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Friday, December 14, 2007

Award winning 'protunik'

Two students of Ramaiah Institute of Technology design a device that could ensure safe roads and end up winning the Freescale design contest.

For the two engineering students of M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology, nothing seems to be impossible. And they have proved this by winning the Freescale design contest.

Chosen from among the 200 odd contestants, Umanath R Kamath and Ashwin Bhat who are in the 3rd year of Electronics and Communication department, have designed a device that would ensure comfortable and safer driving on the roads, especially in the ‘L’ junctions.

“We had provided a microscale product QG8 - a 8 bit micro controller, for the contestants to work on and come out with a creative product plan. The contest was open to all, including engineers, industries, and also students.

But, it was these two students who came up with an innovative model that (could be of practical help) could be implemented and would be of great help to the people,” says Sanjeev Keskar, country sales manager, Freescale Semiconductors.

The Protunik Safety Detection System has two modules: One is the devise to be installed in the automobile for automatic dip and dim of head light and the second one is the system to negotiate ‘L’ turns.

Usually, high beam is required in vehicles for timely detection of objects but this poses as a threat as it impedes the vision of the oncoming vehicle in the opposite direction.

The aim of the first device is to detect if any vehicle is coming in the opposite direction (when the user is using high beam in his vehicle, so that it won’t impede the on-coming driver’s vision) at night. If the device detects any vehicle coming in the opposite direction then it automatically switches the intensity of the head lamp to normal level. The requirement of high beams are in places where the path is dark and it is difficult to commute but when another vehicle is coming from the other side (and has normally lit head lamp), then the intensity of light is sufficient for the user to travel.

The second module is to help people negotiate ‘L’ turns. This would help warn vehicles if any other vehicle is approaching on the other side of the ‘L’ junction and vice-versa.

“About 70% of the accidents occur on highways and a majority of these are at night. After much research, we noted that one of the main problems was that the intensity of the head light of vehicles was very high which was blinding the other commuter. Also there are poor signalling systems at ‘L’ shape junctions. There have been several developments in this direction but neither of them have provided a concrete solution which is easily integrate able in the present system, cost-effective and fool-proof,” say the students.

Says Umanath Kamath: “We designed both the modules with the aim of achieving a better solution for traffic problems and thereby ensure safe and comfortable driving for the people.”

“We wouldn’t have achieved this without the help of our teachers. But our real success lies only in implementing the plan in real life,” adds Ashwin Bhat.

The two will be flying to Malaysia to witness manufacturing of high-end chips that are used in mobile phones like MotoRazr etc and interact with technologists that make this happen.

They are now expecting automobile sponsors to volunteer to take up the project plan and develop them into real product.

With the zeal of pursuing higher studies in engineering, both the students feel that the contest has provided them the impetus to realise their dream.

The device ‘protunik’ (which refers to unique protection) developed by the students was showcased in the Freescale Technology Forum in the City organised by Freescale Semiconductor.

1 comment:

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