IIT (ISM) New Tinkering and Innovation Lab
To foster a high level of creativity and innovation among its students, IIT (ISM) has undertaken the development of a Tinkering and Innovation Lab at the campus. It’s a small step in raising the ranking of our Alma Mater as one of the top ten colleges in India.
Leading engineering institutes all over the world starting from MIT’s Fabrication Laboratory (fab lab), Harvard’s Innovation Laboratory(I-lab), and many of the IIT’s have similar innovation labs. It has been felt for many years that IIT (ISM) needed a similar lab at the campus to provide hands-on experience to students to work on new and creative ideas that could ultimately lead to new products and services.
After a year of proposal development that included a visit to other innovation labs, IIT (ISM) developed a detailed plan to build a world-class facility at the campus.
The lab, currently in the completion phase is located in one of the floors in the newly constructed GRIHA Compliant building inside the institute. The approx. floor space of the Centre is about 10,000 sq. feet. The building along with all the facilities and equipment shall be shared by all the students of the Institute.
Some of the major facilities and equipment that the lab would provide are 3D Printers, 3D Scanners, CNC Lathes, sheet metal cutting, welding and carpentry tools, CO2 Laser Acrylic cutter, and soldering and woodworking stations.
Other electronic and computer equipment includes GPU workstations, Electronics/robotics workstations, IoT (Internet of things) workstations, multilayer PCB printers, and laser workstation.
In short, this lab will have all the necessary equipment to build a prototype of any innovation. Work on equipment acquisition has already begun.
Project Cost and funding
The cost estimate of the project is slightly above the US $1.2 million. Mr. Naresh Vashisht (PE’67) President Omimex Resources, Fort Worth TX and ISMAANA member has generously committed to provide the required funds for the lab. The lab shall be named “Naresh Vashisht Centre for Tinkering & Innovation”.
In February 1, 2020, Dr. Rajiv Shekhar Director IIT (ISM) gave a tour of the newly constructed facility to Naresh Vashisht along with Dipak Sarkar from ISMAANA. The first batch of equipment for the laboratory has been ordered and the initial staff to run the facility hired. Due to Corona Virus related lockdown, work on facility was temporarily stopped but is scheduled to restart once the lockdown is lifted.
As we mentioned in our previous newsletter Dr. Piyush Dutta (60’Mining) started an innovation prize of Rs 1 lakh a year for the most innovative project in the areas of Mining and Mineral technologies. Four students with their project ideas are currently shortlisted for this award. Final selection to be made after the college restarts.
In a related news IIT(ISM) has been selected by the department of science and technology of the central government for the establishment of a mining technology innovation hub under the National Mission for Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NMICPS) aimed at the use of smart technologies in the Mining Sector.
According to a statement issued by the institute, an initial grant of Rs 7 crore has been sanctioned to initiate the process of setting up the hub, by preparing a detailed project report.
“We will prepare a detailed project report on the project worth around Rs 180 crore in tune with the initial proposal submitted in January to the department of science and technology in which the focus was on the use of smart technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, communication, and robotics for mining exploration, exploitation, and eco-restoration,” Dheeraj Kumar, a professor in the mining engineering department of IIT(ISM), said. Kumar said 45 institutes had applied for the establishment of a technology innovation hub in different areas. Out of them, 17 IITs, including IIT(ISM), have been selected on the basis of their proposals followed by a presentation.