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Necessity is the mother of innovation

Henna Rakheja, Dec 5, 2012 23:27 IST
experimental Revathi creates flowers from a special clay (L). Anirudh with his hydro-operated jute bag making machine.

Who would not be tired of shading numerous silly circles while answering the OMR form when appearing for competition exams?

But the future generation will be rid of this exhaustive exercise with the help of a pen designed to do the needful with just a punch. A bliss for students appearing in entrance exams, who necessarily end up wasting time! A simple yet necessary innovation by Anirudh Thakur, its maker, who hated appearing for competitive exams!

Anirudh is among the many participants who showcased their innovative designs during the fourth edition of India Innovation Initiative – i3 2012. His design is attracting pen manufacturers already.

However, the electronic engineer from Himachal Pradesh has bagged the second prize for his hydro-operated jute and paper bag making machine. Anirudh shares his story, "I used to work with Vodafone and after plastic bags were banned in Himachal, I realised that makers of paper and jute bags imported a Chinese machine worth Rs 2 crore.

I wondered what was so great about this machine that it could not be manufactured in India. I resigned from my job and worked on the machine to create a successful example of how we can save Indian currency from going into foreign coffers.

My invention costs just Rs 2 lakh and makes not just square-based paper and jute bags but also generates electricity and filters water at the same time.”

An excellent piece of innovation, this machine reduces the value of one paper bag by 90 paise!

Even the third prize winner, Sabarinath C Nair’s innovation of a simple, intuitive simulation for welding training is extremely interactive and capable of helping trainers. Sabarinath explains, “Our research found that India is facing a skill crisis in welding which requires perfect hand-eye coordination.

The trainers move the trainees to the next level even if the latter hasn’t acquired the fundamentals accurately, due to the cost of training. Our tool is structured like a welding machine and used on a computer screen like a game. If the welder is using more or less pressure, it will show on the screen.” This gaming tool also scores the welders to encourage them and is available in regional languages to cater to rural India. Impressive piece of work!

So is the plasti-clay by Revathi Ramakrishna which she moulds to create beautiful flowers and landscapes that look as though made out of ceramic. She invented this clay to curb her creative urge in the absence of paper-clay in India, that stays hard, forever. Even Pranay and Dhruv Jain’s TacRead, a tactile readout device to enable the visually impaired to commute independently in any interior, is worth a mention.

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