Desperate times often bring out the best of innovations, with the deadly outbreak of the global pandemic COVID-19 being no exception. Amidst the 21 day, countrywide lockdown and an environ of national panic, comes some reassurance with India’s top minds from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay’s (IIT-B) Industrial Design Centre (IDC) coming in the form of cutting edge innovation arming the country with the some of the ammunition needed to contain the spread of this pandemic.
The students from the IDC have designed a host of technologically sophisticated solutions such as a portable Ultraviolet(UV) light sanitiser designed to sanitise potential mobile COVID-19 carriers like wallets, purses, cell phones and any other gadget or utility device which may be passed from person to person. This development comes just a day after IIT-B developed a state-of-the-art cell phone-based COVID-19 tracker.
IDC’s UV Light Sanitiser:
Students from the IDC under the guidance of professors Kums P Kumaresan, Purbha Joshi and Ambarish Kunwar have designed the UV light sanitiser using a combination of stainless-steel kitchen containers and a mesh composed of aluminium. According to sources inside the IDC, the ambitious projects is still in the ‘proof-of-concept’ stage. This publication has discovered that the ongoing project has been modelled off of a ‘PubMed’ study conducted by the United States National Library of Medicine earlier in January this year. The study successfully demonstrates how ultraviolet C Light can inactivate Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever Virus, and Nipah Virus.
Speaking to the media Milind Atrey, the Dean of Research and Development (R&D) in IIT-B said, “The sanitising gel cannot be used on objects, which may also be carriers of the virus. This includes papers, files, currency notes and phones. In the coming week, we will experiment with the dosage and surfaces, and conduct trials in the hospital. So far, we have used materials available in the lab,”
Atrey went on to explain “If we are to scale this, we will need to source materials from outside. We expect the industry to come forward then and liaison the technology.” He also added that the idea of sanitising bigger surfaces and working on different models is currently being explored.
A dedicated team at IIT Bombay along with some professional and experienced alumni have built a platform, Corontine, to track potential/suspected (asymptomatic) carriers. Corontine is flexible, comprehensive, scalable and ready-to-use. The Corontine platform and app can be helpful to authorities to register the asymptomatic carriers and track them to check if they confine to their quarantined zones. Corontine allows to geo-fence and automatically generates alerts (SMS, email, etc.) if users move out of the quarantined zone. The platform provisions for organising zones into regions and several other such features. It is incredibly customizable to the needs of the agencies.