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Green waste solutions to win a tech prize

Three students won at CreaTech 2019’, a competition organised by Larsen & Toubro to encourage top engineering talent in the country to solve challenges through technological innovations, with the development of an intelligent dustbin, cloud-based waste monitoring and a sensor to detect water pressure.

Shreya Srivastava, Jyoti Kumari and Anshu Kumari, third year electrical engineering students at the National Institute of Technology, Durgapur, who bagged the top prize, developed a three-pronged strategy to tackle solid waste management. “We had three prototypes for collection of garbage, waste monitoring and waste segregation. We had been thinking about some solution to tackle waste but got more focused when Crea Tech was announced,” Ms. Srivastava said.

As part of their solution, the team built a sensor-based moving garbage bin that will enable garbage collection from various points, a waste-monitoring mechanism which can intimate authorities about the amount of waste generated in a locality or street, and a waste-segregation system for dry waste such as plastic and metal. Ms. Srivastava said they focused on finding solutions that can be adopted by localities, since a lot of work had already been done for solid waste management solutions at an industrial scale.

Other innovative solutions were displayed for an Internet of Things-enabled water management solution. A team from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, the runners-up of the competition, developed a prototype for sensors that could detect water pressure and flow rate of water on main pipelines. “We developed a system, which will alert authorities as soon as there’s a dip in water pressure or a reduction in the flow rate, intimating them of a problem in a particular section of the pipeline,” said Sanjana Raisa. She, along with her teammates Puja Saha and Ram Kumar, came up with the solution in nearly a month. “We realised that the authorities learn about the lack of water pressure after it reaches the end user and complaints are lodged. Users across the country, especially in the agricultural sector, rely on adequate water pressure,” Ms. Raisa said.

Different teams from across the country participated in the competition out which 12 were selected for the grand finale organised in February this year. Participants had to build technological solutions for challenges such as developing a solution for solid waste management, developing a traffic improvement solution, IoT-enabled system for monitoring supply of drinking water to consumers in water distribution networks, etc.

The first ‘CreaTech 2019’ was organized to offer the engineering student community a platform to showcase their hands-on problem solving skills in frontier technology areas. It also aimed to inculcate the culture of innovation and a problem-solving approach using engineering and technology expertise.