IITB Central Library 2.0 Service

Designs to improve lives, from IIT-B students

Posted on: July 2, 2012

Source: Indian Express
From designing a rehearsal programme — an assistive tool to help children with learning disabilities understand lessons through games — to tools that aid for farmers and the elderly, projects by the graduating batch of IIT Bombay’s Industrial Design Centre (IDC) this year are aimed at improving lives of people across sections of society.

All the projects are being showcased at IDC’s annual design degree show from June 30-July 1 at Nehru Centre, Worli. It includes students of interaction design, industrial design, visual communication, mobility and vehicle and animation design.

“Teachers put in tremendous efforts to teach children suffering from learning disabilities. However, there are currently no specific tools to ensure such children can rehearse lessons when they are at home or on vacation. I have designed a web interface, an interactive learning platform that can be used on computers/tablets, whih facilitate acquirement of essential cognitive skills like visual recognition and recall, task switching, working memory, planning and decision in such children,” said Shweta Verma who has designed “mind remind”.

The prototype was tested with children of SPJ Sadhana School on Sophia College campus. Verma said lessons for such children are designed in a story format, and the system converts these stories into small games children learn from. “Eventually, it can help them rehearse on their own. The programme is open-ended and teachers can feed any lesson in it. I have received a positive feedback and am currently looking at parties interested in implementating it in schools,” she said.

Another project by Deepali Chandrakant is for children with hearing impairment.

“Such children always have speech problems and difficulties in constructing sentences and grammar. Called ‘chatakpat’, the four-player game encourages four-to-eight-year-old hearing impaired children to speak, thereby improving their speech and language skills. It is based on guessing answers and identifying letters. It was tested at Pragati Vidyalaya (for hearing impaired) in Dadar and worked well there,” she said.

Each project looks at specific areas or target groups. Reenu Singh’s aid, for instance, is meant to reduce stress on the postmen.

The carrier is a pair of bags on wheels, which can be loaded on either side of the bicycle.

“I spent two days with a postman and followed him from the post office to delivery points to understand aspects like loading, unloading and parking. I have designed a carrier for postman’s mails and it significantly reduces overall stress. It is being funded by the Indian Postal Service. Two prototypes have been designed and are being used by postmen who come to IIT campus. We are finalising a third prototype and will subsequently look at commercialisation,” she said.

Her second project is an aid for the elderly, around 75-years-old.

“It will help them by giving them a support system to independently manage their body weight and privide stability in bed and while getting out from bed,” she said.

Yet another project, “sarv-samriddhi”, is an outcome tool for farmers to help them diagnose possible problems in crops and contact fellow farmers or vendors to solve them.

“It can be used on mobiles or tablets. Currently, farmers are often not exposed to the right information or information as per need and my project aims at empowering them. It has been developed in Marathi language and tested in villages of Maharashtra,” said Vidhya Appu.

Shivani Visen is focusing on redesigning a street food organiser meant for street vendors.

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