Category Archives: Projects

Extending a helping hand to those who miss one!

Mind control technology has been the technology I have been about for quite sometime in my life, while neuroscience has always been an area that I have been extremely passionate about.

ICombining both, I have also been dreaming about building cyborgs and may be even create immortality. No harm dreaming or even trying! As I started exploring the world of electronics and neuroscience, I figured out how to build mind controlled technology and make one of my dreams come true.

However, the biggest challenge usually happens to be the price of the sensors to used in building the technology. Fortunately for me, I had just won a design challenge by Atmel in which I won a prize money of $500. So I utilised that money to buy the sensor.

How did I take that forward and build a prosthetic arm? .

For people who have lost their arm or legs, a mechanical or electric arm can be fixed to assist them. This will be an electrical prothestetic arm to be controlled by their mind.

The main sensor we used is called EEG sensor which records the brain signals in the form of frequency.

The brain communicates to other parts of the body by means of a small electric impulse called synapse which are small voltage pulses that pass between the neurons.

This devices built record all the voltage from the brain and amplifies it and sends it via Bluetooth to the prosthetic arm. The EEG sensor was bought from Neurosky.


Rn41n is a Bluetooth device which connects to the mindwave as master and gets the raw data from the sensor. This is the part that took me around 4 months to configure because it was a rather new technology in the market, back then.

The Arduino Mega gets all the data and processes the attention and meditation level to be controlled. Based on this logic, the Servo get connected to the frame and driven.The frame of the arm is laser cut from an acrylic sheet and fitted with the help of a screw.


The EEG sensor is connected to your head to read all the brain data. Brain wave consist of several frequency levels like alpha, beta, gamma, and theta, just like what you see in the normal medical EEG graph.

· Alpha defines your relaxation level

· Beta defines your meditation level

· Theta gives your physical activity near the sensor placement.

The attention level of the user is then sent to the Arduino Mega.

Arduino mega decodes the Bluetooth data and gets all the raw data along with the attention and meditation levels.

If the attention level increases from 60 to 80, the arm will move upward. If it reduces from 50 to 30, it will move the arm downward. And if the range is in the middle, the arm will stop.

The main challenge in this process is that it needs intense mental training for the user in order to play with the attention level and control the arm directly. The cool part about this project was that I got to test the prosthetic arm on me. It took me one step close to being a cyborg! I will soon upgrade this system in this lifetime. And eventually, you will see me as a cyborg. Wait for it!



SmartPill Box: A smart way to make your dad healthy


Ask any consumer electronics person and they’d tell you how big a deal it is to work on anything to do with Intel. At least it was so for me. So when Intel announced its first hackathon in India, I saw it as my gateway into Intel itself.

The idea for the hackathon came from a friend. During one of our conversation, he began talking about his grand mother. His grandmother had amnesia and consequently, she never was consuming her medicines.

Because of this her medical condition had only been getting worse. My friend couldn’t really help the situation although her wanted to because he stays away from his parents due to professional reasons.

That left me thinking turning the tech mode on, in my brain. How can his grandmother be given medicine on time? What will help her condition? After considerable thought, I came up with the idea of a smart pillbox to deliver the pill based on the prescription thereby avoiding under dosage or over dosage of medication.

With this idea, I applied for the Intel hackathon and was selected. I got selected to be a part of Intel’s first hackathon in India. That wasn’t a small deal for me. I was elated. I had moved another step closer to living my dream.

I found my project partner at Intel’s networking event and we got to work. We began with a small survey conducted among 50 senior citizens and their children to better understand the different features required for such a device.


While I worked on the hardware part of the device, my partner took care of the software.

· I built the pill dispenser using a small box.

· This box was fitted with a small 3D printed tube filled with tablets

· This tube is fitted with a servo to give an actuating mechanism to push the tablet out.

We then created a cloud compatible webserver running on the board to enter the details of the prescription like total number of tablets and time. This was then updated to the board.

When the server is started the data enters the dashboard and is updated to the board. Based on the time duration, Servo motors will be actuated to push the tablets out of the system. It will also be updated in the server where doctors can closely monitor their patient’s medicine intake, thereby help in better treatment of the patient.

But serious glitch that we faced in building the prototype was in modeling the 3D printed parts. It was our first experience with 3D printing. But we eventually managed to do it. It was time to demo to the judge. With fingers crossed, we demo-ed our device to the judge.

Out of the 50 odd shortlisted ideas from 100s of entries for INTEL’S FIRST HACKATHON IN INDIA, our project was shortlisted as one of the Top Hacks.

Getting into the Top 10 was something surreal to me. I was only a step short of winning it. But no I didn’t win it! I won’t lie about the disappointment. I briefly saw it as the end of the world. Of course, it came with it’s own set of lessons. I realised that the exposure I had and
the network I got connected to, was priceless. So were the list of don’ts the next time I build a device for a hackathon!


Project Wonderbelt: Because all women are wonder women


I have a confession! I was also part of the generation of
people who sleep well at night just with the number of social shares made on social issues, everyday. Like many others, I was more concerned about the likes on my posts than the real change driven by those posts. However, for rhyme or reason, some events affect people in a way that nothing else does. And there was one such incident that had such an effect on me.

