A serial innovator dreaming to achieve Nobel Prize

We are often faced with a problem of locating a nearest ATM machine. And once we locate it, sometimes we are just disappointed to see that the ATM is out of service. Though there are many APPS being developed to locate the nearest ATM, they do not check whether they are in working condition or not. How about if we get all this information at one swipe!
Shreyas H S, a 25 year MBBS medical student from Karnataka; has developed a mechanism which can give you details of the nearest ATM machine as well as whether the required amount can be dispensed from the machine or not. This works on the logic of networking and central database. Once the user enters his card details and CVV number into the software, it will ask you for the amount you want to withdraw. Based on the input it will validate the amount with the database and check for nearest ATM in the location and also check whether it is able to dispense the amount mentioned. This is not just one innovation Shreyas has developed; he has a series of innovations in his name.


He has developed an electronic voting system which uses biometric system to cast the vote. The voting machine authenticates the vote by verifying the biometric information of the voter with the information locked at the server. Shreyas has patented this idea and has received appreciation form Karnataka State Innovation Council & Department of Industries and Commerce. This really motivated Shreyas to innovate further and work up on his ideas. He has also developed automated toilet cleaning and sanitizing system. In this a tube like assembly with equidistant outlets and blade is fitted inside the toilet bowl. This enables distribution of sanitizer and cleaning the toilet with the help of blade cleaners.
Being from a medical background he has innovations related to medical field as well. Shreyas has many other ideas developed like a mobile phone to measure blood glucose level, various nutrition compositions to enhance memory power, reduce bone ailment, reduce stomach disorders and reduce mind stress. Shreyas has innovations in different fields of science. He has also developed an irrigation system to supply water and sufficient minerals directly to the roots of the plants.
It is surprising to know that Shreyas doesn’t know what is the meaning of ‘innovation’ but he believes in creating something new and problem solving for the people. Since childhood he wants to be a Scientist and he is taking efforts in this direction. Till today he has filed around 20 patents out of this two are international patents. Even though he is being discouraged by family and friends as they ask him to focus on studies and not on developing ideas which are not commercialized. But Shreyas is determined and now he wants to achieve Nobel Prize by the age of 30. He lacks the knowledge and proper channels to commercialize his ideas and hence they have not been into the market for public use at large. Though the Karnataka government has recognized him as young innovator and felicitated him for his efforts, he is still struggling to get right channels to develop and grow his ideas.

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Tyre Secure – Say No to punctures now

Tyre We all love to go on long drives with our family or friends. But a small tyre puncture can act as spoil sport for our mood. Tyre puncture is such a common problem for any vehicle owner and it causes a great trouble for the passengers. Be it an office travel time or leisure time, a puncture can create lot of issues. This problem was realized by Vikas Ghadage who is Founder and MD at Tyre Secure.

He has developed a sealant called Tyre Secure which can act as a fool proof mechanism for punctures. He has experience in mining industry and during that time he realized that tyre punctures occur very often on the fields. Due to this the projects are stalled and this causes delays and missing projects deadlines. Usually such industries are very time bound and delays due to such problems can lead to huge losses in time and money. He realized that sealant products were available in the markets which were imported mostly from UK or other countries. 40% import duty had to be paid on these products and thus the costs were high; generally around Rs. 2000/Liter. Thus tyre secure was developed by Vikas after extensive research and it is termed as the most advanced tyre sealant you can get now and it costs around Rs. 1200 /Liter. It is the FIRST and ONLY Sealant in INDIA to be tested successfully by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI-Pune), an esteemed research and testing facility under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Govt. of India.

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Tyre Secure, is a liquid (gel) puncture sealant that is injected into tubeless, pneumatic tyres that offers permanent guaranteed puncture protection for the life of the tyre. When a tyre that has been treated with Tyre Secure encounters a puncture; air pressure inside the tyre forces Tyre Secure into the wound forming an instant and permanent repair. It takes only a small amount of Tyre Secure sealant to repair a puncture, there is sufficient material left inside the tyre to remain effective against many more punctures to come! Additionally this sealant is environment friendly as it is biodegradable, non-hazardous and non-toxic.

Vikas mentions that the acceptability for this product is very high in India as this is very common problem faced by any vehicle owner. Moreover, tyre secure works on all types of tyres and hence it is used in all sectors of industries. Currently, this is sold as B2B product and have distributors spread across various major cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Nashik etc. They have their own manufacturing set-up in Baramati near Pune and soon plan to expand their units.

Tyre Secure surely is an effective product which can save lot of time as well as fuel costs. It also ensures safety conditions for the vehicle.

