Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

There is No Limit for Human Thinking

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

TRAIN WITHOUT WHEELS running at 430 km hr.

Yesterday, I travelled on a MAGLEV (derived from magnetic levitation) train at Shanghai. The train runs from Shanghai City to Airport. Afterall, it took 420 Sec or just 7 minutes to reach the Airport.

If this is implemented in India, then the maximum distance from Delhi to Mumbai will be covered in just 3 hours.

My Observations:

1. Magnetic Levitation is a technology that was first experimented in 1934.
2. The first Maglev train started in the U.K. in 1984 from Birmingham Airport. But unfortunately, in 1995, it had to be closed due to commercial viability.
3. The Maglev technology is getting matured by two countries – Japan and Germany. No America this time.
4. Shanghai decided to launch the Maglev train in 2001 and finally launched it on 1st Jan 2004.
5. The project cost was close to 40 million per km and a total of 1.3 Billion dollars.
6. The train accelerates at 30 km per 10 secs and later accelerates much faster.
7. It took two-and-a-half minutes to reach 430 km/hr speed and was at halt for not more than 2 minutes and started off to the next station.
8. The whole experience was much better than an air travel. Zero Noise and that too on surface.

My Learnings:

1. There is no Limit for Human thinking – an example of movement without wheels.
2. There is no Limit for Human courage – to experiment with path-breaking technologies. I really don’t know how did they test the end-to-end technology in real world, I could barely imagine that.

At Shanghai Maglev Station

A Zero-defect Launch

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

An another example of a Zero-defect perfect launch of 104 satellites in their respective orbits and location.

Few observations:

1. A confident team of scientists in the video. All are very mature working in unison as a high performance team. Very humble scientists.
2. The altitude of the location is 512 km.
3. Looking at quantity of satellites – it seems many companies can own their own satellites in future.
4. I wonder what drives ISRO leadership team in today’s world of capitalism. Just the PURPOSE or National Pride or Intrinsic hunger of perfection.

Must watch video – try to connect with emotions of the engineers and scientist sitting there.

Innovation for Livelihood

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

Innovation for livelihood – listening to customer needs – Design Thinking in Action – Customer in this story is a Rickshaw puller. Dr. Amod Kumar, MD community medicine has extended his community medicine to design a rickshaw that can reduce the pains of rickshaw puller.

He believes that no one has innovated the current rickshaw which was designed 75 years back. He has looked into the issues of current design.

1. No brake at the rear wheels: The rickshaw stops with the help of front wheel. If the front wheel is not firmly held straight while applying the brakes, it is very dangerous and causes damage to the front wheel. Very often the rickshaws topple because of this anomaly.

2. High seating position of the passenger: The seating position for the passengers is very high and tilted towards front. It is very inconvenient for the older/senior citizens/ailing passengers to climb and sit on the seats. It also makes the center of gravity of the rickshaw high leading to an accidental fall during sharp turns or sudden application of the brake.

3. Poor efficiency: There hasn’t been any change in the mechanical design of a rickshaw for over 75 years. Actually, the quality of material being used is deteriorating because of the cost considerations.

4. Ineffective Shockers: The shock absorbing mechanisms in a contemporary rickshaw are very poor. Even the seats are very hard, causing injuries to the passengers. Very often, old people tend to develop back pain and even micro fractures after a rickshaw ride.

5. Poor aesthetic looks: Some rickshaws look very ugly on the roads. The overall design is so minimalistic that it looks more than a moving rubble of old pipes. It looks further reduce the self-esteem of the rickshaw puller.

The new design has following salient features:

1. Braking system at all four wheels.
2. Improved shock absorbers.
3. Low level seating arrangement for comfort of senior citizens.
4. Low center of gravity – safety from toppling.
5. Luxurious seating arrangement for passengers for greater comfort.
6. Solar Hybrid system to provide electrical traction support to the rickshaw puller during acceleration and tough rides.
7. A place for resting/sleeping for the rickshaw puller.
8. Mobile charging facility.


Little Good News #11 – MittiCool Clay

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

MittiCool Clay Creation, a small-scale industry that produces hand-craft items, is situated in the city of Wankaner, Rajkot District. This project has been initiated by Mr. Mansukhbhai Prajapati in the year 1988 with very small investment and zeal for innovation in the field of clay products, during which he first developed a basic clay product called Tawadi (tava) with hand pressing system first time in India.

To list a few of his hand-made inventions:

  • In 1995, he developed the first clay water filter.
  • In 2001, he developed a unique product – MittiCool Refrigerator – from a special clay for the rural people who do not have electricity in their villages.
  • In 2005, he discovered the Non-stick Mitti Tava that was introduced for the very first time in India.
  • And, in 2009, he discovered another innovative product Smart Cooker – made up of Terracotta Clay.

