Thursday, March 31, 2011

Top 10 Popular Electronics stuff India most badly Need Today ....

India is one of the most fastest developing country in the world and second largest population, With more than half the population living in the rural areas .Even though the goverment is spending millions every year on the development of the country , There still seems to be something essential missing   Education ,Clean Water supply , Electricity generation are some of the  most important challenge to the Indian government from the last decade , Here is a list of the most important Electronic stuff I personally feel could bring revolutionary changes to the people of the country ( I made this list using statistical information about the country's requirements and latest innovations in the world of electronics focusing on those problems , This is not official ).

1. Interactive Distance learning tools for the Students in rural areas

They say today's children are country's tomorrow . Hence to maintain compulsory and proper education for all the students is the highest priority for the government today . Yet there is a vast difference between the education system in urban areas and rural areas in India .Where schools in urban areas use a high sophisticated environment using slides , presentation and projector to teach there students , The schools in rural areas sometimes can't even afford a blackboard or chalkboard for the class . The children seems to lose interest in formal education and give up schooling .... 
        Although , thanks to govenment urban schools are admitting bright students from poor financial background family , free of cost . But still this method couldn't bring revolutionary changes to the life of all the poor students who are desired to go to school or study.
                                           Highly equipped with information and resources , Our Great Internet can have an excellent solution to this problem  , With  computer no bar with the  OLPC organisation .OLPC stands for "One Laptop Per Child" it is a non profitably organisation with a mission to equip every child in the age group 6-12 with a laptop with internet connectivity could let financially poor background childrens to get education and a teacher from a well reputed school through internet right sitting at home (Distance Learning Program). 

Distant learning programs which now schools and colleges are adopting backed by the government to increase easily availabity of study materials in audio/video format through internet to students of poor financial background . Here is a funny Idea (Telecommunicaton company) advertisement (and also my most favorite ad of all times :) .... )which shows how poor had to suffer for admission of their children and how distance learning can help  

with those small mobile phones (as shown in the ad ) getting replaced by labtops provided by the OLPC organisation . The concept will become a reality soon .... although students might not get exposition to the class infrastructure through this distance learning program (unlike the idea commercial ), But would still be exposed to high informative lectures or classes of reputed school or college , one of the most succesful Distance learning program funded by the goverment is the NPTEL (National Program for Technology Enhanced Learning) which provides online engineering lectures from IIT's to every students online sitting at home .
Human Resouce Development Minister : Kapil Sibal
with the Rs 1500 Computing device

India independently also developed its own cheap computing device for students of all age group . Rs 1500 ($35) this computing device have 2 GB memory , Wi-Fi Enabled ,  Support for video web Conferencing facility,Wireless communication for Audio/video I/O , Computing capabilities such as Open Office , SciLab (Free alternative of Matlab(scientific calculation software)) , virtual keyboard, SIM card slot and many more basic computer features. it is seen as India's answer to the OLPC project The Indian government is attempting to push the device’s price down to a mere $10.The device was first demoed on an Indian TV show called “Gadget Guru” by India’s Human Resource Development Minister, Kapil Sibal He made it clear that the device would be available to the leading educational institutes at subsidized rates. So far, there hasn’t been a manufacturer named for this device. Recently, however, OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte sent an open letter to the Indian government expressing his support and offering OLPC technology for the project. (Source : PC Magazine September 2010)
The $35 Tablet "Akash " with students

The Tablet is being developed by a Montreal-based tech upstart Datawind Ltd a developer of wireless web access products and services. They upgraded the previous model of Aakash and renamed it "Ubislate 7+" Which would hit the indian market in early 2012

The "Ubislate 7+"  is a 7 inch touch screen tablet which runs on Android 2.3  features 256 MB RAM, uses an ARM 11 processor and has two USB ports ,supports HD video playback and has a faster WiFi connectivity which is priced at Rs 2999 ($60). Although Indian government is expected to buy about 2 million of the new aakash tablet and sell them to the indian students  at  subsidized price of about US$35 (Rs 1,750).