It was the incident of a woman in Delhi getting rapped travelling in a cab in 2015. I thought something had changed after the Nirbhaya incident in 2012. But after the cab incident, It seemed like nothing apparently had changed in reality for women. It made me uncomfortable but I felt powerless to be able to do anything about it.

I know sharing and posting hate post in social media wont help, and I really felt the need to do something about this issue. Women are beings who are equal and need to have the same status as men with respect to their space and safety. I may not be able to change laws. Instead, I wanted to do something innovative within my power to improve the situation.

Anyone whose been a student in a small town engineering college in South India would know that innovation is not exactly a word that is a big No! No!. I realised it when I decided to build a safety device for women as my final year project.

After evading several attempts by my Project Guide and Head of the Department to persuade me to take up a project from the project centre assigned by the college, I began working on my pet project as my project.

So now let me explain what my project was.

Project Wonderbelt:

Wonderbelt is a wearable belt which has an inbuilt GPS, GSM and other sensors. In case of an emergency, the user can press the switch on the belt for a particular interval to trigger the emergency mode. This sends the GPS location to her guardian and the nearby police station. It also sends out a loud alarm to alert the people around. In case, someone tries to tamper or remove the belt, it will provide the molester a high voltage shock which
helps the person to escape from the situation.

The belt will also have a small latch which operates based on the command from the police-station to release a defence tool such as a knife or a pepper spray that could be used for self-defence.

What is the technology behind Wonderbelt?

· This whole project is powered by Arduino Mega, which takes control of the processing.

· This circuit is serially connected to the GPS module which provides the GPS data for the geo-tracking.

· The location can also be accessed by sending a SMS. This is sent using GSM module connected serially to send and receive SMS and calls.

· In order to provide more details, other sensors will be used to get parameters from the environment and their health.

· In order to protect the device from forceful removal, the belt is designed with a high voltage switching cicuit which provides a sudden shock.

· Servo motor will be used to open and close the latch of the defense module.

· The whole system will be powered by a lithium battery and charge controller.

I am currently working on a compact version of this device for enhanced user experience. Looking forward to get a product with a better user experience out soon!



When powerlessness made me build a device!

Epitracker, an epilepsy detecting wearable device


It all started during my college time. We usually used to hangout together during weekend. On one such day, we decided to do something different. We decided to travel to hill station, nearby. We were a gang of four travelling on two bikes. It was real fun in the beginning. I was a pillion with a guy who was affected by a chronic epileptic condition.

It all went fine till we reached 2000ft and then the weather became chilly and the required oxygen intake increased. While rocks and trees lined the road on one side, the other side was lined by a steep 2000ft fall.

My friend and I were having a conversation throughout the ride. Suddenly he stopped talking. Instead, he started shaking and the bike went out of control. It was only then that I realized the he was in the middle of an epileptic attack. Caught between a scrapping ourselves on the road and falling off the cliff, I somehow managed to shift my body weight enough to make us fall on the safe side of the road.. I was alone but I somehow
managed to control his condition and made him regained consciousness. Luckily
we escaped with just a bruise.

I realised how powerless I was when a close friend was in fact in pain. I had no idea how to deal with the situation. I was powerless. Now that really inspired me to explore the possibility to build a device to aid a person under an epileptic attack. A guy with an epileptic
condition cannot be left alone, what if I wasn’t there in the situation? It could lead to lose of precious life.

So I started to study about that condition and learnt that it is a condition in the brain that is triggered due to head injury, brain tumour, or some genetic mutation.

Epileptic seizures are episodes that can vary from brief and nearly undetectable to long periods of vigorous shaking. But to make the device work, I needed some real highend sensors. That’s when the universe offered me an opportunity in the form of a hackathon. It was Thinghack Healthcare Hackathon. And I wanted to make use of it.

I registered and got selected. After meeting a lot of interesting people at the event, I joined a team. We ideated with doctors techies and other field experts and began building the prototype. We were given a Cooking Hack medical development kit. We decided to finalise with the EKG sensor.

EKG sensor is a biomedical sensor which helps in detecting our muscular activity of our body. in the form of amplitude. It measures the potential difference between the bones and records the action potential of the motor nerves.

So in case of a sudden epileptic attack, the frequency at which the muscle contracts and expands will be more than the regular frequency.

On day 2, we moved onto building the hardware where I used an  a rduino as the base controller and a Bluetooth module to connect to the mobile.

Simultaneously, the mobile technology was also developed. This unit would send the geo location to the predefined number. It was designed to also provide audio alarm to alert people around the patient and also provide instructions on how to assist the user in case of seizure attack.

This unit was programmed to also send information to the cloud where the doctor can monitor the attacks and help in proper monitoring of the patient regularly.

We then teamed up with Cisco gateway to send our data to their cloud. We even won collaboration award for our prototype which won us a gift of sensegiz tracker.

It may sound like a mechanically process to build such a device. Yes, it won us a prize and recognition. But more importantly, it silently made me confident. I don’t wish for it happen again but at least I realised that I was no longer powerless. Someday, I hope for this power to also be handed back to the patients.