TECH
12/12/2019 9:19 AM IST

Punjab’s Young Tech Founders Take On Everything From FASTag To Army Weapons

At the Progressive Punjab Investors meet, 17-year-old startup founders from IIT Ropar had a lot to show.

Huffpost India
The Technology Business Incubation Foundation (TBIF) at IIT Ropar is giving wings to young engineers to start their own startups.

CHANDIGARH, Punjab—Wearing a white t-shirt with the logo of his newly launched startup ‘Scratch nest’ on the left side, Amit Bhati a 17-year-old student from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT),  Ropar, was one of the top attractions at the recently concluded Progressive Punjab Investors Meet held at the Indian Business School campus in Mohali on Friday.

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Bhati — and his classmates Akshit Dangi and Jeevant Kumar Shah — is working on a number of projects, including RFID technology manufacturing, and a smart weapon management system for the Indian army.

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Scratchnest birdies getting incubated at the Technology Business Incubator Foundation (TBIF) at IIT Ropar.

“My company is the first startup in India that has ventured into the hardware manufacturing for RFID equipment and can customise it according to the tags,” Bhati told potential investors who visit his hall at the exhibition. “We can use this technology to tag your personal jewellery kept inside bank lockers, or equipment in your office store, or even your personal stuff in office,” he said.

Bhati is pursuing a B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering at IIT Ropar, and his partners  are Akshit Dangi, a 2nd year student of Electrical Engineering and Jeevant Kumar Shah, a 2nd year student of Computer Science. 

Eager to capture the unexplored RFID market in the country, Bhati wants to introduce his custom made technology into the FASTags presently being rolled out at the toll plazas, to be connected under the Bharatmala project all across the country. 

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Amit Bhati showing an RFID reader manufactured at the TBIF at IIT Ropar.

“Presently, the FASTag used in India uses an imported technology which is much more expensive and cannot be customised,” said Bhati. “Moreover, the Government of India should support startups like us to boost Make in India programs in the country.”

Bhati, who told HuffPost India he has developed over 17 versions of RFID readers, different antennae, and temperature and humidity sensors, is young, but the company is growing fast. IIT Roorkee and Punjab Renewable Energy Systems Pvt  Limited , are already clients and Bhati is also pitching to his alma mater IIT Ropar.

Bhati’s company is one of the startups mentored by IIT Ropar’s incubator Technology Business Incubator Foundation (TIBF). There were some other startups from the incubator which were also taking part in the exhibition.

Shubhendra Gautam, a 21 year old electrical engineering student, has designed a ‘talking mirror’, which is actually a huge screen that can display the output of multiple gadgets, apart from your reflection. Gautam said that he has initiated the patent process for his gadget.

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Shubhendra Gautam 'Talking' to his mirror 

“When I was in class 3, I read about the Saptraishi (Ursa Major) constellation, and was amazed by its beauty. Later, I made a project on its with glowing bulbs depicting the stars. That was my first introduction to physics,” Gautam told HuffPost India at the exhibition. 

Gautam’s company  Zynix Techno King is also getting incubated in TIBF at IIT Ropar.

“The screens you see in science -fiction movies are becoming reality and getting equipped inside homes, cars, shopping malls and restaurants. My project relies on voice user interface (VUI) which shows the information visually,” Gautam  said. 

Gautam’s Talking Mirror can show how various outfits  and hairstyles look good on a user without actually trying them. The mirror can also be integrated with medical devices and cameras and can remotely display an array of vital clinical information for a specific patient. 

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Rohit Varma's Augniscient Pvt Ltd start up at TBIF is venturing into the field of Augmented Reality. He has designed a smart AR based eye wear for enterprises to improve the safety and efficiency of workers. It will facilitate informed real time decision making and improve the communication and collaboration across the work force.

He further added that while the primary input method is voice, Talking Mirror can use touchscreen, gestures, remote control as input. The project, he said, was inspired by Hollywood — specifically Tony Stark/ Iron Man, from the Avengers

“I was impressed with the display and liked the advance features showcased in the science fiction movie,” said Gautam. “It took me six months to develop the operating system.”

“Now, I am planning to make a jet suit of my own which can be used by our armed forces in insurgent areas or special operations,” he added, jokingly.