Campus connect: Sneak peak into innovations from Pune’s Vigyan Ashram - Hindustan Times

Campus connect: Sneak peak into innovations from Pune’s Vigyan Ashram

Hindustan Times, Pune | ByPrachi Bari
Jan 18, 2019 03:20 PM IST

Six students from Vigyan Ashram are showcasing their products at the Maker Mela in Mumbai

Six participants from Vigyan Ashram are presenting their innovations at the Research Innovation Incubation Design Labs (RIIDL) in the 4th edition of its annual event, Maker Mela from January 17 to 19, 2019, at Somaiya College, Vidyavihar, Mumbai.

(From right) Harshada Raut, Aaditi Kharade and Suhas Labade, the participants of the Maker Mela, along with students of Vigyan Ashram.(HT PHOTO)
(From right) Harshada Raut, Aaditi Kharade and Suhas Labade, the participants of the Maker Mela, along with students of Vigyan Ashram.(HT PHOTO)

Research Innovation Incubation Design Labs (RIIDL) was set up in the year 2010 by Somaiya Vidyavihar at its Mumbai campus. It was created to drive innovation and entrepreneurship and currently facilitates 39,000 students and 1,500 faculty at the campus.

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In 2014, RIIDL was affiliated to the Centre for Bits and Atoms (MIT USA) as a Fab lab and has now become a Fab lab node in India).

A fab lab is a small-scale workshop offering digital fabrication. In 2016 with support from Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, RIIDL became a technology business incubator. The incubator operates through an autonomous not-for-profit entity model.

Samir Somaiya, president, Somaiya Vidyavihar said, “Our focus has always been in encouraging innovation and in knowledge-sharing. We believe when you provide platforms for collaboration and innovation, the barriers of age, language, country melt away and the power of the ‘idea’ shines through.

“We have seen the initiative grow, with makers from across India and even countries like the USA and Sweden participating in the event. Our students and the community get inspired by the Makers, and more ideas flourish.”

Research Innovation Incubation Design Labs also helps in setting up labs and innovation centres at other places.

The incubator helps entrepreneurs to convert their ideas into becoming successful and profitable ventures by supporting them in business planning, mentoring, recruiting their top team and commercialising their technologies.

Help is also offered to develop their products, get early engagement and customer validations from the market, get early stage seed funding, help in forging partnership at the national and global level, advice on intellectual property, training and development among others.

Amol Khamkar, Aaditi Kharade, Siddesh Sakore, Atul Yadav, Harshada Raut and Suhas Labade are showcasing their innovations which would compete with 100 registered makers.

The best maker of the pitching session will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 50,000 and 30 will get a chance to pitch their idea in front of investors during Maker Mela, creating a possibility of funding.

The results will be declared on January 19, 2019.

Ragi roaster

Ragi rooster (HT PHOTO )
Ragi rooster (HT PHOTO )

Name : Amol Khamkar, 24, engineer, design innovation centre run by Vigyan ashram. He has completed his B Tech in Automobile engineering from Rajarambapu Institute of Technology, Rajaramnagar, Sangital and is currently the student of Design Innovation Center at Vigyan Ashram, Pabal.

USP: Amol Khamkar created a roaster which roasts Ragi, Besan, Suji flour without charring and human efforts. It works using AC synchronous motor clockwise and anticlockwise doing operation of scrapping and pressing of flour. This idea has been developed to provide solution for women self-help groups from tribal areas near Bhimashankar making laddus of Ragi (Nachani). It was difficult to finalize the motor size due to lack of experimentation and data availability, he said. “We worked very hard using both trial and error methodology along with scientific as well as engineering principles,” he said.

Project duration: 2 months

Target audience: It will be useful for women in rural areas since it reduces manual efforts and increases work space safety.

Future plan: To make the ragi roaster available for small groups working in similar rural areas.

Ewall - Education, engagement, entertainment

Name: Atul Yadav, 40, an alumnus of KBP college of engineering

USP: Ewall has been developed majorly for pre-schools of rural area. It shall help improve English pronunciation, accent of rural students, without the aid of a teacher. It is an automated system which would work in an interactive way. eWall is touch based. Pre-school walls are usually coloured with alphabets, animals, shapes etc. eWall shall replace those with picture and touch points. System shall be configurable and hence touch points can be configured with various alphabets , shapes, colors or animals.

