Maker Mela 2019 returns with Darwin

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Those of you who were present at the Makermela 2018 in January will no doubt be excited to know that the fest is supposed to be twice as extensive the coming year.
In the month of January ’19, you will witness the inauguration of India’s largest evolutionary fest Darwin, being held within Makermela, at the Somaiya Vidyavihar campus. This means that countless new innovators in the fields of biomedicine, microbiology, genetics, etc will get to exhibit their discoveries and inventions alongside 200+ selected makers at the grand fest. Inspired by and meant as a tribute to the father of evolutionary science, Darwin aims to bring to the forefront the essential but lesser-known disciplines of biology. ‘Makers’, as the organizers like to call them, maybe anyone from a child prodigy to a housewife skilled at a scrumptious recipe, to an experienced scientist or technician – anyone who has in their spare time put their creativity and opportunities together to come up with something unique and relevant to our times.

India’s first bio-fashion show is going to take place this time! Every year, one finds the ideas behind Maker projects to be astoundingly straightforward, yet the projects may themselves be devilishly elaborate. Here are a few highlights of the previous Makermela for those of you who missed it!

A total of 12 schools around Mumbai officially joined in the fest – besides them, thousands of students took a day or two off to participate in the festivities – which, of course, includes the Makers as well, many of whom had traveled from all across India in order to receive much-deserved acclaim for their innovations.

Seminars held at the auditorium concurrently with the makers’ exhibition were graced by speakers of global fame and standing like Shree Prakash Javadekar, Mr. Prakash Mehta, Shree Devendra Fadnavis, Mr. Tanmay Bakshi, Mr. Saket Modi, Mr. Akash Manoj, Prof Ada Yonath, Dr. Ravi Grover and Mr. Michael Ferraro.

The speeches given by our chief minister Shree Fadnavis, Mr. Mehta and Shree Javadekar were filled with wisdom and at the same time were pragmatic enough to engage the youth present and hold their rapt attention. Tanmay Bakshi, the 14-year-old prodigal AI expert from IBM later conducted a workshop on AI & ML which was unequivocally popular among his admirers, old and young.
An attraction for students from various schools as well as enthusiastic grown-ups was the Art Mela which brought out their creative sides – doodle making, crafting, drawing were the main aspects of the competition thereafter.

After dusk fell, makers and visitors alike got to unwind at the Cultural Night with various renowned artists being present – from the nationwide acclaimed Hindi Rock band The Local Train with their raw, desi touch beloved by all the Indian youth, to inimitable and amazing spill poetry from artists the likes of spoken word poets Nadeem Raj, Yahya Bootwala, Darshan Rajpurohit, Jidnya Pandya and Bikram Bumrah. Nadeem and Yahya had gone all the way by conducting a Poetry Writing Workshop in the evening, which was followed by an unparalleled stand-up comedy by Abhishek Upmanyu, who left the audience gasping for breath after his super-fast session peppered with sarcasm and dark humour.

Apart from all this, there were two grand attempts at making it into the Guinness Book Of World Records during Makermela 2018 – the huge interlinked cardboard boat, world’s largest cardboard sculpture, and the incredible Rubik cube’s image solving challenge.

Keep your eyes peeled for more on Makermela and Darwin until January arrives! Participate in pre-events, send the organizers at riidl your suggestions, and if you think you’ve got it, go for being a maker and transform the face of society!
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How to create your own makerspace

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The thought of planning a makerspace can be overwhelming. Where to start? What do you need? Where will you put everything? There are so many more questions. First, let’s get clear with the concept of a makerspace.
A makerspace is a collaborative workspace inside a school, library or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools.  These spaces are open to kids, adults, and entrepreneurs and have a variety of maker equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, soldering irons and even sewing machines.  A makerspace, however, doesn’t need to include all of these machines or even any of them to be considered a makerspace.
1. Identify the Physical Space
One of the first steps in creating your makerspace is to identify the physical space you need. Every academy is different in how it is designed, and space can sometimes be very hard to find. Finding a corner of your room that you want to dedicate to making could be enough to get started. The space that you’ve chosen should be enough for your requirements.
2. Determine How Your Space Will Be Used
Once you have identified the space, start thinking about how it is going to be used throughout the day. Identify who is going to use the space primarily. Maintain an online calendar to manage the space. Bookings can be made online and can help avoid the problem of double bookings.
3. Determine Your Furniture Needs
Now that the space has been identified and you know how it is going to be used, you can start to consider furniture for it. Depending on the size of your space, you might want smaller tables that are on wheels so they can be moved around to form larger workspaces. Whiteboards are an excellent addition to a makerspace because they can create standing collaboration areas and save table space for physical building. Your furniture requirements also depend on what equipment or machines you’re going to install. If you are going to have 3-D printers, CNC machines and other heavy equipment, then you need to dedicate table space to these tools. Any tool that requires a level tabletop is best kept on a stationary table.
Creating a makerspace isn’t an easy job! But what’s the fun in doing easy things! So now that you know what all you need to consider for creating a makerspace, why don’t you give it a try! Take these initial steps in putting together your makerspace, and you will see it grow and flourish in no time.

