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Engineering

An electronic nose to ‘sniff out’ notorious gases

India is no stranger to air pollution, with the capital, New Delhi, being identified as one of the most polluted cities in the world, several times. The harmful effects of this deteriorating air quality can be seen in the increasing number of patients with respiratory disorders. Now, a team of scientists have designed a novel gas sensor using MEMS technology that is compact, highly sensitive, consumes very little power and accurately detects gaseous pollutants like CO, CO2, NO2 & SO2.

“Trapping” RBCs to throw light on Malaria

Malaria, a deadly mosquito borne disease, kills about half a million people around the world, every year. Developing countries face a challenge in accurately diagnosing malaria in early stages due to the need of sophisticated diagnostic devices and skill. A new study at IISc has developed a technique to test for malaria with very small quantities of blood samples using laser light. By holding a single RBC using a pair of 'optical tweezers', this technique can detect malarial parasites in the RBCs even at an early stage, say the researchers. The researchers claim this technique can help save many lives if commercialised on a larger scale. 

Denoising images in a jiffy

Images with low quality spell doom not only for your photographic skills, but also for the numerous medical diagnosis that doctors do using scanned images of your body. Now, researchers have developed a new algorithm that can denoise  such bad quality images in a few seconds. Running on advanced processing units called graphical processing units, the algorithm promises to be a new hope in the rising field medical imaging, satellite imaging and other fields dealing with high resolution images. 

World Water Day: A fireside chat with Prof. M S Mohan Kumar

This 22nd of March, on the occasion of World Water Day, Research Matters caught up with Prof MS Mohan Kumar, a Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. He is also the Chairman of the Indo-French Cell for Water Resources and an Associate Faculty at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Water Research (ICWaR) at IISc and an ex-Secretary of the Karnataka State Council for Science & Technology.  Apart from his role at the institute, Prof. Kumar has also extensively worked with government bodies such as the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB) and Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).

Scientists use Nanotechnology to resist wear

In a recently published study, scientists at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, are addressing one of the biggest challenges faced by many appliances - wear and friction due to usage. Wear and friction affects the lifetime of industrial equipment, which directly correlates with the profitability of the business. The teams of researchers, led by Prof. M.S. Bobji at the Department of Mechanical Engineering are now experimenting with alumina based nanocomposite coating for wear resistance.

UPSCAPE: A scientific approach to better water management in the Cauvery River Basin

In an effort to make water resources sustainable, the Ministry of Earth Sciences, India and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), UK have funded a new project “Upscaling Catchment Processes for Sustainable Water Management in Peninsular India” (UPSCAPE). It is a 3-year £2 million research project that is one of the three projects in India initiated under the ambitious Newton-Bhabha Sustaining Water Resources Programme. Six institutes have come together as partners in this project, of which the prestigious Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, is the lead Institute from India. “The motivating factor of the Newton-Bhabha project is to ensure science reaches the society and benefits it”, says Prof. Pradeep Mujumdar, Chairman at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Water Research, Indian Institute of Science. He also leads the team of Indian scientists working on the UPSCAPE project in the Cauvery river basin.

IISc’s Computer Science and Automation department ranks 71st in the world

In what could be called a testimony to Bengaluru being the IT capital of India, the Indian Institute of Science’s Computer Science and Automation (CSA) department was ranked 71st in the recently released The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-2017, making it the top institute in India for Computer Science.

Researchers Develop Automation Tools to Help Treatment of Tumors

Tumors are often linked to cancer when they become malignant and start to spread. Doctors and researchers throughout the world are continuously seeking better ways to diagnose and treat tumors early on, thus preventing severe damage. In a rare interdisciplinary study, engineers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have stepped up to help doctors in treating tumors. Prof. Radhakant Padhi from the Department of Aerospace Engineering and his team has designed an automation tool for slow and controlled drug release. It is an intelligent feedback algorithm that can be embedded in a micro-controller and effective in treating solid tumors with minimal side effects.

IISc signs an agreement with BEL for Technology Transfer

In a major move to homegrown research, the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, (IISc) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) today signed an agreement on transferring a technology on Radio Frequency (RF) amplifiers based on Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology, developed at IISc. The signing ceremony took place at IISc where Prof. Anurag Kumar, Director, IISc and Dr. Ajit Kalghatghi, Director (R&D), BEL exchanged the agreement.

HUBOT- Bridging the gap between Human and Robot Interaction

A variety of robots are available today and each having their own, unique applications. However achieving an efficient means of communication with these robots is still problematic. It is difficult for a robot to accurately analyse and follow voice commands given by its master. During human-human interactions, multiple sounds are simultaneously processed by our brain and we still segregate the sound containing the information we want. This is not the case with robots; they are unable to differentiate various sounds in its environment. This is a major roadblock in human-robot interactions.

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