Design Research in Panjab University to give Engineering Solutions for Future

Author(s): City Air NewsChandigarh, June 12, 2017: The faculty and students at the recently established Design Innovation Center (DIC) in Chandigarh have designed a variety of engineering solutions and are now waiting for partnerships...

Design Research in Panjab University to give Engineering Solutions for Future

Chandigarh, June 12, 2017: The faculty and students at the recently established Design Innovation Center (DIC) in Chandigarh have designed a variety of engineering solutions and are now waiting for partnerships to develop marketable products for future. Four institutes under CRIKC, viz., PU- University Institute of Engineering & Technology (UIET) functioning as the hub, along with the three spokes: Punjab Engineering College University of Technology, Central Scientific & Industrial Organization and HSJ Institute of Dental Sciences have been conducting elective courses for B.Tech and M.Tech students through the last about one year, that focus on training engineering students to find low cost, indigenous solutions to everyday problems through innovation and design education. The DIC team has developed its first few functional prototypes to design products that can address a variety of societal problems. These include the management of urban transport with minimum human intervention, improvement of e-rickshaw that can be powered by multiple green sources including solar energy, giving digital solutions for high precision dental restorations etc.
Solar Powered E-Rickshaw
A high-powered Project Advisory Committee comprising of a number of Heads of the Institutes, and Chaired by Professor Arun Grover, Vice Chancellor, Panjab University reviewed progress of the DIC on June 9th 2017 and mulled over chartering a path to bring on board, corporate partners who would guide the development of marketable products from a number of intelligently designed prototypes developed at the DIC.
Project Advisory committee of DIC meeting going on
The DIC at PU is sponsored by the Ministry of Human Resource & Development, Govt of India. During the last about 18 months, several prototypes have been developed at University Institute of Engineering Technology (UIET), Panjab University, Chandigarh. Some of these include providing traffic management systems based on acoustics, RFID and Bluetooth low energy technologies. These can be strategically laid along the roads and crossings, to allow priority passage to emergency vehicles, announce arrival of bus to passengers waiting at bus stop, locate traffic violations, guide drivers and commuters to choose low traffic areas in real time, facilitate developing a road condition map etc. Such systems need to be integrated in plans for the Smart City projects in progress.
Bus Arrival Detection System using BLE
Another set of prototypes developed at University Institute of Engineering Technology (UIET), Panjab University, Chandigarh relate the integration of medical imaging and computational methods to guide dentists, orthopedists, surgeons and physiotherapists for planning restoration of bones, body shapes and functions. The center has developed complete technology for individual-specific transparent aligners to correct teeth alignment and is working on digital approaches for custom designing and fabrication of dentures, surgical guides, tooth implants etc. As a small project, students at the DIC developed prototype of pressure sensing toothbrush that can be used to train children on the healthy way to brush their teeth.
A number of tools are being developed at UIET, Panjab University, Chandigarh. These include a dental pressure sensor that measures bite force between the teeth and; a glove that measures the strength of fingers and joints. These concepts can be invaluably useful to treating doctors for measuring progression of musculoskeletal disorders.
Pressure Sensing Glove
The energy group at the DIC, UIET, Panjab University, Chandigarh has designed systems to enhance the efficiency of solar energy harvesters by auto alignment of the direction of reflectors with the changing direction of sun. More innovatively, they are working in the less known area called piezo electricity that captures the ambient vibration energy, that gets wasted all around us, all the time. The vibration energy can be converted into electric energy and used to energize sensors and innumerable small appliances. Piezo is used as the source of power in wristwatches, microphones, voice recognition in computers etc. Vibrations caused by traffic on the road and even by walking may likely be used in future to light bulbs on the walk way. Future applications of piezo may also come in capturing the movement of muscles in human body, including that of beating heart and breathing lungs to power medical implants. For example, the future pacemakers may use the piezo energy from heartbeat, and therefore not require the conventional batteries that need surgical replacement every few years. Designing such prototypes will likely be done at the Chandigarh DIC in coming years.
Some of the engineering tools developed at the UIET also include, the fabrication of a low cost multi axis milling machine; a 3-D printer that can use a variety of thermoplastics for additive manufacturing of prototypes and models; a wire extrusion machine to mold thermoplastics into wires compatible with the 3-D printer; the processes for developing nano sized transparent ceramic crystals etc. Such tools have an open architecture and can be excellent design teaching materials for engineering students in India. The PU-DIC could design such kits and train the trainers
Design teaching is a multidisciplinary area that focuses on achieving product success in market through designing for technically efficient, affordable and aesthetically attractive utility products. Some of the highly ranked design courses offered globally are at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambrige, USA, Stanford University, California, USA, Royal College of Art, London, UK etc.. In India, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Industrial Design Center, Bombay, Instrument Design & Development Center at IIT Delhi etc. are known for design education. Chandigarh region is potentially the next design hub in making in the country, hoping to soon join hands with enabling corporate sector to carry its products from lab to market and expand its activities through ideas from user industry.

Monday, June 12, 2017