An engineering student-undertaken project ‘Design and Fabrication of Disabled-Friendly Wheelchair’ made it to the top 100 in the ‘Student Engineering Model Competition’ which was part of the Fourth India International Science Festival (IISF) 2018 organised by the Government of India’s Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences in association with Vigyan Bharati at Lucknow.
IISF 2018 was inaugurated by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind in the presence of minister of science and technology, Harsh Vardhan and chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath and was represented by approximately 10000 delegates including 5000 students, 550 teachers, 20 international delegates and approximately 200 start-ups.
The project which was undertaken by students from the Don Bosco College of Engineering (DBCE), Fatorda in their final year was the only project from Goa selected among top 100 projects for the competition from over 2,200 submissions by students from all over the country and one of three projects from engineering colleges selected by Government of Goa’s department of science and technology to represent the state at IISF 2018.
Entries for the student engineering model competition were evaluated by a 64-member jury panel consisting of eminent technocrats. The project was among the 22 selected in the ‘Make in India’ category. Of the five students – Deepak Kolur, Saideep Naik, Anay Kalghatgi, Prashant Gaonkar and Vinay Naik who undertook the project, two of them, namely, team leader Deepak Kolur and Saideep Naik represented the state at Lucknow. The five students were guided by professor, Swapnil Ramani and head of mechanical department, professor, Ajit Salunke. Government research agencies like DRDO, ISRO and HAL also displayed their projects at the festival.
Also called ‘Robotic wheelchair’, the wheelchair they designed is driven by two battery powered DC motors. An important feature of the wheelchair is its standing function which operates through compressed air. Currently, this feature operating by compressed air is not available in the market. The chair they designed can lift a person weighing up to 250 kilos. The chair also reclines completely so the person using it can roll over into bed. The wheelchair has a wireless controller which can be controlled through an Android phone. The complete chair has been assembled from scratch with a view to aid people who have reduced mobility in their lower limbs. While the current market price of such a chair is around `3,00,000, the model developed costs only `55,000. When produced on a large scale, price would go even lower.