India’s premier innovation and research lab, OMOTEC, saw its mentoring receive a resounding vote of confidence when three of its 12 national finalist-student teams won big at one of the country’s much-coveted science fests.
From the esteemed Top 100 Iris National Fair 2021-22 held in December, 2021, Project MouthScope by school students Manav Kothari and Aditya Mehta have won the Grand Award. This means the duo are headed for the ISEF, an international science symposium held in the US.
Arnav Kejriwal and Hridank Garodia have won the National Geographic Cultivating Empathy Award for Earth with their Portagait, and Stuti Bhatia and Alekha Malhotra have won the STEM Science Champion Award with their Memory Map for geriatric patients with Alzheimers.
The Iris national science fair nurtures scientific research among young (pre-college) Indian innovators, by rewarding outstanding projects by them in 21 subject categories, and providing a platform at both national and international levels. Nine more of Omotec’s student-mentor teams had qualified for the Iris Nationals 2021-22, where 100 teams were chosen by industry experts, from 20,000 entries nationwide.
Winners of the Iris (Initiative for Research and Innovation in STEM) National Fair, which is a public-private partnership programme funded by the Department of Science & Technology, go on to represent India at the ISEF (Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair), the world’s largest international pre-college science annual competition.
Reetu Shekhar Jain, Co-founder of OMOTEC, said, “Students who succeed at this fair win not only accolades but also an opportunity to have a planet named after them, an initiative by Lincoln Laboratories, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.”
OMOTEC encourages students to experiment and explore electronics, mechanical materials and coding, learning to create products that shall solve problems of today and tomorrow. OMOTEC itself has two patents and six published research papers to its name.
OMOTEC Co-founder, Shekhar Jain says, “Omotec aspires to be the MIT of India with our insightful techniques, rooted in robotics and coding, of experiential learning in mathematics, science and technology.”
In the last four years of its bootstrapped existence, OMOTEC has built an institute that fosters inquisitive minds which have gone on to win at the Robotics Olympiads, and science research fairs organised by NASA, Intel and Google. OMOTEC’s teams have bagged as many as 18 international awards while competing with 63 countries, in addition to 42 national awards.
~The awe-inspiring details of the students’ pathbreaking projects are mentioned below:-
- Manav and Aditya
Project MouthScope: Received the Grand Award and promoted to compete at the international science fest, ISEF. Mouthscope is a device that uses fluorescent light and image processing for early detection of oral cancer (precancerous lesions in the mouth). It uses machine learning to give accurate results.
- Arnav and Hridank
Project Portagait – Received the National Geographic Cultivating Empathy Award for Earth. Portagait is a prototype of an inexpensive portable device for remote gait analysis of animals (specifically, quadrupeds). It uses 3D visual simulation, IMU sensors for an objective infographic report.
- Stuti and Alekha
Project Memory Map: Received the STEM Science Champion Award. It is a smart device for Alzheimer patients, who are often old, and prevents their frustration and embarrassment stemming from the difficulty in remembering. It works on Raspberry Pi 4, and using machine-learning and a camera, does facial recognition, location and object detection to help patients with tasks of identification, mapping and navigation in their home.