AUM – A significant principle of Universe giving voice to the Throat Cancer patients

It is such a terrifying thought to lose your voice and not able to speak or communicate. We get so scared or feel worried if we are not able to hear our voice for one day due to sore throat. Imagine the nightmare a person must be going through who loses his voice due to throat cancer. This problem was realised by Dr. Vishal Rao who is an Oncologist and works with HCG – HealthCare Global Cancer Centre at Bangalore as in charge of Head Neck Services. He is of the opinion that ‘Speech and communication in our society forms not only a basic tenet to sustain life force, but also a right for freedom, peace, justice, and dignity.’

Dr.Vishal Dr. Vishal Rao feels that the patients who lose their voice due to throat cancer are basically because they cannot afford the prosthetics. This realization dawned on him when a throat cancer patient who was already operated and his voice box removed, came to him for treatment. He was not able to speak and could not afford voice prosthesis as they costs around Rs. 30,000. Dr. Vishal after this incidence along with this friend, Mr. Shashank Mahesh; developed a voice prosthesis which was very much affordable to the people. He made a device which costs just Rs. 50. It is an artificial device, made of silicone that is used to help laryngectomized patients to speak. He named this device as ‘AUM voice prosthesis’. This prosthesis gives them a rebirth into the world of communication which resonates and resounds all these aspects of creation.

AUM voice prosthesis

AUM voice prosthesis

They have applied for patent for this device and planning to bring it into the market as early as possible. They want to reach the needy in uncorrupted ways. Thus there was a need to blend the best standards with optimal functionality and best affordability. This was feasible only because they did not charge for their time and talent. Nor did several of the manufacturers, suppliers, engineers, physicists and technical experts who understood the intent of this product charged anything and came forward to spare their time and efforts. This is how they were able to make this product affordable at a very lower price.

It took them 2 years to develop this device while continuing their full time job and to work on mechanics of prosthesis. The key challenges they faced was their own cynicism and mental blocks about feasibility of executing this vision. Everything they assumed was not feasible only because they did not learn effectively from their failures.

Dr. Vishal Rao and team have received scientific and ethical approval to start using this prosthesis on their patients and conduct a study. To reach the needy they intent to reach out to all regional cancer centers as first step to help all the needy patients across country to be able to avail this device. They plan to conduct training courses to doctors/surgeons who are interested to help rehabilitate these patients as the technique is much simpler to insert these devices. Thus through Aum voice prosthesis Dr. Vishal Rao envisions that “even the poorest of the poor deserved the right to communicate”.

Jivika Foundation: From disability to enability

Ms. Aryata Agarwal Jhawar is one of the women innovators who have dedicated their lives for the betterment of society. Aryata is a Wharton School graduate and Kolkata based innovator in the field of enabling prosthesis. She is the Managing Trustee of Jivika Foundation, a registered Charitable Public Trust, with the mission to develop and distribute hyper affordable prosthetics for disabled people at the bottom of the pyramid, enabling them to lead active and productive lives with dignity.

Aryata came across the use of 3D printing for prosthetic devices while she was studying in the US, where she keenly followed a US-based organization called e-NABLE that provides 3D-printed prosthetic hands. According to recent studies relating to the prosthetics market in developed countries, non-functional prosthetic hands cost between $3000 – $5000, while sophisticated neuroprosthetic hands tend to be upwards of $100,000. Thus, significant number of hand amputees cannot afford it or find existing solutions very uncomfortable. With a view to enabling this particularly to disadvantaged section of the society, Aryata founded Jivika Foundation to develop a cost effective, functional, lightweight, fully customizable, 3D-printed prosthetic hand that can be easily reproduced using off-the-shelf, low cost materials.

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Though the idea held great merit, the journey for the execution of this idea was fraught with challenges. One of Jivika’s foremost challenges was access to funds. Jivika Foundation has been established as a not-for-profit organization and their aim is to provide innovative prosthetics to disadvantaged people for free or at highly subsidized rates. Having access to extremely limited funds forced the team to improvise and use ‘jugaad’ principles of innovation for the development of their first fully functional prototype. Stratasys India very generously offered to assist the team in their endeavor by providing free 3D printing services and they also won some grants from different communities.

Another major challenge was creating the right team structure and sustaining it. Aryata tried to build crowdsourcing technology model like e-NABLE. But this model failed miserably for various reasons like lack of open source project culture and finding & motivating relevant contributors. Then she hired a multi-disciplinary team, which she paid for from her own savings. Through frugal innovation techniques and utilizing parts from commonly available sources, such as the spokes of a bicycle wheel, snap buttons, copper tubes from refrigerators, transistor parts, etc., the development and prototype cost was kept to a minimum.

