Imagine this. When a blind person goes shopping to buy essentials, he or she can carry a small device with them that can help them see. Pointed at a particular object, the device can capture its image, read what is written on it, and convert this text to Braille, so that the blind person can immediately understand what the object is. Futuristic-sounding? Not if a team of engineering students from Amritapuri campus has their way.
On-the-Go Braille built by a team of EEE students was short-listed as one of the top 5 projects in Ni-Yantra, a national-level competition organized by the US technology firm, National Instruments. “The project is in its infant stage and there is a large scope for improvement,” stated Br. Akshay Nagarajan, who guided the student team. “The team is working on it.” (Watch Video »»)
In addition to this project, another team of students from the same campus built a Sign Language Tutor that was short-listed among the top 10 projects in the competition. The device could potentially be used for training those that teach the speech and hearing impaired. This is not all. Two teams of engineering students from Amrita’s Bangalore campus built a Gesture Guided Wheelchair (Watch Video »») and a Robot to Aid the Visually Impaired (Watch Video »») — these two projects were also short-listed in the top 10.
“The Amrita students are true entrepreneurs and exceptionally talented,” stated Mr. Dhanbal, Academic Manager at National Instruments. 26 teams from 19 colleges across India had participated in the contest, that culminated on Educators Day 2009, on November 6, at Chennai.
“Ni-Yantra is a System Design Contest … intended to promote and hone the skills of engineering students in developing embedded systems for various engineering applications … for mobile, networked or standalone applications performing various intelligent tasks,” the competition brochure had stated.
The winning team received support from several of their faculty members. Josh Udar Freeman, Director of the Robotics Lab at the Amritapuri campus and Leo John Thomas, Domain Expert in the MHRD-funded Haptics project helped the students in various ways. Bri. Lakshmiprabha, who specializes in Embedded Systems, also provided guidance. Dr. P.S Chandramohanan, Chair of the EEE Dept gave his unstinting support.
“Huge thank you to everybody who helped this happen,” reiterated Br. Akshay. “These projects would never have got this far if it hadn’t been for some very helpful and noble souls who lent their support. I especially want to thank Dr. Kumar Rajamani of the Bangalore Campus who helped us get started and gave much helpful advice and support.”
We congratulate the students and their faculty-mentors on this achievement.
November 18, 2009
School of Engineering, Amritapuri