When a student touches the picture, system shall detect that touch and speak the alphabet or name, give the spelling of colour or animal loudly so student can listen in the correct English accent. It is observed that students from rural areas have different English accent and it lowers their confidence when they grow older. eWall shall help them to improve their English accent from formative years. It is also observed that not all preschool teachers have the correct English accent and hence student get their accent from their teachers and e-wall aims to fill that gap. Ewall is in no way a replacement to the teacher but it aims to fill the gap between rural and urban education. The ewall product shall help preschool students and boost their confidence.

Project duration: 2 months

Target audience: Pre-schools in rural area. It will reduce the gap between urban and rural education. Ewall product shall help preschool students develop better English speaking skills.

Future plans: Short term (3-6 months) - Develop 3 working prototypes and deploy in preschools to get feedback and test its working.

Long Term (6- 12 months) - Develop and sell actual products to preschool in rural area. Additionally, Ewall can also be sold to pre-schools in urban areas to keep the students positively engaged.


Name: Siddhesh Sakore, 23, has completed his mechanical engineering from JSPM’s Rajarshi Shahu College of Engineering, Tathawade, Pune and is currently the project manager in Design Innovation Center at Vigyan Ashram, Pabal. He is an entrepreneur and is installing composting systems in various societies.

Composter (HT PHOTO )
Composter (HT PHOTO )

USP: Siddhesh Sakore created a composter which will decompose wet waste by rotating clockwise and anticlockwise ensuring that proper mixing is done.

The composter will also maintain the moisture percentage with proper aeration.

Sakore realised that waste management is the biggest problem in cities and so came up with the idea. He believes that the composter will solve the wet waste problem. The compost when returned as soil nutrient will eventually benefit the society, city and nation.

Project duration: 1 year and 1 month

Target audience: Residential societies and general public.

Future plan - Installation of the composter in many societies

Braille printer

Aaditi Kharade,24, has completed her BE E&TC from Satara College of Engineering and is currently student of Design Innovation Center at Vigyan Ashram, Pabal.

USP: Aaditi Kharade has developed a printer which would emboss braille language for the visually disabled. Braille Rap SP is a machine which is piloted in G-CODE, to emboss braille. The first step was to translate the text in Braille. The project has been developed for visually disabled as their existing method of writing is difficult.

Project duration: 2 months

Target audience: Visually disabled

Future plan: Kharade aims to develop a fully functional printer.

CNC milling machine

Name: Suhas Labade, 28, completed his BE E&TC from P G Moze college of Engineering, Wagholi, Pune and is currently the CNC milling machine made by Labade is cost-effective and student-friendly.

CNC milling mahine made by Labade is cost-effective and student-friendly
CNC milling mahine made by Labade is cost-effective and student-friendly

Fablab Manager at Vigyan Ashram, Pabal.

USP: Labade has developed a device which carves and cuts wood and soft materials. It has interface with mobile and computer, through open source CAM tool.

It is purposely made for small scale industries, schools and colleges . It is cost-effective and has the best features to help students to understand CNC operations. Project duration: 1 month

Target audience: School and college students.

Future plan: To make and sell the machine. Labade also has plan to manufacture automation products and machines.

Fabricademy assignments

Name: Harshada Raut, 21, has completed her M Com from Adarsh College of arts and commerce, Badlapaur, Mumbai and is currently the student of Fabricacademy at Vigyan Ashram, Pabal.

USP: Raut has developed assignments which shows digital febrication on textiles.

It involves electronics, biology and digital fabrication in all assignments. Fabricademy ( is a transdisciplinary course that focuses on the development of new technologies which could be applied in the textile industry.

The fashion industry is the second most polluting in the world after oil. Today 20% of water pollution globally is caused by textile processing and consumers worldwide spent US$1.7 trillion on clothing in 2014. So, Raut came up with the idea.

Project duration: Three months Target audience: The textile and clothing industry. The programme will focus on the unethical and environmentally unfriendly realities of the current industry, while combining the knowledge of traditional and future craftsmanship to work towards new ways of designing, prototyping and producing textiles for the slowly changing textile and fashion-industry.

Future plans: Harshada Raut will try to make the model scalable and more user-friendly by automising it completely, so that it can be leveraged by more industries in the sector.

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