It was for the first time in history of India that somebody has taken patent rights for clay-made home products. With his great efforts and creativity, he was honoured as ‘RURAL SCIENTIST’ by the Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam – former Scientist & President of the India, at the 4th National Awards Function in New Delhi. Since then, he never looked back with his creative mindset and attachment to clay. He also developed many innovative products that were appreciated both, nationally and internationally.

Mansukhbhai’s work has been appreciated in various media channels like Discovery, NDTV, National Geographic Channel, IBN-7, BBC World, and in magazines and newspapers such as ‘India Today’ and ‘The Economic Times’ which ranked them (MittiCool) 3rd in the whole world for the innovative clay products. This effort was first recognised by Prof. Anil K. Gupta of National Innovation Foundation (NIF), Ahmedabad. Since then, his work was recognised worldwide.

He is not only implementing his knowledge to himself, but also imparting knowledge to the present and forthcoming generations by establishing the ‘PRAJAPATI HASTKALA VIKAS TRUST’ where he has trained more than 500 students for this art. This trust is run by the Government of Gujarat.

To know more about MittiCool Clay Creation:

Mansukhbhai Prajapati receiving the National Award from the Honourable President of India - Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

Mansukhbhai Prajapati with the Honourable President of India – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

Patents rights certificate for clay-made products

Patents rights certificate for clay-made products

Little Good News #8

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Forus Health have designed 3nethra, a complete retina imaging machine from India by Dr. Shyam Vasudevan.

1. Complete eye screening including for diabetic retina
2. Completely mobile
3. All images can be simultaneously visible on notebook.
4. All images stored on Cloud for its examination by expert Doctors at any time.
5. No dilation required.
6. Very affordable price.
7. No special skill required for its operation, thus large rural areas can be covered even on two wheelers.

For more Info, refer to:

Little Good News #3 – Innovation

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Waterless Urinals

Zerodor is a fully waterless men urinals saving large quantities of water. No smell, no separate chemicals thus no recurring costs.

Zerodor story from its entrepreneur Uttam Bannerjee:

We have now over 7,000 installations across India in various institutions and organisations. With over 100+ satisfied clients, we are now confident about our initiative and are more determined.

We would like to specially thank IIT Delhi, Polaris Financial Technology, IIT Gandhinagar, ICFAI Hyderbad, Punjab Technical University, Maruti Suzuki, Essar Group, IMT, Finolex and many others for believing in us and becoming the early adopters of our technology.

The technology is a retrofit system which converts an existing water flushing men’s urinal into a non-flushing urinal and saves anything between 50,000 and 150,000 litres of fresh water every year. Zerodor Waterless Urinals do not use any chemical or consumable and have no recurring cost. The investment on one such product is recovered in around 3 months by the water saving and other benefits that the product has. The installation of the system is very simple and can be done by any plumber in a span of 10 minutes.

As of now, we have our channel partners in Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, North East and are in the process of tying up with partners in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. We are also in discussion with Established Facility Management Companies like BVG Group as well as startups like Housejoy for implementation, servicing and marketing the product. Recently, our product has been recommended by the Ministry of Urban Development under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Clean water for Rural India – post from Better India

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

Meet Dr. Anil Rajvanshi, an Indian scientist who invented the path-breaking technology that can provide clean drinking water to rural India for just Rs. 1500!

Dr. Anil Rajvanshi brought back the traditional methods of filtering water in an effective and simple way to make a low-cost solar water purifier, which could be immensely helpful for rural households. Using the knowledge that water does not need to be boiled to make it germ free, and even exposure to a lower temperature for a sufficiently long time should suffice, he has created a low cost solar water purifier using cotton cloth, glass pipes and sunlight.

The water purifier is made available by Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), a Phaltan, Maharashtra-based NGO.
“In most other solar heaters available in the market, water only gets heated up, it is not purified. And in other systems like RO, etc, water only gets filtered but complete sterilization is still lacking. So, we came up with an idea where we can both filter the water and kill germs by heating it at a low cost using solar energy,” says Dr. Rajvanshi.

How does the technology work?

All you need is a discarded saree, a few glass pipes and sunlight. The solar water purifier (SWP) consists of four tubular solar water heaters attached to a manifold. The unclean water, which is filtered by the cotton cloth, is filled in the SWP and is later heated using solar energy to make it potable.

The unclean water is filtered through a four-layered cotton sari cloth and then heated up to 60°C for 15 min or 45°C for 3 hours so that all the Coliforms (Coliform bacteria are a commonly used bacterial indicator of sanitary quality of foods and water) are inactivated.

How is it different from other technologies?

Other technologies, like reverse osmosis (RO) and ultraviolet (UV)-based water purifiers, include filters which face clogging and necessitate their periodic replacement, and face other problems like wastage of water and unavailability of electricity in rural areas.

