- IIT-Kharagpur alumini's innovations to help fight COVID-19
- One device uses ionised water instead of alchohol to sanitise cities
- Second innovation uses government resources to answer queries on COVID-19
Kolkata: Two start-ups by Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) alumni have developed technologies to offer assistance towards surveillance, sanitisation and dissemination of official information related to novel coronavirus. In one such initiative, alumnus Debayan Saha has collaboratively developed Air lens Minus Corona, a device which may help sanitise large areas. Mr. Saha said, the device can be of great help to sanitise and disinfect a large area where many people may gather. Mr. Saha said,
Alcohols (like ethanol or IPA) are known to de-activate viruses by making their protein coating inactive. But the alcohol-based hand sanitiser is useful for individuals or for sanitising surfaces on a smaller scale (home, offices). However, it is insufficient in such an emergency as it is impractical to use alcohol for sanitising cities.
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The device is designed to look like a ‘Robo Sapien'(human-like) machine that operates on the mechanism of charged water droplets which are ionised “using corona discharge”. The ionised water in turn oxidises the viral protein reducing it to a non-harmful molecule, he explained. In another initiative, alumnus Souva Majumder has made a device where people can record their queries on the platformdengueboat.in, which are answered by an AI application.
There can be queries regarding the lifestyle to follow beyond social distancing and hygiene guidelines, and his Voice bot has integrated information provided by the World Health Organization, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, and ‘My Gov’ platform to answer any such queries, Mr. Majumder said. To a question, an IIT Kharagpur spokesperson said,
We don’t endorse or validate the alumni start-up claims, we only ask if alumni, faculty or student of IIT Kharagpur are working in some areas, they can share their story email@example.com status which we carry in our in house web bulletin with a disclaimer.
Varadarajan Seshamani, president, IIT Kharagpur Alumni Foundation said, any effort in the application of technology for combatting the spread of coronavirus is a big step. “Every such step is laudable,” he said. The developments can have a significant impact in the fight against COVID-19, he said. He added,
These young innovators have shown their mettle by coming up with amazing, inventive and cost-effective ideas in just a few weeks.
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