The fourth edition of the annual Maker Fest was recently held in Ahmedabad.
The Maker Fest is the homegrown version of the popular Maker Faire that began in the US in 2006 and is now held in US, Europe, Japan and Africa among other countries. It was first introduced in India in 2013 by Asha Jadeja Motwani, a Silicon Valley based entrepreneur, angel investor and venture capitalist.
Amongst all the participants, one who stole the show was a 16 year old school boy. He showcased the prototype of a robot, that can follow user anywhere with his luggage in tow!
Named as Auto Port, the autonomous robot is made with laser cut acrylic and is based on the principles of image processing and serial communications. As said in an official statement, it is capable of lifting upto 70 kilograms weight.
“I hit upon this idea of a robot after a relative arrived at my home with a lot of luggage in tow and I was asked to help carry it inside. I helped out but it was very tiring for me and that is what got me thinking about a robot,” said Bansal.
The robot senses and images the movement to follow people. In order to make the robot sense this, the users have to don a special jacket bearing a very unique sign. Also, the device uses artificial intelligence for location detection and obstacle handling to carry belongings without fear of falling or theft.
“The robot follows the image processing sign on the jacket. I have carefully created the sign to avoid any possibility of duplicity which can then mean the robot stops following you and goes behind somebody else!,” he added.
The ‘Autoport’ is an advanced version of Bansal’s ‘Porterbot’, a motion sensor based robot that he created primarily for domestic use and capacity to lift 7 kg weight. As he explained, the technology in Porterbot can be embedded into many things say , a baby’s pram, a wheelchair or shopping carts in a mall. Also, people of any age can use it and one don’t need any special skills for it.
Besides the robots, Bansal has earlier designed a special device, called ‘Gas Watcher’, sized similar to a gas knob that switches off the gas supply to the cooking stove after a certain time.
“The body of the device is printed out using 3D and it uses Artificial Intelligence. Of all my inventions, I believe this has the maximum probability to be turned into a mass production in the market,” he said.
His other inventions include an Anti Collisson System for cars and a night lamp that senses movement to switch itself on.
Bansal has also teamed up with Shashwat Rawat to set up a Maker Space in Meerut.
“I participated in the mini Maker Faire in Delhi and also know about maker spaces in Mumbai and other cities. There was no such place in my city so with Shashwat Rawat we have set up the first maker space in Meerut,” Bansal said.