This year, WitBlox, a Robotics Ed-Tech startup based in Mumbai, collaborated with Techfest, IIT Bombay, and organised an online competition for school children — WitBlox Young Inventor Techfest 2020. The competition was aimed to harness the creative ability among young minds of this generation. To participate in this competition, the students had to find an idea based on any of the four themes: Safe Community Living, Innovation in Farming, Kitchen Automation and Home Automation, and submit their projects on the WitBlox App.
Participants had to identify a problem, propose their invention idea to solve that problem and build a working model of their invention. More than 1,200 young students from 50+ cities and towns all over India participated in this 3-month long competition which culminated with the Grand Finale this Saturday on 19 December, 2020, where the top 20 inventors presented their prototypes and inventions before the judges via Zoom. The event was live-streamed on YouTube LIVE too.
While some of them found simple and quirky solutions to problems that have stumped adults, others have triggered dialogue on important social and environmental issues. Their keen observations, combined with a deep sense of empathy and a flair for action, has enabled them to make long strides towards creating an impact.
Some of the notable inventions are:
The finale was judged by Andrew Gaule (CEO of Aimava and Mentor at Royal Academy of Engineering, London), Dr Sujit Bhattacharya (Ex-Scientist, ISRO and Director at Cambridge Innovation Foundation), Subroto Sen (Ex-VP, Times of India and Unitech) and Rishabh Sinha (Founder of Techacks).
The Judges unanimously selected two inventions. Raunak, a BalBharti Public School student, Navi Mumbai, and Humera and Fasiha, students of Rumi English High School, Himmatnagar, were declared as the winners of Young Inventor Competition.
Raunak Raj invented a milk spillage alarm to avoid milk from spilling while boiling. According to Raunak, 2 to 3 litres of milk is spilt in every household per month due to spillage during boiling. He tried to solve this problem by designing an alarm system that tracks the vessel’s temperature and raises an alarm before the milk boils.
Humera and Fasiha invented a unique way of farming from waste urinated diapers. Diapers have Sodium Acrylamide as a chemical which helps in longer water retention in soil and the urinated waste from diapers act as a source of urea for plants.
The All India Competition encouraged participants to conceive an idea to solve a given problem and execute it innovatively while making a prototype and a product. It made them more confident and helped them prepare to face future challenges.
One of the students in the finale said, “It was a unique opportunity presented to young minds by Techfest IIT Bombay and WitBlox to showcase their ideas on a big stage.” Events like these will surely help enhance the maker mindset in India and encourage more youngsters to become innovators like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs, creating a positive impact in the world we live in.
India has always been the land of Inventors. Indians, the masters of “jugaad”, can match and even outperform anyone in the world when it comes to solving problems creatively, frugally and sustainably. The Indian startup and innovation landscape has over the past few years seen young inventors blossom.
This event has again proved the great computer scientist Alan Kay right, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”