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

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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)

 

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36% Consumers Would Like Devices to Offer Guidance on Environment: Report

36% consumers want guidance on environment from devices

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36% consumers would prefer being guided on environment by devices. Pixabay

While nearly half of consumers worldwide see technological innovation as critical to tackling future environmental challenges, about 36 per cent would like their devices to offer guidance on leading a more environmentally conscious life, an Ericsson report said on Wednesday.

Interestingly, consumers who think technology will be crucial in solving future environmental challenges express almost twice the interest in various ICT solutions to help them live more environmentally consciously, compared to others, said the report “Consumers, sustainability and ICT”.

“ICT tools and services can play a significant part in assisting consumer’s daily efforts to reduce their personal environmental impact,” Zeynep Ahmet Vidal, Senior Researcher at Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab and author of the report, said in a statement.

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Consumers who think technology will be crucial in solving future environmental challenges express almost twice the interest in various ICT solutions. Pixabay

The consumers do perceive ICT as helpful as an aid in their daily life, be it for environmental, health, cost or convenience-related reasons.

“But ICT also has the potential to enable future innovation in climate action, and here the service providers have a unique opportunity and position to provide novel solutions that can aid consumers in making more sustainable choices in daily life,” Vidal said.

The findings of Ericsson’s latest ConsumerLab report is based on a quantitative study of 12,000 Internet users from across the world.

The countries involved in the study include India, the US, Brazil, the UK, Germany, Spain, Russia, South Africa, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, China and Australia. The sample consists of 1,000 respondents from each country.

The report uncovers the current consumer mindset of leading environmentally sustainable lifestyles.

In the last two decades alone, concern about air and water pollution has risen from concerning one in five consumers, to almost one in two, the research showed.

While consideration for climate change and global warming has also risen from 13 per cent of consumers to 50 per cent.

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Global warming has also risen from 13 per cent of consumers to 50 per cent. Pixabay

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The study also includes consumers’ thoughts on where ultimate responsibility lies in mitigating environmental impact.

Globally, 8 in 10 consumers consider governments as being responsible for environmental protection.

While approximately 70 per cent consider that citizens should also be responsible, 5 in 10 expect companies and brands to uphold their share of the responsibility, said the report. (IANS)

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India Becomes Second Most Promising Source of Disruptive Technology in The World, Reveals Survey

This is bolstered further by the urbanisation and younger demographic trends that are moving in the right direction, along with the increase in venture capital that India has seen in the last two years

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One significant finding is the fact that India surged back to tie the second position with China. Pixabay

India shares the second position with China as the most promising source of disruptive technology in the world, according to a new survey.

In terms of the world cities that are likely to be leading technology innovation hubs over the next four years, apart from presumed global leader San Francisco, Bengaluru entered the top 10 list, ranked ninth, and Mumbai was ranked 16th, according to KPMG’s “2020 Global Technology Industry Innovation Survey”.

“India’s climb to the second position in the survey rankings lends credence to how we as a country are committed towards setting up strong innovation ecosystems,” Satya Easwaran, Head, Markets Enablement & Technology, Media and Telecom, KPMG in India, said in a statement.

“Bengaluru’s entry in the top 10 rankings is another sign that the city is doing well in the areas of modern infrastructure, attracting skilled talent, investment funding etc,” Easwaran said. Technology leaders regard the US as the most promising market for developing disruptive technologies.

The findings, based on the survey of 810 technology industry leaders globally, showed that this year the US has increased its lead over China compared to last year. One significant finding is the fact that India surged back to tie the second position with China.

With the potential innovation headwinds China is now facing, and US policies encouraging more tech professionals to return to or remain in India, the future bodes well for Indian innovation, KPMG said.

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India shares the second position with China as the most promising source of disruptive technology in the world, according to a new survey. Pixabay

This is bolstered further by the urbanisation and younger demographic trends that are moving in the right direction, along with the increase in venture capital that India has seen in the last two years, it added.

“With the country seeing tremendous evolution across various spheres, the coming years will be crucial to overcoming current hurdles which exist. Overcoming these hurdles, would be imperative for India to gradually and slowly move towards becoming one of the world’s leading economy in innovation,” Easwaran said.

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A total of 12 countries were represented and 54 per cent of the respondents were C-level executives. The online survey was conducted from December 2019 to January 2020. (IANS)

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India’s Cooperation With Russia For AI Innovation May Reach Level of Strategic Sector Soon

Zyfra has been facilitating industrial manufacturers in India with AI and IIoT-based solutions

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Zyfra has been facilitating industrial manufacturers in India with AI and IIoT-based solutions. Pixabay

 Finnish-Russian digital solutions provider Zyfra said on Sunday that there are good prospects of cooperation in the field of industrial artificial intelligence (AI) that would take innovation, in some years, to the same level of cooperation seen in strategic sectors like defence and nuclear energy.

India has become a key foreign market for Zyfra which develops turnkey solutions for digital transformation and enhancing operational efficiency in industries like mining, oil and gas, machinery and metallurgy across the globe.

Responding to queries here, Zyfra Director of Business Development Alexander Smolensky that private companies have a distinct advantage in the area of innovation.

“There are undoubtedly prospects for cooperation between Russian and Indian companies in the area of industrial artificial intelligence. India is an industrial power with a long history and extensive experience of IT development. India is very interested in innovation, and we’re ‘eeing that from both government agencies, as well as companies. We are seeing high demand for digitalisation from Indian companies,” he said.

“Military and technical cooperation and nuclear energy form significant part of the government agenda. In innovation, it’s a’out private business which have a distinct advantage in that we don’t h’ve to adhere to the state agenda. Indian clients choose Zyfra products because we offer unique solutions which increase production efficiency, not because our countries are strategic partners,” Smolensky said.

He also said that Indo-Russian cooperation in innovation would get a boost if local production of hardware in India is increased for meeting the needs of the domestic market.

“As a first step and from our point of view, I would suggest producing the hardware in India for the domestic market and then deal with Russian software. For example, currently, we also have to find international hardware in India, or even export it. This is not very convenient, is relatively expensive and is not in the interests of either party in the long term,” he said.

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Finnish-Russian digital solutions provider Zyfra said on Sunday that there are good prospects of cooperation in the field of industrial artificial intelligence (AI) that would take innovation, in some years, to the same level of cooperation seen in strategic sectors like defence and nuclear energy. Pixabay

“Secondly, India has brilliant mathematicians and IT developers. We’re ‘nterested in forging strong partnerships in India, which could team Zyfra solutions with local know-how, including technological processes. Essentially, we’re ‘eady to transfer base technology and tools so that our Indian partners can transform that into an end product geared towards the local market,” he added.

Last year, Zyfra connected 500 computerised numerical control (CNC) machines in India to its MDCplus real-time machine monitoring and manufacturing data collection systems, and plans to connect another 1,000 such machines this year.

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Zyfra has been facilitating industrial manufacturers in India with AI and IIoT-based solutions, while in December last, the Odisha-based Earthmovers awarded Zyfra a contract to implement an “intelligent mine” solution at the Pakri Barwadih coal mining project in Jharkhand. (IANS)