School students pay attention as a participant demonstrates an ‘electric vehicle’ project at Tech Fest in Kohima, Nagaland on Friday

Kohima: Students of all the six government polytechnic colleges of Nagaland came together to take part in the state’s maiden ‘Tech Fest’ held under the theme, ‘Naga Tech: Redefining Ideas’, at state capital Kohima from August 21 to 23.

Despite limited resources available with the participants, the three-day festival, which concluded on Friday, witnessed students’ creativity at its best as they went on showcase several promising projects such as ‘Li-Fi’ (Light Fidelity, a wireless communication technology) and minicomputers, among many others.

For the first time ever, at such a big platform, technically-trained students displayed their innovations like handcrafted bamboo drones, earthquake detectors and electric vehicles, despite the challenges that they faced along the way.

Two final-year mechanical engineering students from Khelhoshe Polytechnic Atoizu (KPA) under Zunheboto district — Mhademo Odyuo and Philip Tep — told EastMojo that the idea of their handcrafted bamboo drone was proposed after thorough research on the Internet.

Mhademo Odyuo (left) and Philip Tep, mechanical engineering students from Khelhoshe Polytechnic Atoizu, posing with their ‘Sky Hover Fi-II’ — a handcrafted bamboo drone

The duo developed the drone project and named it as ‘Sky Hover Fi-II’ after their first attempt of fitting aluminium failed as it could not withstand force.

They then designed handcrafted bamboo arms for the drone to hold four cornered motors with each having a capacity of 1,000 KW and 1,000 RBM. The duo added saying that it took them 20 days and nights to complete the drone, which, although has no camera implanted, is capable of taking a flight of up to 50 ft with a travel duration of 18-20 mins.

However, the duo could not present a practical demonstration of the drone as the original battery was damaged (in rain) during one of its test flights, days before the fest. Managing a temporary one made out of their laptop batteries — though it has less output — the duo said: “It (Atoizu) is a very remote place. So, there is not enough equipment and (there is) transportation problem so even if we order something (battery) it gets late and we could not finish in time. If our transportation problem is solved and our college gets more advanced equipment, we can do better and better tomorrow.”

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While some students of the Institute of Communication and Information Technology (ICIT) Mokokchung presented a ‘low cost earthquake alarm system’, computer engineering students presented a library management system to store records of library activities. It took them five months to build the zero-budget software due to electricity problems in the area.

A model of the low-cost earthquake alarm system prepared by participants at the Tech Fest in Kohima, Nagaland

Meanwhile, automobile engineering students of KPA displayed an electric car model. Ponchan Kikon, leader of the 13-member team, told EastMojo: “We are here to ignite that missing spark in our land, Nagaland. We are here to prove that we are not lacking and that we can compete with others as well. There are many fields where we can go ahead and compete. So, we came up with the electric car idea.”

He went on to say how frequent power cuts in the area delayed their preparation schedule, eventually taking them three weeks to come up with the model.

Ponchan Kikon, leader of a 13-member team from KPA, poses with the ‘electric vehicle’ during Tech Fest in Kohima, Nagaland

Neithongu and Hopisenu, a duo from Polytechnic Kohima, developed an ‘automatic watering system’. Speaking about the challenges, Neithongu said: “Sometimes we face less resources which are needed for our practicals and required materials are not provided. For this project, we had to order (the raw materials) online which takes and consumes a lot of time.”

Students from Government Polytechnic Tsunazho under Phek district with their low cost ‘Van de Graaff generator’

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