Published: 21st April 2018
This voice-controlled wheelchair by Palakkad engg students could soon follow Malayalam commands
The six final year students of NSS College of Engineering in Palakkad developed the device in less than two months
A bunch of engineering students from NSS College of Engineering in Palakkad have given their final year project an interesting twist. Rather than sticking to the mundane concept of getting done with their project for the sake of grades, six final year EEE students wanted to do something socially relevant. They decided to make an affordable, voice-controlled wheelchair for the disabled who cannot afford high-end wheelchairs.
The device can be completely operated with just voice commands and cost them Rs 8000 to built, "This is just a prototype and we have used a car's motor as a substitute, but if we were to build the device properly, it would be around Rs 15,000, which is anyway much less than the high-end chairs in the market," says Mithun, one of the developers of the device.
About the the working of the wheelchair, Mithun says that the microprocessor, with a voice module attached to the wheels, allows for the locomotion of the wheelchair depending on the command, "Right now we have programmed the device in such a way that it listens to English commands, but it can be easily be re-programmed for any Indian languages," Mithun adds.
In the market today, electric wheelchairs can cost anywhere between Rs 40,000 to over Rs 4 lakh. "The concept was initially pitched to us by our assistant professor and when we did our initial research we found that the models that are currently available in the market are really costly. So, we decided to make an affordable alternative to that," says Mithun Mohan.
After a push from their professor Praveen Kumar C, the youngsters completed their project in less than two months, "It took us one and a half months to complete the design of the wheelchair and less than a week to install the circuits," says Mithun. The team comprises Athira P, Jithu S, Lekhith M, Manusankar CK, Shilpa CS, besides Mithun himself. The youngsters hope to turn their idea into a start-up depending on the response," A doctor recently made a call to know more the device. We would like to take the initiative forward depending on the enquiries we get," Mithun concludes.