Futuristic technology to power smart cities

When the first solar airplane (Solar Impulse) took a flight to make its journey between two continents overnight, one could feel coming closer to the dream of living in a world of futuristic technology!

There is no denying the fact that the ruling government is emphasising on building 100 smart cities and the NGOs are striving to ensure that the same are built in an all-inclusive manner. Amidst such demands for future and desires in the present, the recently organised ‘Dalmia Bharat – Smart City Contest’ by Dalmia group of companies, appeared to be a good decision to encourage students/young professionals to design dream cities, keeping in mind the days to come.

It would be wrong to consider this event as run-of-the-mill, for the projects displayed by the eight finalists from across the country, compelled viewers to believe that almost everything is possible! Take for instance, the idea of creating a ‘Nanocity’ where granular pollutants from automobiles are collected using nanotechnology, which can then be used for urban management.

“With an ever increasing population, this project will enable converting pollutants into re­usable sources of energy and aims to change the lives of more than a billion people across the globe,” says Shubhojit Mullick, whose pilot project in Bangalore strives to capture particular pollutants from automobiles using ‘Nanocylinders’.

While Mullick is a graduate in Chemical Engineering from University of Pune, Sakshi Sharma has studied Economic (Honours) from Delhi University. Her work aims at building self-sustainable spaces, starting with an education station growing into a ‘micronation’ utilising scrap as new-age resource. Sharma’s vision can ‘help in treating one’s own sewage, growing own food and harvesting own energy.’

Organised in collaboration with Ashoka University (Gurgaon) and NASA Research Park-based Singularity University, US, the competition witnessed similar mindboggling projects that speak of quality research and development in technology at the
domestic front. While some participants submitted projects that are a result of their passion, others came up with their ideas after pondering over common concerns
in society.

Gaurav Gupta, who is passionate about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles i.e. drones, proposed, at this platform, to develop a flying robot named ‘Laura’. Gupta is a graduate in B Tech Aerospace from IIT Kanpur and started his own venture, ‘Autobirdz’. “This flying robot will help as an assistant and make homes smarter with the help of indoor drones,” says Gupta showing a prototype.

The contest was launched on January 2 this year and enabled Indian students to develop innovative ideas, focussed on helping India’s dream of building smart cities in the next three to five years.

The winner will now represent India, among other students from all over the world and receive a fellowship worth USD 30,000. Mullick will also attend the Graduate Studies Program (GSP) at Singularity University, US.

Apart from him, even what the rest of the seven finalists have presented is sure to catch the attention of city-planners, sooner or later!

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