KPIT Technologies, a global technology company specialising in IT consulting and product engineering, recently announced the winners of KPIT Sparkle 2016, the annual national design and development innovation contest for engineering and science students across India.
The contest, organised by the company in association with the College of Engineering, Pune (CoEP), aims to encourage students to take up real-time challenges faced by the automotive and other affiliated industries. This initiative, the company says, is to nurture a culture of innovation and critical thinking across engineering institutes in the country.
This year’s competition, which was on the theme of smart solutions for energy and transportation, received around 1,700 innovative ideas from over 10,000 students across 500 colleges in India. Of these, 54 best teams made it to the grand finale of KPIT Sparkle 2016, and the top shortlisted groups presented innovative and sustainable solutions through scale models and working prototypes.
The finalists, some of whom came up with solutions addressing issues on green energy, alternate fuels and materials, autonomous vehicles and intelligent traffic management, were evaluated on the novelty of their ideas, completeness of their prototypes, problem statements and their solutions, practicality and technical knowledge at an exhibition held at CoEP grounds in Pune on February 9, 2016.
i-Bike is a green winner
The team of students from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, which came up with an indigenously designed and developed autonomous bicycle with dual mode of locomotion for last-mile transportation, won the Gold award of Rs 500,000 for the i-Bike project.
An abstract written by the participating IIT Kharagpur team reads, “i-Bike is a bicycle model, which can drive itself autonomously and also be driven manually as and when required, is presented to be used in an urban bicycle-sharing system. The proposed system would be ideal for use in last-mile transportation and immensely implementable in the upcoming smart cities in India. The technology aims to solve various problems related to last-mile transportation such as reducing to a great extent the carbon footprint and emissions given by IC engine vehicles along with providing a healthier and safer mode of transport.”
The team had developed a prototype which was fully functional with intelligence to avoid obstacles and run on electric power autonomously. Primary features of this prototype included wireless control using internet, live tracking, security mechanisms and the capability of switching over to manual operations when needed. According to the team from IIT Kharagpur, they had developed this prototype for a total cost of less than Rs 20,000.
Congratulating the winning teams, Ravi Pandit, co-founder, chairman and Group CEO, KPIT, said, “We are delighted to see the solutions that the students came up with and how creatively these were executed and showcased. The ground-breaking scientific ideas that we received show that given an opportunity, today’s youth can not only identify critical problems but also come up with cleaner, safer and smarter solutions.”
“It is heartening to see that today’s youth is motivated to solve problems that need urgent solutions. KPIT Sparkle 2016 has once again proved to be a brilliant platform for engineering and science students to showcase their innovative ideas, which will resolve real-world problems with the use of technology. The projects and working models presented at the grand finale were highly impressive, not only in terms of ideation but also because they are cost effective and potential game changers,” added Dr R A Mashelkar, Head, Innovation Council, KPIT.
The projects were reviewed and evaluated by a jury comprising of eminent judges, consisting of scientists, industrialists and academicians including Dr Mashelkar; Vinit Goenka, Member IT Task Force at Ministries of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, government of India; Air Marshal Bhushan Gokhale, Consultant to Principal Scientific Advisor, government of India; Satish Ogale, Chief Scientist, CSIR-NCL; Dr Ashish Lele, Polymer Science and Engineering Division, NCL (National Chemical Laboratory); Ms. Rashmi Urdhwareshe, Director of ARAI, Professor CS Kumar, IIT Kharagpur; Nachiket Gole, Industrial Designer and Dr B B Ahuja, Director of COEP.
THE SILVER AWARD WINNERS (Rs 100,000 each)
1) Team Explorers from Nehru College of Engineering and Research Centre, Pampady, Kerala for their project on IC engine efficiency increase without compromising present engine design.
2) Team Foxtrot Geeks from Hindusthan College of Engineering and Technology, Coimbatore, for their project on a virtual speedbreaker.
3) Team BIA from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, for designing a portable charging device synthesised from a novel material using jute as precursor.
4) Team RMR from MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore, for coming up with a low-cost scalable system to assess road quality and impact of road vibration.
5) Team Veranya from College of Engineering, Pune (CoEP) for developing a system to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of a solar water heating system.
6) Team Trikeracers from College of Engineering, Pune (CoEP) for designing an eco-friendly human- powered vehicle with a compounded electric drive system to provide a green and clean energy vehicle.
7) Team Dynalithe Systems from Manipal Institute of Technology, Udupi for their project ‘Adaptive Signal Systems for Efficient Traffic Control’.