2. Cheap Efficient Water Filter

Normal tap water of homes in US is considered fit for drinking whereas tap water of homes in india can sometimes be so dirty and unhygenic that in some parts of the country tap water is unfit even to wash your eyes with , let alone drinking .
Villagers waiting in queue for collecting clean
Drinking water 
With so many rivers,lakes in India still there is a large treated water shortage , For around 1.7 billion
population of the country , Cheap , Reliable, Portable and Efficient water filter is very badly needed to every individual.
Yi Chu , an associate professor of materials science and engineering in Stanford University and his colleagues
made a really simple water cleaner but is 80,000 times faster than the existing expensive ones . By dipping plain cotton cloth in a high-tech broth(solution)  full of silver nanowires and carbon nanotubes and a small electric voltage as few as 20Volts  A person could generate the power from a stationary bike, hand-cranked device or a small solar panel , no serious power generation is required .
Unlike most of the Water filter which physically traps the bacteria in the water flowing through the filter . This Filter would Electrocutes Bacteria the filter has also got a 'negligible' amount of silver in it , silver has got chemical properties that would kill bacteria , If any of the bacteria is still linger silver would kill it ...
Image demonstrating the filter in action
(Image source: Abstract from research papers of "Nano letters")

Here are news articles published  in  Discovery news and Stanford News Service on " The concept of electrified nano-structures to purify water ". The Team released there research  in Nano letters

3. Piezoelectric "By Foot" Electricity Generation

Elecricity is always a problem to almost everyone in the country, Whether  you live in village or town in india you will experience frequent power cuts which could range from few minutes to several hours although Around 78,000 MW of power is generated in India , But there is still a very high amount of power required for every house in a country of such a large population . 64.6% of electricity in the country is generated by Thermal power stations and also one of the chief reason for pollution in the country .
        The country is trying to switch to renewable resouces (Wind , Hydro and solar energy) for generation of electricity.  
Demonstrating the generation of electricity by piezoelectric floor  
Piezoelectric Electricity generation can also be one of the best alternate option available to generate clean electricity . This concept was put forward by two MIT architecture students, Piezoelectric devices are implements that use materials exhibiting piezoelectric effects."Piezo," in Greek, means "pressure," which explains that when you apply pressure to piezoelectric materials, you get a charge separation within a crystal and a voltage across the crystal that is sometimes extremely high . Quartz, Rochelle salt, and other certain ceramics exhibit piezoelectric behaviors.Placing piezoelectric devices that are used to capture energy from foot traffic underneath airport , railway , bus terminals can effectively capture electrical energy and send it back to the power grid through inverters, which are needed in order to convert the DC power, from the piezoelectric, into AC power. The Christian Science Monitor (popular international online newspaper , Check out the link to read further about it ) claims that a single footstep could potentially generate enough electricity to power two 60-watt incandescent bulbs for one second.

The East Japan Railway Company (JR East) conducted a demonstration experiment from January 19 to March 7, 2008, at Yaesu North Gate, Tokyo Station, on this new power-generating floor. Installed at the ticket gate area, it generates electricity from the vibrations created by passengers walking through the ticket gates.
A general view of Indian Railway Station

People living in India are well aware of the Crowd gathered at railway or bus terminals every morning during the peak hours . The vibrations due to the footsteps of the crowd can easily be harvested to electricity and could be used at least for the lighting systems or other electricity consuming appliances of airport or railway terminal and hence saving a lot of energy , On further development these kind of piezoelectric generators can be used on a larger scale i.e they can be used to provide electricity to general homes or industry situated near the Railway or Bus terminal.  

