In a swiftly changing technological world, it’s imperative to keep pace with the latest trends and technological innovations. On 8th December 2017, a two day ACMA-LIONS- Innovations Expo was organized at J.W. Marriot, Pune where more than 25 eminent companies and start ups showcased their stateof-the-art innovative, Internet of Things (IOT) and automotive products.
Vishwakarma University (VU) was amongst the very few educational institutions taking part in the expo from amongst the companies. The university was represented by a team of four students from the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) stream, under the able guidance of D. K.R. Patil. The students designed a cost effective and a very useful device for the visually impaired, called the Electronic Navigation Aid (ENA). The aim of ENA is to provide the blind a barrier-free environment, allowing them to function independently without any assistance and to help them to identify reference points.
The motivation to design ENA was the result of various visits by our team of students to various schools for blind in the city. During their interactions with the school staff and students, the team identified their key impediments. They found that their major requirements were - wet floor detection, colour identification and identification of obstacles at various levels. Keeping in mind the requirements the VU team developed an Electronic Navigation Aid (ENA) using sensing technology.
The product is designed in such a way that it can detect obstacles at various body levels i.e. at waist, knee and foot level. The unique selling feature of ENA is that the device sends notifications to the person registered as an emergency contact in case of an issue. The appreciation for the device was apparent from the feedback of the investors - one of them suggesting that the device merits funding by the Government while others appreciated it for its easy-to-use features and helpfulness. To add icing to the cake Vishwakarma University was also awarded the Best Innovations Award by ACMA-LIONS.