Times of India - Wednesday 26 Januray 2015

Teen makes city proud at Geneva innovation meet

Vratul Kumar, a first-year student of engineering in electronics and telecommunication, is one of the two winners selected by the International Telecommunication University (ITU), Geneva, in its Young Innovators Competition 2014. Vratul, 20, a Nashik resident, designed a waste management device for smart cities.

Vratul’s device – developed for the 2014 project from the ITU, named ‘Making sense of sensors technology for smart cities,’ – has three basic units; a smart bin, a monitory unit and a smart vehicle unit.

ITU offers four challenges on different topics every year. Projects have to bedeveloped according to the topics. Each challenge has around 800-1,000 entries from all over the world.

“The smart bin is fitted with two kinds of sensors – level filling and weight level sensors. Once waste is filled in the bin, a radio frequency transmitter sends a message to the monitory unit that the dustbin is full. The message is passed on to the vehicle unit to collect the waste. The vehicle unit collects the waste accordingly, which saves time and prevents pollution, since there is no excess collection and consequently, no littering,” explained Vratul, a protege of scientist D Datta of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

Vratul had worked on the device for 7-8 months. Between December 7-10, 2014, around 4,000 participants from all over the world presented their projects in front of an ITUI panel at Doha, Qatar. Vratul and Jeisson Diazz from Columbia were the two participants to have won the competition. “We have been invited to Budapest, Hungary, in October 2015, to display the project and tell them how much work we had done and how viably we have used the funds that ITU had offered. I am getting the device manufactured by a company in Bangalore,” said Vratul. “One dustbin could cost anywhere between Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000, depending on the size,” said Vratul.


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