New Delhi: Shantanu Gangwar, a Class 12 student, was pained to see his blind friends bump into walls, furniture and other objects. So he invented a smart walking stick that gives early warning of an obstacle.
The cheap and easy-to-use stick, which will cost around Rs.800, has bagged him the Council for Scientific and Industrial research (CSIR) Diamond Jubilee Invention Award for School Children 2010.
The award was created by the ministry of science and technology to enhance creativity among children.
A student of Delhi Public School here, Shantanu, 17, has shared the award with Ankit Kumar Mittal, another Class 12 student, from Barnala in Punjab. Ankit has invented a modified zip.
"I used to feel bad seeing visually-impaired students in my school bump into walls and furniture. I thought of developing something that warns them about obstacles," Shantanu said.
He proposed the idea to his electronics teacher who was all for it. "It took me six months to develop the stick.
"It has infra-red sensors. The sensors are connected to a motor. When infra-red rays are reflected, the stick starts vibrating, giving warning about obstacles ahead," said the lean and tall boy who wants to be an engineer.
The equipment can be fitted on conventional stick.
"It can detect an obstacle within one feet. Now I plan to increase the range to 2-3 metres. I have been approached by some companies to market the invention," he says, with a tinge of pride.
Ankit`s invention is equally interesting. He modified zip locks which used in travel bags, kit bags and jackets.
"Normally it is difficult to change a defective zip lock. The traditional ones are in one piece. After seeing my father struggle to fix the zip lock of his jacket, I thought of developing a two-piece lock," Ankit, who want to be a scientist said.
According to CSIR Director General Sameer Brahmchari, the two inventions were chosen out of 353 proposals received for various categories of prizes to be given away.