Event Coverage: Design Degree Show 2012 — Hosted By The Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay

Featuring a Segway-inspired personal mobility vehicle, a high-performance, electric-powered motorcycle, and an ATM for the illiterate.

Event Coverage: Design Degree Show 2012 — Hosted By The Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay

On 30th June and 1st July, the Nehru Centre in Bombay played host to the Design Degree Show 2012 — an annual design festival organised by IIT Bombay's Industrial Design Centre. The event showcased the works of 57 graduating students, spanning the fields of Visual Communication, Interaction Design, Animation Design, Mobility and Vehicle Design, and Product Design.

The show saw some wacky designs, such as a hubless, Segway-inspired personal mobility device, a space-saving modular vehicle, and a lightweight, electric-powered motorcycle. Mundane but practical ideas, such as saddlebags for motorcycles and ATM machines for the illiterate, also made their presence felt. However, these ideas are just that — 3D renders or clay models, not working prototypes. Well, they don't call it a design show for nothing. Here are some of the more interesting exhibits from the show:


Personal Mobility Vehicle - Mobility and Vehicle Design student Bimal Rajappan's take on a personal mobility vehicle seemed to be the most radical concept of the show. It's essentially what you'd get if a Segway rolled in the hay with a pair of roller skates. The concept transporter has a pair of electric-motor-powered hubless wheels strapped to the driver's legs, with suspension provided by a pneumatic system comprising of dampers and what's described as "air muscles". It's operated by arm-mounted controls, with the whole system bolted onto a frame that the user can wear like oversized jackboots.

When I quizzed Bimal about stability, he replied that the LED-illuminated unit on the wearer's posterior houses the battery and a processing unit that lends the vehicle a Segway-like, dynamic stability system. My main concern is: what happens if the battery gets hot, or catches fire like an iPhone?


Urban Green Motorcycle Concept - Advaith Srivathsa claims that his green motorcycle concept, if put into production, will be powered by a monstrous 120 bhp electric motor. With a projected curb weight of 150 kg, this will give the bike a mind-bending power-to-weight ratio of 800 bhp per tonne. To put this into perspective, the Suzuki Hayabusa, currently the world's most powerful production motorcycle, can muster up just 770 bhp per tonne.

The battery pack required to power an electric motor of this calibre will be nigh impossible to fit within the claimed weight limit. However, Advaith clarified that weight reduction will be achieved by using a special capacity-increasing additive, which will reduce the weight as well as the number of batteries required. If what he says is true, this will make the machine a superbike-humbling green motorcycle. Having said that, the fact that he spoke about including an aerodynamics package with an air outlet near the rider's crotch, makes me think otherwise.

Event Coverage: Design Degree Show 2012 — Hosted By The Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay

The motorcycle's proposed 120 BHP electric motor will give it a power-to-weight ratio of 800 BHP per tonne.

Intuitive ATM - The least glamorous concept of the lot has the most far-reaching scope, in terms of utility. This ATM design aims to take the idea of an any-time cash to the far reaches of the country. The barriers of language and low literacy levels make ordinary money dispensers unusable for a significant percentage of our population. However, this proposed ATM design depicts actual currency, instead of relying on numerals like its regular counterparts. By including universally recognizable visual and audio cues, this ATM concept will be accessible to even the illiterate, thus furthering the goal of financial inclusion.

These were the three most impressive entries from the show. Head down to the gallery for more.

Event Coverage: Design Degree Show 2012 — Hosted By The Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay

This ATM's intuitive interface makes it accessible even to the illiterate.

Tags : Gizmos, Events, Education, Nachiket