4. Light Wireless Night Spy Cameras in Indian jungles , Our                last hope to save our Big Cats

With just 1411 Tigers left in India , Its time we pull up our socks to protect our not just National animal of the contry but also the soul of Indian jungle ,The Mighty , Magnificent Bengal Tigers of India being hunt down by the poachers and sold in the black market at a very heavy price. It won't be long before it joins the list of the extinct animals until we do something now .
  The "Project Tiger" an initiative by the indian government to preserve Tigers did a lot for save tigers since 1973 , But couldn't be much efficient in saving the tigers from poachers , Poachers are generally Hunters from the local village who kills these animal at night and runs away with its skin or fur . When the cops track them they usually throw them away or lie to the cops that they killed the tiger only for defense.

Poachers caught on camera at
Hidden Night wireless cameras can help cops to track these poachers with video evidence . Because the cameras are light it can be easily installed between bushes or hang them up in trees to catch the poachers Red-Handed .
And it won't be long to bring the entire racket down after that .

Police posing with Tiger skins after raiding a Poachers warehouse

5. Robots in Military and bomb diffusion

DRDO Robot : Daksh

 India is one of the most Terrorism afflicted nations . With Indian military gearing up with more modern warfare equipment  There is also a huge demand of military robots with artificial intelligence for Bomb detection , Spy on enemy territory with camera , IR camera or thermal cameras as according to the environment and also could able to move over rough land or swim over or under the water surface with least noise , Or move over sky (Drones) collect and send images and even fire at the enemies target if necessary
        DRDO (Defence Research And Development Organisation ) have already started making several  military grade robots for bomb detection and spying , One such is the DRDO's "Daksh" which in Hindi means "Competent".

Another military Robot also make by the DRDO is the Takshak which means "The king of Serpents" and many more still being made , DRDO also organize a all India level student robotics competition on military grade autonomous Ground Vehicle . Yet a lot is still to be done to slowly but effectively take away the dangerous task of spying and bomb detection from the soldiers to these electro mechanically operated   robots . Not just India the whole world seems to take up the project on using robots in military today.

This is a presentation by Peter Warren Singer on the "RISE OF ROBOTS IN MILITARY" an American political scientist and  international relations scholar and Dr P.W Singer is popularly known for his commentary on military affairs he has written several books on military affairs too check his website

Military grade Robots are not just in air (drones) and ground , Research is being made to make military robots to operate under the water .


6. Artificial Limbs for Disables 

There are about 70 million disables in India either due to Mental problems (which are highest among working age population) and visual and hearing disability are highest among the aged population. Mental disability is occurring mainly due to serious illness during childhood, head injury in childhood and pregnancy and birth related causes. Old age, cataract, glaucoma and other eye disease are the main causes for having visual problems while polio, injury like burns, other illness like stroke, arthritis, cerebral palsy are the main causes of locomotor disability. Today even the government admits that less than 2 % of the disables are getting educated and about 99% of the disables in India are unemployed .
And what about those families especially in Poverty ridden country like India where even the disable has to earn money (Employment) for the sake of his family.

Source: World News

Newly developed Technology can help these Disabled people by replacing their defected body organs with a electromechanical body organ which can works just like its real biological counterpart , that is work just like any other body or sense organ picking up or sending information directly from or to the human brain .

Several researchers across the globe has taken up the study to develop advanced mechanics with human brain interface for the disabled seriously . And had come up with several concept design or gadgets promised to be lanced in general market soon . Which could be a blessing for the Indian disables .
            Few of the examples ,which for instance are The Bionic eye , Developed the researchers at Bionic vision Australia   to restore sight to those with failing vision. The device consists of a  microchip implanted in the retina , a pair of glasses with a mounted camera . The camera captures the images and sends them to the processor which transmits a high frequency signal wirelessly to the microcontroller implanted in the retina. Electrodes on the implanted chip convert these signals into electrical impulses to stimulate cells in the retina that are connected to the optic nerve (part of the central nervous system which transmits visual information from retina to brain signaling an image to the brain.
It took $ 40 million dollar and ten years of research by the Bionic vision team to come up with this bionic eye , This eye may not restore complete perfect vision but will still be a wonder gadget to blinds today.
     Another cool gadget this one designed for the  locomotor disables is the HAL, which is short for “Hybrid Assistive Limbs" HAL was designed by Professor Yoshiyuki Sankai of Tsukuba University, and is now being manufactured and rented out within Japan by a company called Cyberdyne (Hence sometimes HAL is also known as Cyberdyne's exoskeleton)

