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Faridabad students win Microsoft's Asia contest, set eyes on US finals


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Author : Nishant Arora

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Sydney, Feb 12 (IANS) It was an apt moment for the Indian Tricolour to fly high as the student team from Faridabad-based Manav Rachna Institute of Research and Studies won the Microsoft Imagine Cup Asia Regional Semifinals here on Tuesday, moving one step closer to win the grand prize of $100,000 at the world championship in the US.

The three-member team developed "Caeli" (which means air in Latin) -- a smart automated anti-pollution and drug delivery mask specifically designed for asthmatic and chronic respiratory patients.

"Caeli" implements breakthrough features to improve the quality of life for respiratory patients living in polluted areas like in north India and especially in the Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR).

"At a time when air pollution is a big concern in various countries including India, we are collecting the real-time air pollution data that can be used by relevant stakeholders and the Indian government. They can integrate our application programme interfaces (APIs) into their projects and gain more insights," Aakash Bhadana from the "Caeli" team told IANS.

Bhadana with Vasu Kaushik and Bharat Sundal developed the product under the guidance of Umesh Dutta and team at Manav Rachna Research Innovation and Incubation Centre (MRIIC).

"Our aim is now to collaborate with right stakeholders and take the 'made in India' products (which also includes a pocket-sized nebulizer) to the market," said Bhadana.

The Manav Rachna team received $15,000 as winner and secured a spot in the world championship, to be able to win the grand prize of $100,000 at Microsoft's Redmond-based headquarters in May, while the first runners-up received $5,000 and the second runners-up $1,000.

The first runner-up was the "Rail Nova China" team that built a Rail Component Inspection Robot which operates through automatic positioning and identifies various defects through multi-sensor fusion in order to realize the replacement of workers in a rail inspection project.

The second runner-up was "USCAid" from the Philippines who built the Aqua Check app that utilises Microsoft Azure's Custom Vision to empower anyone to analyse for contamination by taking a photo of a water sample through a microscope.

There were three Indian teams among the 12 Asia finalists. The other two teams were from the Tamil Nadu-based Vellore Institute of Technology and Bengaluru-based R.V. College of Engineering.

The team from the Vellore Institute of Technology designed "Spot" which allows one to recognise packaged foods and check if it contains a certain ingredient or exhibits a certain character.

R.V. College of Engineering designed "RVSAFE", a one-stop solution for effectively handling any kind of disaster be it be natural or man-made.

Considered as the "Olympics of Technology", Imagine Cup is a global annual competition sponsored and hosted by Microsoft.

Over the past 10 years, more than 1.65 million students from over 190 countries have participated in the "Imagine Cup".

(Nishant Arora is in Sydney at an invitation from Microsoft. He can be contacted at nishant.a@ians.in)

--IANS

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