Monthly Archives: September 2016

Inaugurated latest Post Box

Shri Vinay Sheel Oberoi, Secretary, Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has inaugurated the new Post Box designed and developed for India Post on 27th September 2016 at IITB campus.  The new approved design is an amalgamation of old and new Post Boxes.




Water Cart

A group of women, colorful dupattas aflutter, beautifully silhouetted against a rising/setting sun,  gracefully balancing two to three pots atop their heads —an easily identifiable, immediately recognizable image of rural India.  Reality, however, isn’t as picturesque. Village women already burdened by domestic and farming activities, are spending longer and longer number of hours to get water from the increasingly parched wells of the region. Uneven terrains and larger loads are putting a strain on their necks(read here and here, how research is debunking the mythical benefits of load bearing), their health and their time especially during the hot summer months.

A product is required that can carry larger loads of water— in one go— across our uneven, rural terrains, with as little physical exertion as possible. This is where we roll in our Water Cart:

The Design Innovation Centre alongwith a group of IIT Alumni are designing a water cart that can carry upto 30 kgs of water (the daily drinking water requirement of 10-15 people) along rural pathways. As always, our focus will be on creating a product that is easily manufactured locally, with locally sourced materials. And our process, will involve testing in actual conditions throughout the design process. To this end, we are now eagerly waiting to test our first prototype in the wadis of Shahapur Taluka— to determine our next round of modifications. Watch this space to see how our design process unfolds.



Development:  Chitranshu Kumar and Aniket Bhagat
Guided by Prof. B. K. Chakravarthy

Balloon-Kite Hybrid System

Concept and Applications:

A balloon-kite hybrid aerial platform which combines the properties and thus advantages of both a balloon and a kite is under development. A balloon is affixed with a kite at the bottom and this assembly is secured to the ground using a tether. To counter the phenomenon of lowering of height with increase in wind speed which is a major problem with tethered simple balloons and even aerodynamic balloons, better known as Aerostats, the kite part of the hybrid system, helps by providing a surface area so as to produce dynamic lift which goes on increasing with the increase in wind speed. This lift tries to push the system upwards thus, utilizing the wind to gain height instead of decreasing it. This is how the dynamic plus static lift and tether combination helps the hybrid system in maintaining the altitude of deployment. A twin barrel winch is used to secure the tether to the ground. This system on a whole (balloon+kite+tether), is lighter than air. A keel is attached perpendicular to the bottom surface of the kite. This keel aids in aligning the entire system in the wind direction.

The Balloon-Kite Hybrid System, on account of its dynamic lift, is a compact and relatively stable aerial platform which can find applications in the fields of agriculture, civilian surveillance, defense surveillance and weather analysis.

In agricultural applications, mounting visual and infrared cameras on this system, can help detect water stress on the crops at an early stage. Water stress is the deficiency of water in the crops either due to improper irrigation or over perspiration. This leads to subtle and gradual increase in crop temperature just like increase in temperature in us humans just before and during a disease. This technique makes the farmer aware of any impending crop health issues quite early and also assists in irrigation planning.

This system can also be used in cases of natural disasters to get an overview of the area under distress. Night lighting and Advertisement are also some of the domains where these systems can find applications in.

Current Status:

A small scale mock model of the system was made out of a gym ball and a specially designed and  stitched kite to explore and understand various balloon- kite securing methods. An appropriate method was finalized to be adopted for the first 1:1 scale prototype, which was, as seen below, fabricated and tested for two weeks for leaks and trying out the feasibility of various balloon-kite attachment schemes. This prototype was designed to carry a payload of 3 kg. On account of few problems with the balloon kite attachment with this prototype a new and improved prototype is under development.

05 Perspective View_B-W.jpg


Design and Development:  Chetan Dusane and Amit Wani
Guide:  Prof. Debraj Chakraborty
Co.Guide:  Prof. B.K. Chakravarthy, Prof. Rajkumar S. Pant
Supported by DIC

Vaishno Devi Palkhi Project: A Successful Testing

26th August, Katra.

The design process often extends beyond studio walls. This month, enfolded in the three peaked Trikuta mountains; we  successfully tested three facets of our Palanquin (palkhi) Design: Passenger comfort, the palkhi bearers comfort and the local vendors comfort level with manufacture and adjustments to the palkhi.

Preliminary Testing: 21st August
10  prototypes had been sent to Katra earlier for the week long testing by the Vaishno Devi Shrine Board’s own porters. Our IITB team reached on 21st August, to collect feedback and conduct their own observations. Balancing a Palanquin on hilly terrain in a manner that the porters are used to, is tricky business— as expected, last minute dimensional adjustments needed to be made. Aniket and NG Navale got down to work immediately— They identified local vendors and worked with them to adjust two prototypes in time for the  final testing.

IMG_0053  IMG_0078

Final Testing: 23- 26th August
Our Collaborators from SMVDS & NITIE joined us on 23rd August. Dr. (Mrs) Ketaki Bapat, Scientist,Principal Scientific Advisor to the Govt Of India, herself sat through a journey in the Palkhi, before confirming its improved comfort level and giving approval. Shyam Singh, Shrine Board Staff, spoke on behalf of the porters of Vaishno Devi— appreciating and approving the light weight, improved ergonomics and good fabrication.

Current Status:
Our pilgrimage has been successful—now, the local vendor at Katra will modify the remaining 8 palkhis .After which, all 10 palkhi will go for formal approval by NITIE.

Design of Way Finding Systems

Disha, Sir J J Group of Hospitals, Mumbai:

With the support of Design Innovation Center, a group of IDC B.des students have designed and developed Way Finding Systems for the  Sir J J Group of Hospitals in Mumbai. As a pilot, the problem is solved through three levels. The students in groups were used colour coding and visual elements to make way-finding easier for both patients and visitors. Secondly, wearable bands and tags were used to give directions corresponding signage along the ways and finally signage for quicker identification of destination.

See the facebook page put up by the students.20160418_174905
At Gateway of India, Mumbai:
B.Des students in groups has come up with innovative signage system using LED lighting elements.
The prototype installed at the Gateway of India will aid tourists to identify the gates cater to vessels destined towards various locations. The key focus of the project was to resolve any confusion while navigating in the dynamic space of the Gateway of India.

See the facebook page put up by the students.

Dokra Door Handles

The beautiful and intricate craft of Dokra finds a new product to explore in our range of door handles, that bring Indian tradition into a modern product while giving new avenues and markets for this age-old craft.


Design:  Garuav Vaidya, M.Des, IDC
Guided by Prof. B.K. Chakravarthy