable them to perform household chores without any physical assistance.

“This project is connected to a mobile application. Nowadays, each one of us owns a smartphone. I have attached a radio sensor inside the jacket and a vibrator indicator is attached the headset. With the help of an application in Google Play store, information can be sent to this radio sensor. The radio sensor will send signals to the vibrator. So once we select the route (for the blind person), the headset will vibrate accordingly to alert them on directions,” Prithvi Raj said.

“For instance, the left side of the headset will vibrate indicating that the person has to take a left turn and the right side of it will vibrate if they have to take a right turn. If there is an obstacle infront of the person, with the help of a PIR sensor which is installed in the jacket, he/she will get the information about it. We can alter the length of detection for obstacles in this model. Not only will the headset vibrate upon sensing an obstacle, it will also provide information on alternative directions. So not only it will make it easier for a blind person top walk, it would also prevent any accidents. At home a person can be given similar indications with the help of an instrument (which looks similar to remote control),” he added while demonstrating the working of the jacket.

Prithvi Raj has also designed a cost-effective smoke alarm which can be easy installed in households.

“The smoke alarms which are available in the market are mostly used by government or by MNCs in the country. Since their cost is very high, I have developed a smoke detector which will alert a person with the help of sound or vibration once the sensor detects ‘the temperature’ (an average solid-flame temperature of 870 degrees Celsius),” he said.

Nikky Kumar Jha, India’s youngest Paryavaran Ratna, also praised Prithvi Raj’s efforts and said that he would fund his project completely and help him make improvements.

The ‘INSPIRE’ Expo featured nearly 800 projects by students of Classes VI-X from all over the country. While 57 of the INSPIRE students were given awards of appreciation, the three top awards went to young minds from Gujarat (gold), Karnataka (silver) and Jharkhand (bronze).

While Oza Alaykumar of Mehsana topped with ‘Artificial Tree and Wind Tunnel’, Ananya Y.R. of Kadur in Chikkmagaluru district came second for a project on ‘Biodegradable Plastic’. Prithvi Raj won the bronze.(ians)

(picture credit:creativechange.net)

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

Californian Couple Develops A Way That Allows To Make Water From Air

Doss-Hertz prepared to leave for a photo shoot and a visitor sampled a glass of their freshly made water.

0
water
The Skysource/Skywater Alliance co-founders David Hertz, right, and his wife Laura Doss-Hertz demonstrate how the Skywater 300 turns air into water, in Los Angeles. VOA

It started out modestly enough: David Hertz, having learned that under the right conditions you really can make your own water out of thin air, put a little contraption on the roof of his California office and began cranking out free bottles of H2O for anyone who wanted one.

Soon he and his wife, Laura Doss-Hertz, were thinking bigger — so much so that this week the couple won the $1.5 million XPrize For Water Abundance. They prevailed by developing a system that uses shipping containers, wood chips and other detritus to produce as much as 528 gallons (2,000 liters) of water a day at a cost of no more than 2 cents a quart (1 liter).

The XPrize competition, created by a group of philanthropists, entrepreneurs and others, has awarded more than $140 million over the years for what it calls audacious, futuristic ideas aimed at protecting and improving the planet. The first XPrize, for $10 million, went to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and aviation pioneer Burt Rutan in 2004 for SpaceShipOne, the first privately financed manned space flight.

When Hertz learned a couple of years ago that a prize was about to be offered to whoever could come up with a cheap, innovative way to produce clean freshwater for a world that doesn’t have enough of it, he decided to go all in.

Ebola, UNICEF. congo, DNA, water
A boy runs past a dispenser containing water mixed with disinfectant, east of Mbandaka, DRC. VOA

At the time, his little water-making machine was cranking out 150 gallons a day, much of which was being given to homeless people living in and around the alley behind the Studio of Environmental Architecture, Hertz’s Venice Beach-area firm that specializes in creating green buildings.

He and his wife, a commercial photographer, and their partner Richard Groden, who created the smaller machine, assembled The Skysource/Skywater Alliance and went to work. They settled on creating little rainstorms inside shipping containers by heating up wood chips to produce the temperature and humidity needed to draw water from the air and the wood itself.

“One of the fascinating things about shipping containers is that more are imported than exported, so there’s generally a surplus,” said Hertz, adding they’re cheap and easy to move around.

And if there’s no wood chips around for heat, coconut husks, rice, walnut shells, grass clippings or just about any other such waste product will do just fine.

“Certainly in regions where you have a lot of biomass, this is going to be a very simple technology to deploy,” said Matthew Stuber, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Connecticut and expert on water systems who was one of the panel’s judges.

Water
The XPrize trophy is seen at The Skysource/Skywater Alliance offices in Los Angeles, Oct. 24, 2018. VOA

He called their water-making machine a “really cool” merging of rather simple technologies that can be used to quickly deliver water to regions hit by natural disasters or stricken by drought, or even rural areas with a shortage of clean water.

Hertz and Doss-Hertz are just starting to contemplate how to accomplish that.

Theirs was among 98 teams from 27 countries who entered the competition. Many teams were bigger and better funded, while the couple mortgaged their Malibu home to stay in the game. At one point, they were told they hadn’t made the final round of five, but one team dropped out and they were back in.

“If you say we were the dark horse in the race, we weren’t even in the race,” Hertz recalled, smiling.

Also Read: Dusshera In Delhi Casts A Dark Blanket, Air Quality Worsens

He stood near a giant copy of the check in his office while Doss-Hertz prepared to leave for a photo shoot and a visitor sampled a glass of their freshly made water.

Now, though, they are in for the long, wet haul.

“There’s no restrictions whatsoever on how it’s used,” Hertz said of the prize money. “But Laura and I have committed to using it all for the development and deployment of these machines, to get them to people who need the water most. (VOA)