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Powered by innovation: Apeejay School, Noida students win Government of India’s INSPIRE – Manak Awards

Surat Sahni and Rishit Mathur presented their ideas based on novelty, social applicability and environmental friendliness



The pursuit of knowledge, science and technology is the beginning of innovation. Students of Apeejay School, Noida have recently been nominated for the Inspire Award 2021 – ‘Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research’ (INSPIRE) scheme which is one of the flagship programmes of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India.

The INSPIRE Awards – MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge) aims to motivate students in the age group of 10-15 years to target one million original ideas/innovations rooted in science and societal applications to foster a culture of creativity and innovative thinking. Surat Sahni, a class 8 student and Rishit Mathur, class 7 student have been shortlisted to receive an amount of Rs.10, 000 for their innovative ideas and project. 

“In the nation-wide lockdown imposed due to Covid-19, several people found themselves adopting unhealthy eating habits. Their overall fitness and exercise routine suffered. To cater to this issue, I brainstormed to come up with my project which is an AI-based multi-platform audio-visual feedback application for Yoga Practice,” says Surat Sahni.

Designed to benefit people, the app helps individuals work on the correct posture for exercising at home. It captures yoga poses through an inbuilt camera and uses artificial intelligence based biomechanics to predict the angle up to which it is safe to stretch. The user is also provided an interactive feedback on the accuracy of the yoga asana. An alarm may ring to help the user identify the wrong posture.

The high efficiency, zero cost algorithm of the app is made using PYTHON, OPENCV and MEDIAPIPE libraries. The baseline information about the user is collected through a questionnaire which records their age and previous history of disease and pain to customise the asanas according to the user’s ability. “It took me three days to prepare the core app. This was designed keeping in mind the self-paced learning practices of a user. It is an easy to access, low resource usage, friendly app which also provides ‘Do you know’ snippets, to educate the user about the importance and philosophy behind each yoga asana,” says Sahni.

Rishit Mathur, the class 7 student who also received the recognition, put forward a tech-driven idea. “I was inspired by several village visits that I had taken to come up with ‘The Friction Wonder’ – a device that can revolutionise the concept of street lights and provide electricity to the masses,” he says. 

His project, ‘The Friction Wonder’ uses renewable energy of friction caused by movement of vehicles to convert it into electricity. “The frictional energy generated by tyres can be tapped by the nano motors placed across the roads. As the tyres move across, they would produce a small current known as the triboelectric current. These motors or nano generators would then be able to supply the electricity and are dustproof and waterproof. The cost of the project would be Rs. 500 for procuring a small motor which would cater to an area of 1 km. For lighting an entire region of 1,000 km, the cost would be Rs. 5, 00, 000 – which could be raised from government aid or external funding,” he says.   

“It would come as a surprise to you, how one motor could be used to lighten multiple streetlights. Hence, this could be a very cost-effective idea to drastically change the poor situation of street lighting in our country, primarily in rural areas,” says Mathur.

Mrini Devnani is a Principal Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, conducts interviews, and contributes content to the website. Previously, she served as a Correspondent specialising in Edu-tech for the India Today Group. Her skill areas extend to Social Media and Digital Marketing. For any inquiries or correspondence, you can reach out to her at [email protected].