The full suit, consisting of both arms and legs, weigh about 50 lbs (23 kg) and can run on batteries for about 2 hours and 40 minutes and it increases the human strength by five times (another wonder gadget for disables) Yet the biggest disadvantage of these artificial limbs is its price , Its too high for the general public , let alone the indian poor disables struggling to make a living , scientist are trying to reduce cost by trying different materials and methods. 
There are many gadgets still in making and many already in Indian market and selling like hot cake. For example Disability India Network a website hosted by the Society for Child Development spread awareness about the condition of disables in India and also list of all the aids (artificial limbs , hearing instruments , talking instruments) available in the country at reasonable prises.

7. Employment of Robots in Healthcare and  Hazardous  Environment

Robotic surgery is much like a science fiction movie came true . With robots taking over the Healthcare section  gave a major advantage of of minimally invasive surgery precision, miniaturization, smaller incisions, decreased blood loss, less pain and better accuracy Robotic surgery has been in practice for a while especially in developed country like united kingdom and united states . The introduction of practical surgical robotic devices has opened a new perspective on minimal access surgery in all surgical fields like Cardiothoracic surgery, Neurosurgery , Heart bypass surgery, Urology etc. Which have a lot of patients in India but a very few specialized surgeons in the country like for example m. In USA, there are 17,000 urologists for 300 million people; in Brazil, 4000 urologists for 200 million people and in China, 12,000 urologists for 1.3 billion people. However, in India there are only about 2500 urologists for 1 billion people. Also Robots can perform    surgery of  vital organs can be accomplished with more precision and accuracy Robotic wrists provide much more freedom of movement and articulated motion inside the abdominal cavity.Computer interfacing allows for remote control surgery, for precise manipulations. Because the  patient recovery after robot-assisted heart surgery is quicker, the hospital stay is shorter. Hence the number of staff needed during surgery, nursing care required after surgery are also reduced and, therefore, the overall cost of the hospital reduces. One of the most popular surgery Robot is th Da vinci Robot here are about 1171 da Vinci  surgical systems installed worldwide, including 863 in the United States and 211 in Europe The video below demonstrates how this robot operates .

 Employment of robots in hazordous environment , This is one field I have nothing much to say , everyone of us know that the the main reason of the entire revolution of robotics was for their use in hazardous environment like handling chemical , nuclear wastage  or even in mining with care or working in an harsh conditions such as presence of various kinds of obstacles, high temperature, and limited visibility with accuracy hence also taking care of the potential harm that could have happened to the Humans doing the same task. India needs them in large amount . 

Robots in Mining
Source:News Limited Picture

Indian Coal mine workers : Mine workers are exposed to toxic dusts including asbestos, carcinogenic (cancer causing) chemicals (image Source 

8. Electric cars 

With the population of the country , the automobile in the Indian roads is growing like crazy with few hundreds in 1990s to several thousands in 2010. And over dependence on liquid fossil fuels is also increasing to operate the internal combustion engines, which convert energy stored in a liquid fuel (usually gasoline and petrol) into mechanical motion by rapidly igniting an air-fuel mixture in the engine’s cylinders. This combustion process emits engine exhaust that contains a number of pollutants, including  carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and other harmful gases. Yet along with disadvantage of fuel , It is a non-renewable source of energy hence its rate (of the fuel ) is also increasing like crazy . It is time for us to switch to electric cars which uses battery power to propel its electric motors. It produces no harmful gas emission and works efficiently. ( Watch the concept on How Electric cars work : 
Indian Finance Minister:
Pranab Mukherjee
 Indian Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's budget proposals for 2011-12 laid  focus on promoting green and clean technology for the fast-growing Indian automobile sector. He said  

