Open House @ IIT Delhi

The 14th edition of Open House, slated for April 21, is all set to exhibit the innovative research being done in the institute.

Open House 2018 will provide an insight into path-breaking research work, student projects besides the advanced facilities and laboratories available in IIT Delhi. This year also some of the finest of the projects will be put on display.

Here’s a glimpse of some of the projects that will be put on display

Vanadium Redox Flow Battery an answer to future energy storage needs

Worldwide, tapping and utilizing the potential of renewable energy sources such as solar energy or wind energy etc., is growing exponentially due to environmental pollution and to reduce the dependency on petroleum fuels. However, the challenge of renewable energy sources is that it is not continuous due to their intermittent nature. Therefore, it is required to develop advanced energy storage devices.

Presently, renewable energy (solar, wind etc.) is primarily stored in Lead Acid Battery. However, life of the lead acid battery is ~2 year or so. Moreover, the lead is very toxic and thus manufacturing of battery and lead (Pb) recovery process from used batteries create air pollution, water pollution, and produces hazardous solid waste. The researchers have developed a battery, Vanadium Redox Flow Battery (VRFB), which is a potential technology having capability of providing a clean and sustainable way to store and utilize renewable energy as and when required. A few of the salient features of vanadium redox flow battery are:

  1. Predicted life is around 20 years or more.
  2. The active component is non-perishable even after the lifetime, thus no question of hazardous recycling process of the active component.
  3. Scaling of power and energy is independent.
  4. Liquid component flows (stored in cartridge) through the battery to get charged.
  5. Change the cartridge (having charged liquid) or reversing the flow, will provide the electrical power.
  6. One can get the constant voltage throughout the discharge process.
  7. Battery efficiency is not significantly affected by relatively large temperature range.
  8. No or easy maintenance make it potentially suitable for range of power requirement such as isolated houses in remote areas, telecom towers, electrical vehicle to grid scale storage and grid-stabilization.

Team: Manshu Kapoor, Rajeev Gautam, Dr. Anil Verma (Chemical Engineering Dapartment)


Intelligent Artificial Leg (IAL)

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IIT Delhi has developed a new Intelligent Artificial Leg (IAL) for the persons who have lost their legs above the knee because of the various reasons like accidents, diabetes, and war. The Neuromechanical Engineering Group headed by Dr. Deepak Joshi, Professor at CBME IIT Delhi, has developed a low cost affordable intelligent artificial leg. The IAL was designed and developed indigenouslykeeping in view the cost, functionality, socio-economic, and aesthetic requirements. The prototype is experimentally tested on a trans-femoral amputee under the supervision of Prof. U Singh who is heading the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. The results are promising and the study is still going on for further improvement based on user’s feedback. The IAL has an ability to adapt the movement of the person by a smart sensing technology used inside of the shoes and thus controlling the IAL. The research is funded by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Government of India.

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Team: Dr. Deepak Joshi, Centre for Biomedical Engineering


Street Sizing in Chirala Handloom Cluster

There is tremendous scope of improvements in Indian Handloom Industry. The need for improvement in one of the handloom process, Street sizing was identified in Chirala Handloom cluster. The process of sizing is a very crucial step in weaving. Currently this process is being done in a manner that is very tedious and repetitive. The operation mainly consists of coating long warp sheet from starch paste by using hand held spray and heavy brush. It strengthens the yarn so that it can endure the various forces exerted in weaving loom. Sizing is crucial as it directly affects production rate and number of breakages. Sizers are leaving the operation due to drudgery of sizing operation and low income. To remove drudgery out of sizing, make it more ergonomic and to increase productivity the researchers from the Textile Department proposed four different mechanical designs to aid in the street sizing process, namely helical, circular, hexagonal and hexagonal with off brush mechanisms. Several prototypes were made and a scaled model was installed at Chirala, where trials are being done by the local sizers only. A Productivity hike of 9-12 times is estimated through this design. Several iterations have been made to our initial design as per sizers’ feedback and the process of product development is still going on.