NARI’s SWP does not require any electricity and can be assembled easily from locally available materials.

The impact

The biggest impact of the technology is the development of a low-cost model, the know-how for which is made available for free by NARI Phaltan.

“We have not patented this technology so that the rural population can utilize it in an efficient way,” says Dr. Rajvanshi.
In addition to its low cost, the technology does not require any maintenance. It is so user-friendly and efficient that people from Nepal, during the recent earthquake, contacted NARI and asked them to install it.

In the future, NARI team wants to expand the technology and reach out to more rural households.

When diseases caused by unclean drinking water take the lives of approximately 760,000 young children throughout the world, this low-cost technology can prove to be a gamechanger.

Read more on:

filterAn Old Saree, Glass Tubes and Sun – All you need for a revolutionary Water Purifier!

An Old Saree, Glass Tubes and Sun – All you need for a revolutionary Water Purifier!

Preventive Health: Clean Water – Chennai relief

Friday, December 25th, 2015

Immediately after the floods, one RO water mobile plant arrived in Chennai from Bengaluru. This mobile RO water plant has a capacity of producing 2,000 Litres clean water per hour. The S team and Dinesh Jain’s Amritdhara team created a more comprehensive solution to the post flood water situation. Ullas Trust run by the employees of Polaris/Intellect also invested in this plant.

The new plant has started working at Shivan park, K K Nagar, Chennai. The volunteers of S team and Polaris/Intellect are distributing clean RO water in the flood-affected areas. They are carting 20-Litre cans in truck to colonies. One 20-Litre water can is able to serve 2 days needs of the family.

Water is the key source of infection. If Chennai can afford 75 to 100 such RO plants that can either distribute free water or at a very affordable cost say 7-8 rupees for a 20-litre water can, then there can be substantial reduction in infection and thus reducing health issues. Each RO water plant costs around 12-15 lakhs which can be funded by a group of people or by one plant each corporate out of their CSR budgets. With this, we can make a significant difference to Chennai’s clean water agenda.

Please add your thoughts, idea and support to preventive health management solutions for the smart cities.

Amritdhara mobile RO water plant from Bengaluru

Amritdhara mobile RO water plant from Bengaluru

Cosmos – My learnings

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

I am watching Carl Sagan COSMOS and this post is in continuation to my earlier one. In this post, I have tried to simplify the mystery of Cosmos, in my language.

1. The space scientists simplified distance measurements by assigning the distance of earth from the sun as one Astronomical Unit (AU), which is equivalent of 150 million Km

2. Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars have clear surfaces while Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune have lots of materials floating.

3. Voyager 1 and 2 were sent to explore Mars, Jupiter and Saturn on 20 August 1977 with a 4-year mission. But it continues till date.

4. The NASA scientists have used the alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, which happens once in 175 years, to launch Voyager.

5. Voyager’s speed is 3.5 AU per year, which means over 500 million Km per year. Voyager 2, weighing 722 KG, consumes only 400 watts for such a speed generated by nuclear source and usage of gravitational force (since it is so far from Sun, it can not use solar power).

6. Voyager 2 is still working after 37 years and sending signals to earth.

7. The current location of Voyager 2 is over 100 AU – 16 billion km and send pictures of interstellar space.

8. Voyager 1 is crossing the helio sheath from north and voyager 2 is moving towards south.

9. With proper conservation of energy, it’s predicted that they can last upto 2025.

10. The initial budget of the project was 865 million dollars. NASA spends just 5 million dollars to sustain this initiative.

Eye on the skies

Eye on the skies

Connecting the dots – evolution of Photography

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Photo Courtesy: The early lensmen (1850-1910)

This morning I was reading Frontline magazine where they published photograph of Taj Mahal taken between 1850-1860.

That set me curious around the invention of photography. My findings 1. First process of invention happen when someone observed the ‘effect of light on some material like Silver nitrate etc. 2. Someone connected the above phenomenon to storing the image on some surface if you expose it for long time. 3. Then next person connected the next dot by ordering convex lens to converge the picture on silver chloride. 4. Few more dots connected before first invention got registered in 1839. 5. Eastman who wanted to use photography for his trip to Europe found entire equipment very clumsy and large.

He thought of simplifying the Process of photography by leaving his job as a Banker. 6. He started his company in 1880 in NY and first camera Eastman Kodak was launched in 1888 a year before Nehru was born in India. In 19th century it took almost 90 years to connect the dots between Idea and commercialisation. Today this cycle has come down to 12 years in the case of LED lighting. It took atleast 50 years to reach the invention of Camera to common man in 20th century. In 21st century it took less than 5 years to make LED viable for common man. A power of Globalisation and communication.