The third edition of the Invention Factory® India recently concluded at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) with a gush of innovation prowess showcased by undergraduate students of IITs from across the country.
The finale of this edition was held on July 08, 2022, where ten teams of participating students presented ten unique innovations, which were evaluated by a distinguished jury of industry experts and innovators on various parameters, to announce winners of IITGN’s Invention Factory® India 2022.
Invention Factory® India is a unique summer programme in inventing, which was originally started in 2013 in the USA at The Cooper Union by Prof Alan Wolf and Prof Eric Lima, and it was run for the first time in India at IITGN in the summer of 2018 and again in 2019, under the name Invent@IITGN. This year, the programme was conducted at IIT Bombay as well.
20 students were selected from 10 different IITs, including IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT (ISM) Dhanbad, IIT Gandhinagar, IIT Goa, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras, and IIT Roorkee, to participate in the Invention Factory® India at IITGN. They formed ten teams of two members each.
After three days of orientation, the next six weeks saw the student teams work tirelessly to identify a significant need, conceive an invention, prototype it, and present it before guest evaluators every week.
The guest evaluators’ feedback helped students refine their inventions and finally pitch them in the finale. They are also going to write and file provisional patent applications for their inventions in India as well as the USA. These inventions offer solutions to real societal or consumer needs and are designed to be feasible and practical in terms of safety, size, weight, cost, and so on.
The ten inventions from IITGN’s Invention Factory® India 2022 include:
1. Aditya Kumar, IIT Bombay and Keerthi Sree Marrapu, IIT Kharagpur, have invented Avakarika. It is a safe dustbin for bio-medical waste collection.
2. Amitendra Singh, IIT Bombay and Ram Munde, IIT Delhi, invented an Eco-friendly Stapler. This device can enable easy paper recycling.
3. Pratik Raj, IIT (ISM) Dhanbad and Meet Thumar, IIT Gandhinagar, have developed CarrYease to make carrying bulky delivery bags easier for delivery personnel.
4. Rahul Kumar, IIT Delhi and Samarth Sachan, IIT Kanpur, invented Manhole, which is a manhole-cleaning machine.
5. Daksh Adhar, IIT Guwahati and Aishwarya Omar, IIT Gandhinagar, created Glaid – a device that helps hearing-impaired people sense the direction of the sound.
6. Tarika Gupta, IIT Goa and Deepika Putta, IIT Madras, developed Sit-upright. It is a portable smart seat cushion.
7. Pahul Singh Sawhney, IIT Roorkee and Sagar Chavan, IIT Gandhinagar, have invented Smart Fan Array, which is a device that can provide personalised flow of air.
8. Aditya Sugriv Kendre, IIT Bombay and Atul Kumar, IIT Goa, have developed Time It! – A unique mechanical device that prevents medicine overdose.
9. IIT Gandhinagar students Ekansh Somani and Yash Kokane invented LiftSafe, a device for safety during weightlifting.
10. Veeragandham Easwar and Tamminaina Sai Gowtham, both from IIT Madras, have invented a child safety seat for motorcycles/two-wheelers
All ten teams were allocated a budget of Rs. 50,000 for materials to design the invention prototype. They worked in the newly set-up ‘Maker Bhavan’ at IITGN with free access to on-campus equipment like laser cutters, 3D printers, machine shops and machinists etc., to support the development of their inventions.
The teams were directly mentored by IIT Gandhinagar Professors Nithin George, Madhu Vadali, and Jaichander Swaminathan, as well as the founders of the original programme in the US, Cooper Union Professors Alan Wolf and Eric Lima. All the participants will also receive a stipend of Rs 10,000 and a certificate of participation.
Veeragandham Easwar and Tamminaina Sai Gowtham, both from IIT Madras, won the ‘Best Invention’ prize and took home a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh for inventing a ‘Child Safety Seat’ for motorcycles/two-wheelers.
Expressing their excitement and journey to winning the best invention prize, they said, “We are really happy to win the ‘Best Invention’ prize because all that we worked on during these six weeks, from ideating to designing, taking feedback from the professors, conducting surveys, and iterating prototypes finally got paid off on a big stage. It is an amazing feeling to be able to bring a solution to a real-world problem.
This programme gave us a true sense of what is possible, what kind of issues could come during manufacturing, and finding ways to overcome those challenges. We were provided with an environment that helped us concentrate on our work. Thanks to each and everyone who helped and supported us at every stage.”
The ‘Second Best Invention’ prize money of Rs 1 lakh was bagged by Pahul Singh Sawhney, IIT Roorkee and Sagar Chavan, IIT Gandhinagar, who invented Smart Fan Array, a device that can provide personalised flow of air.
Sharing their experience, they said, “Invention Factory India is a fantastic programme about ideation and racking our brains to solve everyday problems. This was a great initiative by IIT Gandhinagar and its professors to help us understand how inventions happen and how we can help the society at large. The most important thing we learnt here is that there are infinite possibilities for infinite problems.”
The ‘Third Best Invention’ prize of Rs 50,000 was taken by Rahul Kumar, IIT Delhi and Samarth Sachan, IIT Kanpur, for developing Manhole, a manhole-cleaning machine.
Recalling their time spent at IITGN and the inspiration to develop this invention, they said, “We feel glad that we spent these six weeks developing a real-world device. We got cutting-edge equipment and excellent supervision from all the faculty members of this programme. We decided to develop the manhole-cleaning machine because we vividly recall seeing someone go inside a manhole to clean it. We wanted to help those people through this invention.”
Highlighting the importance of the programme Prof Amit Prashant, Officiating Director, IITGN, said, “IIT Gandhinagar has always encouraged a culture of learning-by-doing and research/innovation for impact. It is great to see young minds of our country being problem-solvers for real-life challenges through this unique programme supported by our well-wishers every year. This kind of mentorship can boost the innovation mindset among the students to provide further impetus to the ‘Make in India’ movement.”