Team: Kanika Prajapat, Dr Samrat Mukhopadhyay (Department of Textiles)


Technology to convert agro waste into pulp

Kriya Labs, a startup incubated at TBIU-IIT Delhi, has developed a process to convert such agro-waste into pulp. This pulp can be used to make bioethanol, paper, tablewares etc. This helps the farmers generate profits from their waste instead of burning it off. Unlike existing pulp making process, which requires heavy machinery and economy of scale, our process can be economically integrated and sustainably run even in smaller scales (1-10 TPD). It is a cyclic process producing useful byproducts. Additionally, the solvent system developed by Kriya Labs for the process is also completely biodegradable, non-volatile, made of natural products and completely safe to use.

Team: Ankur Kumar | Kanika Prajapat | Pracheer Dutta | Scientific Advisor: Dr. Neetu Singh (CBME, IIT Delhi)


Exoskeleton device for upper limb rehabilitation

Paralysis impairs functionality and shows variety of symptoms at different phases of recovery. It disrupts daily living activities especially of hand, making the patient dependent on family members for life. Commercially available devices focus on shoulder joint and elbow joint instead of wrist joint and fingers joint which contribute a lot to daily activities like eating, bathing, grasping/ holding things. These devices costs in millions and require large rooms in hospitals with trained staffs, are accessible to less patients and compelling for everyday hospital visits. The researchers propose a low cost portable home based rehabilitation device for all phases of recovery to improved daily activities for faster recovery. The device is versatile in its use. It helps patient exercise for flexion and extension of wrist and fingers. It can give adaptive and interactive feedback to patient while exercising. It is customizable according to the individual patient condition/symptoms given the flexibility to choose the range of motion and speed according to individual patient’s need. The device has been tested on 20 stroke patients for a month each in AIIMS. The data were collected before and after 20 sessions (of 45 minutes each) which reflected improvement in clinical scores, MRI and daily living activities. The device can be individually operated by patient using the unaffected hand.This rehabilitation device can also be combined (in clinical-settings) with brain stimulation device.

Team: Ms Neha Singh, Dr. Amit Mehndiratta, Centre for Biomedical Engineering


Flexmotiv: Negating the side effects of traditional crutch

Traditional axillary crutches transmit jarring forces to the wrist and shoulders during movement, which cause injuries resulting in crutch palsy. Long term usage leads to back pain, bone deformation due to stress induced growth and nerve damage due to compression. Besides, normal crutches are difficult to use on sand, damp ground and rocks. They require more effort as compared to normal walking. This effort is needed because the person has to propel himself up while the crutch tip acts as a pivot about which the body moves in a convex arc above the ground, for which the user needs to work against the gravity. This drastically reduces the distance a person can cover.

Although there is a rubber tip on the crutches, they wear out pretty soon and replacing is not an option to many (due to lack of availability plus cost).

The solution implemented by Flexmotiv is to use flexure (a flexible metal sheet) in a cleverly designed way that works like a leaf spring absorbing the impact when the person tries to propel. It causes the body to move very little against the gravity, and later while the person tries to lift the crutch for the next gait motion, the stored energy is released leading to easier lifting of crutches. The ultimate result for a user is that less energy is used for movement and there are no impact forces conveyed to the body thus mitigating side effects. The design additionally increases grip on rough terrain such as sand, pebbles and wet surfaces.

Motion analysis and Energy expenditure testing was conducted and found that the energy usage dropped down by 102 calories which is the same energy required to do one hour of lathe work. The usability of crutches was also tested by field trials by giving them to the users for regular use. It has been 8 months and the feedback was that this crutch is far more comfortable and less strenuous to use.

It is expected that by using this crutches, the physically challenged can go to places without the issue of getting stuck. This will improve their quality of life.

Team: Srinivas Adepu (M.Tech IITD) | Arvind S.A. (M.S.R. IITD) | Prof.Sudipto Mukherjee (IITD) | Prof.JitendraKhatait (IITD) | Prof Rajesh Malhotra (AIIMS Delhi)