Technology is being used globally to create products that lead to positive social impacts. From 3D printing orthotics for children to solar-run portable incubators for premature babies, the impact is limitless. The same idea was taken forward at the 5th Robotics Exhibition at Lahore’s Information Technology University (ITU) where students designed projects aimed at resolving social problems relevant to the country at large.
TR Pakistan looks into the notable projects showcased during the exhibition.
Machine-e-Meharbani, is a vending machine that accepts plastic bottles as credit and in return provides food to the homeless. When a plastic bottle is inserted into the machine, the mechanisms inside it starts crushing the bottle. Once crushed, the machines gives out snacks. The idea is to reduce plastic pollution while helping the homeless. The project secured first place for itself during the exhibition.
The Electronic-Naka device is designed to keep track of people entering the Lahore High Court on a daily basis. Instead of manually writing down names and Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) numbers of all the visitors, the machine will read the 2D barcodes or Quick Response codes behind CNIC cards and keep a record of it. It will then allow those vehicles to enter the premises.
Third place winner, Tabeeb is a machine that generates vibrations and soothing sounds at a specific range of frequencies known as “Solfeggio frequencies.” According to research, these frequencies help in reducing depression in individuals suffering from it.
Read more: ITU Robotics Expo
Other projects showcased at the exhibition include a robot designed to clean windows in place of window cleaners who work under dangerous circumstances in high rise buildings and a medical product that administers drugs at a controlled rate and prevents overdoses of medication.
One project, not directly linked to social impact, also gained considerable traction at the expo. Rekhta is an Urdu language word predictor and transliterator. The software works like an English word predictor that is available in smartphones and gives you a list of possible words after typing the first one or two letters. It also converts Roman Urdu to Urdu transcript in real-time.
The robotics expo is now in its five edition, and according to Talha Rehmani, a faculty member at ITU, it’s getting better each time. “The aim is to develop such a model that national and international universities reach out to us to learn of the projects done here at ITU.”
At the heart of the expo are the students of ITU, and in the words of Dr. Umar Saif, Vice Chancellor of the university, “the future of the country belongs to the new generation and i have a lot of faith and hope in the young people of Pakistan.”