“The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA, is conducting further research on how to channelise the energy created in shock observers of vehicle into the acceleration, and surprisingly, this idea has been floated by a villager near Guwahati,” said Anil Gupta, professor at IIM-A.
He further added that Kanak Das, resident of a remote village near Guwahati has actually created a simple device which converts the shocks received by his bicycle into acceleration energy, so he doesn’t have to peddle for a few metres after negotiating a pothole.
“Kanak Das came up with this innovation to seek a solution to the bad roads of his village, and when I showcased his idea to the students of MIT, they immediately adopted it, as it can bring huge change in automobile technology across the world,” said Gupta, who was asking budding engineers to look for innovations beyond the traditional set-up.
Addressing a jam-packed audience of almost 500 students, professors and engineers, prof Anil K Gupta, executive vice-chair, National Innovation Foundation, shared some amazing stories of innovation and research done by people living in remote villages of India. He was speaking at theinauguration of NUiCONE 2010, First International Conference on ‘current trends in technology’ at Nirma University campus. He stressed on the need to look beyond the conventional boundaries of Research & Development, and asked budding engineers to reach out in search of new ideas, rather than just rely on organisations’ own research facilities.
To explain his point to the young minds he addressed, he gave some examples of newer ways of ‘people oriented’ research methods adopted by companies like LEGO Toys and Forbes magazine. These organisations have asked people to decide the kinds of toys design they want, and what they want to see on the cover of the magazine.
But some unbelievable and inspirational stories of small time villagers of India held the audience spellbound. In another example, he explained how an illiterate housewife living in a village near Vishakhapatnam came up with an idea to harness the wasted heat of the chulha. ” She realised that majority of the heat of the burning fire escapes from the surrounding gap of the earthen chulha, so she made a three-tier bamboo platform above it, on which she put paddy plants to get heated,” said the professor, who considers this innovation as a major breakthrough.
“Heat also escapes in gas stoves and this idea will change the future designs of kitchens in the world.” He added. ” No engineer, no company, not even ONGC people have ever thought of using such simple yet effective technology to harness heat and make it re-usable,” the professor stated.