Deploying the prototype on the field was another challenge, as they felt distributing the prosthesis free would flock the people to them. In reality they faced a lot of skepticism due to working out of a laboratory without any ‘white coat’ doctors. Also misinformation was circulated in the villages about product’s ability to electrocute one’s arm and further harm patients! The team had to take strategic steps to overcome such baseless fears and took help from Rehabilitation institutes. These efforts paid off with astounding results as seen in a 22-year boy who was fitted with the LimBot arm and could perform all day-to-day functions.

Next steps for the team include detailed clinical trials and obtaining necessary regulatory clearances and approvals for finally fitting patients. Towards this end, the team is in talks with Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) in Singapore for running extensive clinical trials for the product. This would allow the team to serve disadvantaged people in other markets, apart from India, as well. The vision is grand and the journey challenging. Here’s hoping many more innovators such as Aryata, dream big to make the world a better, more equal place.

Innovation in farming process to increase the crop yield

Farmers are often faced with issue of low quality yield and loss of soil fertility. To address this issue Chintala Venkat Reddy, a farmer in Awal village in Hyderabad developed an innovative technique of farming to improve the yield of the crops. He used a simple technique to improve the fertility of the soil. Usually the upper layer of soil gets used up so much that it gets depleted of nutrients due to continuous production. However, no crops are able to reach the depth of 5-6 inches below the soil layer. Chintala Venkat thought of using this layer of soil to increase the fertility of the soil. He replaced the top soil of 4-6 inches with the subsoil which is rich in nutrients. This technique led to the highest yield of paddy 10.31 tonnes per hectare and 5.6 tonnes per hectare with wheat as against the normal yields of 5.0 to 6.5 tonnes per hectare for rice and 2.5 to 3.0 tonnes per hectare for wheat.

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Initially he experimented with wheat and rice crops but he claims that this technique is useful for all kinds of crop. All types of vegetables, medicinal plants or flowers can be cultivated with such technique which yields 100% better yield than the normal technique of aerating or plowing the fields. Chintala tells that this innovative technique has doubled and tripled the produce based on experience of various farmers. This process is very cost effective and any farmer can use it who knows the technique well. Hence the input costs are minimal and the revenue generation is higher due to increase in the yield.

This novel technique developed by Chintala Venkat has been cleared by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva. He is the first farmer in India to obtain the patent for his novel innovation through WIPO and US PTO. He also applied for patent in another 30 countries. Now he is planning to register a trademark in his name so that the process can be recognized in his name. The main challenge faced by him is to market the process. Once the trademark is registered any farmer who uses this process can market their produce with this trademark and get good value for their crops.

This innovative technique can be used in any country mainly in tropical region like Africa, Philippines, Malaysia, South America and Burma who can benefit by exporting their crops produced by this process to other cold regions. These countries have benefit of healthy and plenty sunlight which is good for the crops produce. Also the subsoil holds natural water and has good holding capacity of water. So this also solves the problem of water scarcity. Thus this simple and yet novel process can help to solve the food problems in most of the countries.

India’s mission to Mars at half the cost of a Tom Cruise movie!!

Can you believe it, India’s mission to Mars cost only half of a Tom Cruise movie named Edge of Tomorrow which was apparently made at a budget of USD 178 million.

And how much did it cost to put up Mangalyaan, about USD 74 million.

So in the increasing recognition of India’s technological prowess, the underlying fact is that Indians excel in ‘frugal engineering’.

As rightly put in context by Terri Bresenham, CEO of GE Healthcare India that ‘If necessity is the mother of innovation, then constraint is the mother of frugal innovation’.

Simply put, the challenges of working in a low cost environment where even 24*7 supply of electricity cannot be taken for granted forces developers and engineers to device technologies and products which work in the given set of conditions which exist in the country.

Which is primarily the reason why the cost of Mangalyaan was about 1/10th of what it cost NASA to put up their Mars mission as frugal engineering forces the developers to ask hard questions and challenge the status quo.

So in the case of Mangalyaan, the design of the satellite was substantially altered and made far more compact and lighter without affecting it’s functionality.

In fact the satellite will orbit around Mars for a period of six months and equipped with the equipments required to get answers to crucial questions including finding out whether methane gas exists on Mars, which will be a very good indicator of whether life can exist on Mars.

And the underlying point I would like to share is that developing countries have a great opportunity to be the hotbed of innovation provided they build a culture and ecosystem to support Innovators and accept failures as part of the learning process.

So are you ready to take off…………….

P.S.: Hope all of you in India enjoyed your nice, long weekend.

rajeev