“The Indian automobile market is the second fastest market in world and has shown nearly 30 per cent growth this year. World over, substantial investments are being made in the field of hybrid and electric mobility. To provide green and clean transportation for the masses, the National Mission for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles will be launched in collaboration with all stakeholders ”

REVA Electric car
And his idea was supported by many ( read the news paper article to read further about the topic Green technology in automobile industry )   REVA electric car made and sold by the Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Private Limited was the first electric car to be made and sold in india It was popular and efficient but still was unable to attract masses , Well lets be honest it really has a very odd shape and looks weird on the road and is also pretty slow. :(

Well , REVA is coming up with new model of their electrical car , with a better mileage and features. Still waiting to be launched for the Public . This affordable yet cozy electrical car was one of the stars of the show during the "AUTO EXPO 2012". 

The New Mahindra REVA

Front View
 India's automobile giant TATA motors are coming out with there electric version of Indica EV (EV stands for Electric Vehicle)  is scheduled for launched in India in this year .  The car has a 26.5 kwh lithium polymer battery pack , and It has a capability to move 200 km (124 miles) when fully charged .

Many electric cars are still in making , All this car promises better, clean and greener future for the country  Vehicle emissions are responsible for 70% of the country’s air pollution

9. LED Bulbs for General Lighting Applications

LED lighting is more than just a replacement for traditional light sources. Not only is it more energy efficient, More powerful intensity of light , virtually maintenance-free, Cool light output (no UV or heat energy), much longer lasting, and great for meeting our carbon reduction goals.

Solar powered LED street lights in Karnataka
Using high power LED as a replacement for tungsten filament lamps and halogen lamps which absorbs a very high current and  about 98% of the energy input   is emitted as heat whereas LED bulbs operate on a Low voltage DC operation (12V AC/DC) can easily be operated using battery 

LED lights are lit solely by the movement of electrons and unlike CFL they do not contain harmful chemical like mercury , However presently they are far more expensive to built for  most normal lighting application  because they're built around advanced semiconductor material. Research are being made to reduce the cost of the LED lights for normal homes lighting application. But still overall it can reduce the electricity consumption to a large extend and no doubt that they are more Eco friendly .
Government has started investing a lot on the solar powered LED street lights as it(LED Lighting) would make them maintenance  free and saves energy .

10. Cheap, Efficient, Solar Powered general Household items for the poor India  

Last but not the least , Much like the solar operated Street lights every household devices (consumer electronics items ) should be made as much reliable on most easily available and one of the cleanest  source of  renewable energy the Solar Energy, especially targeting the poor people living in rural areas as they could not able to afford the electricity bill for the energy which the daily house hold items demand like hot water geyser , Television etc .
Solar power electricity can be produced from two principal methods, directly and indirectly. The indirect method used to make solar power electricity uses the sun’s heat to boil water and the steam is used to drive turbines connected to generator to produce solar power electricity. There is a direct method which involves using PV cells (Solar photovoltaic cells or panel) to make solar power electricity and is the most  preferred way to generate electricity  for general items.
A lot has been done by the government to spread awareness on solar enery harvesting .Government is aiming to generate about 10,000 MW of electricity by 2022 entirely by solar energy. 

Solar Home system (SHS)
 Solar home system (SHS) and photovoltaic pumping system (PVP) are the most proven of PV application in the field of household energy. A small solar generation unit for home costs Rs 3-5 lakhs it can generate enough power for a two bed room house,including air conditioner for couple of hours .  
      Electronic gadgets which are especially designed to work with solar energy must be designed in such a manner to not just work effectively but also must have a backup battery system so that the system must not be completely dead when the sun is not available .

Check out the link to read further about the topic :
Solar Energy for Poor

Solar powered TV by sharp corp.

A Solar powered Emergency lightCosmos Ignite's Mightylight