Indian Institute of Technology Madras’ (IIT Madras) student body, the Centre for Innovation (CFI) showcased more than 70 tech projects during their annual Open House held at the campus on Mar 12. Open House is the marquee annual event of CFI that showcases the year-long projects undertaken and the resultant models and prototypes. It was held for the first time at the Sudha and Shankar Innovation Hub. CFI Open House 2023 is a power-packed, exciting and adrenaline-pumping event!
The new products on display this year include:
- An Electric Powered Formula race car
- A purely Solar-Powered Electric Vehicle
- A Fish-like Biomimetic Robot that mimics a real fish’s movements using Soft Robotics
- An autonomous beach cleaning robot which efficiently removes debris from a beach’s surface preserving its natural beauty.
- A Glove that provides a sensation of force, temperature, and texture for immersive Virtual Reality
- A Drone for afforestation in difficult-to-reach areas
- A 3D printer that directly uses environment-friendly pellets instead of manufactured PLA fibres.
- A community application for the entire student body at IITM.
- And, an AI DJ
Sharing their experiences working on CFI Open House 2023, Ankith Suresh & Dev Dhumale, (3rd Year, Mechanical Engineering, Team Raftar Formula Racing) said, “CFI is an inspiring place to be in. It’s wonderful to come and work here every day with all the bright minds from the institute who are all so passionate about innovation. It allows us to see the potential that we can achieve in technology as students pursuing our B.Tech. I’m very grateful for all the support from CFI which has provided us with this amazing environment to work in and collaborate with like-minded people. I’m glad it allows us to actually apply our engineering concepts in real life and make a product.”
Krishma Mehta & Hrishav Das, (2nd year, Aerospace Engineering, Aero Club), said, “Through my SIP (Student Innovation Program), I discovered a variety of opportunities, ranging from technical skills to team management and even obtaining a patent. Our team members’ enthusiasm and dedication were critical to our success. I am looking forward to seeing where this project takes us.”
Jaayanth SK, (2nd year, Engineering Design, Team AgniRath), said, “It gave me a chance to practically implement what I learnt in classes and opportunities to work on technology I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. The people I work with in CFI are brilliant individuals and such a culmination of a talented set of people working together towards one goal leads to great results in innovation. Working in a competition team in CFI has not only helped me hone my technical skills, but also my management and communication skills, while also developing a great work ethic.”
Appreciating the work done by students, Prof. Prabhu Rajagopal, Faculty Advisor, CFI-IIT Madras, said, “The CFI is IIT Madras’ very own ‘maker space’ and a nation-wide pioneering academic body of this type, set up over 15 years ago to foster student innovation and ‘learning by doing’, primarily through funds from IIT Madras Alumni. Today, CFI reaches a vast majority of the undergraduate students of the campus and also a good number of post-graduates. With 15 clubs dedicated to hobby activities, six competition teams and several ‘spinal’ or support teams today, CFI has become the burgeoning fulcrum of innovation activities at IIT Madras, tackling problems ranging from water logging in the city and secure elections to space exploration, electric and mass mobility.”
The New Developments during 2022-23:
- The clubs and teams of CFI filed over 10 new intellectual property patents in 2022-23
- CFI shifted to its new premises – The Sudha and Shankar Innovation Hub – inaugurated by the Vice President of India Shri Jagdeep Dhankar
- CFI launched Two new Competition teams – Team Abhyuday – the Rocketry team, and Team Agnirath – the Solar Racing Car team, as well as 2 new Clubs – the Maths Club and the Cybersecurity Club
- Team Raftar Formula Racing participated in Formula Bharat 2023 at Coimbatore, where they participated in the Electric Vehicle category for the first time and won 3rd place overall.
- CFI conducted the first-ever Open-to-All Summer School in the summer of 2022, with over 1,400 participants.
- The WebOps and Blockchain Club conducted the complete Student Elections, 2023 on a Blockchain-based Voting System developed completely in-house. They also launched the ‘InstiSpace app,’ a community application for all students of IIT Madras, now with over 5,000 users
Congratulating the students on their innovations, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “For any country to become a technology superpower; entrepreneurship and innovation are extremely important. IIT Madras is committed to this effort through the Centre for Innovation (CFI). What you witnessed during the CFI Open House were several demonstrations by our students on innovative ideas that could translate into a product of great societal importance.”
With a strong student community that brings solutions from low-cost medical devices to sustainable transportation solutions, CFI encourages students to work on projects that have the potential to make a positive impact on society.
CFI was founded in 2008 with just three clubs to encourage the innovative output of students in IIT Madras. It was funded by the graduating batch of 1981. It has now expanded to more than 13 technical clubs, 6 competition teams and 3 managerial teams encompassing a wide range of fields such as bioengineering, analytics, aeromodelling, robotics, electronics, 3D printing, computer vision, physics and astronomy, rocketry, social innovation, product design, and techno-entertainment, among others.