James Dyson Award 2019 – India National Winners Announced - GADGETS INNOVATIONS


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Saturday, September 21, 2019

James Dyson Award 2019 – India National Winners Announced

Fleo - a stabilizing pen designed to help in writing and drawing for people with Parkinson’s tremors, invented by Ms Ashwathy Satheesan from National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad) adjudicated as National Winner from India

This year’s Indian national James Dyson Award winner attempts to solve this problem with her invention – Fleo; a stabilizing pen that is designed to help people with Parkinson’s tremors write and draw efficiently. With innovative self-stabilizing components which reduces the impact of tremor; Fleo facilitates a more confident and efficient writing so people with Parkinson’s disease too can follow their passion and gain back their confidence.

Fleo utilizes gyroscopic principles to stabilize and reduce tremor impacts, facilitating a more confident and efficient writing/drawing. The construction of the pen contains a copper ring rotor attached to a motor with a battery. Once it’s on, it acts as a gyroscope and tries to remain in its original axis of rotation. So when the pen is switched on the gyroscopic effect of the rotor provides resistance to any undesirable vibration of the pen. Thus it helps maintain control without taking away the personality and individuality of a person’s writing/drawing. It is wireless, handy and with an easy click it starts its stabilizing effect. It’s rechargeable and refillable which increases convenience. The switch and the LED is placed keeping easy access in mind. The form of the pen is designed to offer good ergonomic support and a confident grip.

Winning the national leg of the James Dyson Award will inject £2,000 into the Fleo project, and Ms Ashwathy has her plans ready already.

On successfully developing Fleo, Ms Ashwathy said that as a designer, the communication and feedback she received from the potential users was very significant during the design process that led towards the desired viable solutions. The most challenging part was making the gyroscope rotor of varying sizes by hand in-house to test the results.

Project Fleo, from research to final prototyping and user testing, was completed in 8 weeks at National Institute of Design. During this period, more than 10 mock-ups and prototypes were made. Initial rapid mock-ups helped to set a direction while later ones were focused on finding the right engineering principle to apply that will solve the problem. This stage was crucial for proving the concept and to get optimum results. All these prototypes were made at National Institute of Design, using the workshop facility and machinery.

While Ms Ashwathy has received numerous accolades during her graduation, the James Dyson Award 2019 is the first time she has been recognised for ‘Fleo’. Fleo has a ‘Certificate of Registration of Design’ under The Patent Office, Govt. of India done through IPR cell at NID.

On what drives her to invent solutions like the Fleo, Ms Ashwathy said, ‘‘I aspire to work towards making less and delivering more. I believe that there is a great potential in classroom projects like Fleo to move from a student’s portfolio into viable solutions. There is a lot of improvements to do but there is great learning experiences awaiting this.’

The Runners Up

Problem: Members of the Team Caeli, who hail from the National Capital Region of Delhi, which is among the Top 3 poorest air quality cities in the world. These Graduation students from the Manav Rachna Institute of Research and Studies, Faridabad have the first-hand experience of spending days confined to their houses just because the air was too harmful. Red alert for air pollution is especially common during the festival of Diwali. While the problem of air-pollution effects everyone, it is the asthma/respiratory patients that suffer the most on days when air quality drops too much. Team Caeli wanted to build something for these patients to help them stay healthy in poor air quality and improving their quality of life

Solution: The team, comprising of 5 members, invented Caeli - an Anti-Pollution mask designed for Asthmatic and COPD patients living in poor air quality regions. Caeli provides continuous flow of pure air and also includes a portable Drug-Nebulizer for patients to take medication on the go. As one of the most advance anti-pollution mask ever built Caeli provides features that set it apart as a unique invention.

Problem: India has a massive problem of open defecation. With 67% of rural households and 13% of urban households defecating in the open according to the 2011 census, India now accounts for 60% of the world’s open defecation. (SQUAT Survey) For people in slums, and the urban nomadic construction workers, access to a constructed toilet is not possible all the time. Women have also faced privacy and safety issues while defecating in the open.

Solution: Sanicle, developed by Aditya Vora, also from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad; is a portable, low maintenance and a cost-effective toilet for people without a fixed residence, like slum-dwellers, refugees, military camps in remote locations etc., enabling you to dispose off the waste sustainably and safely without direct contact.

All the national finalists, including the runners-up can qualify for the Top 20 pool to compete with the international entries. From India, Caeli will progress to the international stage of the James Dyson Award. The team Caeli -  Aakash Bhadana, Ishlok Vashistha, Bharat Sundal, Vasu Kaushik; and Dipesh Narwat; have completed the Development phase and submitted the machine for consumer electronics and medical device certifications to the appropriate certification bodies. 

A provisional patent has also been taken for the project. The team is in association with several leading hospital chains in India for research and sales. For the next step team Caeli is looking for funding opportunities to make it to the production so, that patients can be benefited with this device.

James Dyson Award
The competition is open to student inventors with the ability and ambition to solve the problems of tomorrow. Winning solutions are selected by Sir James Dyson and show ingenuity, iterative development and commercial viability. With students from 27 nations now competing, the award is set to welcome new approaches to a broader range of global issues than ever before.

Since the competition first opened fifteen years ago, the iconic inventor has already contributed over £1m to championing boundary-breaking concepts. To help finalists to develop their novel idea, each year the overall winner is awarded £30,000, and winners in each participating region receive £2,000. Unlike other competitions, participants are given full autonomy over their intellectual property.

The James Dyson Award forms part of a wider commitment by Sir James Dyson, to demonstrate the power of engineers to change the world. The Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology, the James Dyson Foundation and James Dyson Award embody a vision to empower aspiring engineers, encouraging them to apply their theoretical knowledge and discover new ways to improve lives through technology.

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