Ever heard of a ‘gesture-controlled wheelchair’? This is what 20-year-old Yash Chitalia and his team had designed for Prakalpa, the annual tech fest at K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering (KJSC) in Vidyavihar.
“We had noticed that physically challenged people usually don’t have the strength to move their wheelchairs and most of them can’t afford an automated wheelchair. That’s why we designed a system, which will make the wheelchair move in the direction in which the user points,” said Chitalia, a KJSC student, who won the first prize at the tech fest.
Prakalpa had students participating from 35 engineering colleges across Maharashtra. The students designed gadgets, such as automated prosthetic arms, electricity theft detectors and wireless bus trackers. Most of the innovations were to help the common man solve his day-to-day problems.
For example, 21-year-old Bhushan Chaudhari and his classmates from Mumbai Educational Trust College in Nashik had designed a computer-controlled railway system. The device controls the signals and track-switching systems to ensure that trains don’t collide, said Chaudhari.
Dr R G Karandikar, dean (academic programme) of the college, said that the students were not given any specific theme for the festival.
“It’s encouraging to see that these youngsters are concerned about the problems plaguing the society. If they continue along this path, their ideas will eventually bear fruit and make life much easier for the common man,” he added.