According to reports, from simplifying tasks in fields such as agriculture to improving infrastructure to cost-efficient models, students of engineering colleges in and around the city are developing innovative projects, justifying the growing need for application-oriented studies.
A Solar-Assisted Hybrid Bike developed by Mechanical Engineering students from Kamaraj College of Engineering is one such shining example. The students, K. Abdur Rahmaan Siddik, P. Saran Raj and M. Bharathi Raja, developed the model on a second-hand motorbike with the assistance of R. Manikumar, a faculty.
“In the wake of frequent petrol price hikes, we wanted to develop some cost-effective hybrid model of a bike,” says Mr.Raja, one of the developers of the hybrid bike which costs less than Rs.40,000.
“We have applied for a patent as well,” he adds.
The developers say that the rider will have the option of using either battery-run front-wheel drive or petrol-engine-run back-wheel drive. “During the day time, the battery is charged by solar panels and at nights by the dynamo connected to the rear wheel,” they explain.
Ragul Kumar, a final year Civil Engineering student of KLN College of Information Technology, is in the process of developing a movable ruler.
“The multi-speciality ruler can be used to draw linear dimensions, angular measurements, preliminary building plan drawing, tabulations and as trisquare, T-square and longer dimension ruler,” he defines.
K. Ramesh, a faculty of the college, who is guiding Mr.Kumar says that the movable ruler will be very useful for school students as well.
“Rulers are mostly developed in China. When our student came up with the idea, we extended our help. Some of our students also did a project on solar panel road and we have applied it on our campus to test its efficiency before applying for patent,” he states.
Velammal College of Engineering and Technology has a Centre for Innovation and Product Development, which has supported projects such as a saline water alarm system and children-friendly toilet system.
“We assist students who bring in ideas with faculty guidance,” says P. Rajesh Kanna, faculty advisor of the centre.
A Green Robot, which will assist farmers in ploughing land and harvesting banana, is currently being developed at the centre.
“It took six months for the students to develop the prototype of the robot and it will cost half the price of models available in the markets,” says N. Dinesh Kumar, a faculty member.
The students, who developed the robot, are now in Punjab to present their project at a competition, he adds.
M. Palaninatha Raja, Registrar of Thiagarajar College of Engineering, says that a few months ago students developed a solar rickshaw, funded by Madurai Municipal Corporation.
“Multinational corporate firms are conducting a series of contests, encouraging the students to develop innovative models. Our students have won several contests,” he concludes.