A guide to Maker Mela

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If you have ever been to Maker Mela, you would know the kinds of vibes you get there. A vibrant gathering of creative minds and excited tech-lovers, brought together by a common passion. There are makers from various walks of life there eager to share their innovations with society – some of which are absolutely mind-boggling! As a visitor to Maker Mela, you’re bound to learn something new and get engaged in creative activities.
What you need to do:

1. Plan your visit:
Have a look at all the events and sessions scheduled on each day by visiting the website. Mark those which really interest you and keep an open mind and some extra time for new possibilities as well. You might find something that really interests you.

2. Participate:
Many workshops are organized at maker mela. Don’t hesitate to roll up your sleeves and learn something new because learning by doing is the most effective way there is. From poetry writing workshops to AI & ML workshops, interactive learning is the order of the day. Although they might be totally out of your stream, giving them a try would be harmless.

3. Interact:
Talk to people. You will find like-minded people more easily than you might think. Pose questions to the makers there and know more about the innovations that attract you. Interact with the speakers, and the guest visitors during the speaker sessions. Most importantly, get inspired.

4. Take home something:
Make a note of the ideas or innovations that really interested you. Take home amazing merchandise. Consider the innovations that really fascinated you. You might come to Maker Mela next year not as a visitor, but as a maker!

If you think your innovation is unique and out-of-the-box, join Maker Mela and inspire others.
You can register here:
registration link:

Hope you have an amazing time at Maker Mela 2019!

For more information, visit:

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VELOCITY- Three Wheeler Car

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Name of the Maker:  Ashtad Kohinoor, Hatim lakdawala, Mohammed Jam, Bhavik Jain , Hussain godrawala

What does it do : it’s a three wheeler car which has two tyres in the front and one at the back

How does it to do it : powered by a 150cc pulsar IC engine . The drive is given to the rear wheel transmissions via chain

Why this idea : because four tyres is too mainstream

Plans ahead : a four seater compact electric vehicle which will change transportation for the better

Investments made : pocket money of the team members and parents contribution

Story of struggle if any/ interesting experience : the initial project was started by Ashtad Kohinoor Hatim Lakdawala and Qusai jhaveri during our 10th standard . We had built a car before this one and had gained allot of experience however we wanted to build a better model it took us two years to make this and it wouldn’t have been possible without Mohammed jam Hussain godrawala and bhavik jain! This car is purely for experimental and hoby purpose … there were many challenges we had to overcome as the design were never made on any software program! They were all made free hand on paper we solved complications as they came in our way .


Smart School Bag

Smart School Bag

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School bags for children are getting heavier with increasing number of books, notebooks and other things. Children need to carry the school bags every day to school for 12 years and so this is posing a serious health hazard for children.School authorities are coming up with various ideas to keep the school bags light. One of the points that school authorities are requesting parents to make sure children keep only the required books in school bag and not all the books. However, this puts additional burden on children to check the school time-table every day and pack school bags accordingly.

I, Aryan Tanwar, studying in VII standard, National Public School, Bangalore, have come up with a unique idea to not only automate this within a school bag but also to make school bag much more smart. I have created a “Smart School Bag” which can do following:

  • While students keep the books/note-books in school bag, the school bag indicates whether that book/note-book is required in school or not (as per that day’s time-table). This is done via red and green LED lights attached to school bag.
  • This “Smart School Bag” additionally indicates if student should carry an umbrella or rain-coat based on day’s weather predictions.
  • “Smart School Bag” also indicates if the student should carry jacket again based on day’s weather predictions.

All of the above is achieved by attaching a RFID tag to each book/note-book and “Smart School Bag” reading the tag and comparing the detected book against day’s time-table. “Smart School Bag” then turns on red or green LED to show if the book/note-book is required or not. “Smart School Bag” also gets the day’s weather prediction from standard/well-known weather-sites (such as and then indicates about need of rain-coat or jacket in school.


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PL_ (4)

The Batpod

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Name of Maker – Rahul Gajbhiye, Ankit Kumar and Abhijeet Khandagale.

Project Lincoln –

  • It all started from the broken leftovers of failure. The official project start date was 21st April 2011. The first team had just 3 of us – Rahul Gajbhiye, Ankit Kumar and Abhijeet Khandagale. I happened to rebuild the Batpod on my own, only to become one of the mere 5 people round the globe to do so. Yes, also the first one in my country to dare this feat.
  • The project was head by Abhijeet Khandagale and the designs were made by Ankit, the lead designer who is now studying at Academy of Arts, San Fransisco, CA and Zina Dk who is from Tunisia. The rest team was 12 member huge, who came in at various phases of the project.
  • The bike stands at 3 feet tall and 8 feet wide, sporting two 195mm 17” tires. The vehicle is set to derive power from a Pulsar 220cc FI engine which was salvaged from a bike wreck. The interesting thing to note about this vehicle is that it is completely built of second hand parts, and no stock parts have been used. A 100% custom designed vehicle from these engineering minds.

Be-Hold (Smart Glove)

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  • Name of the Maker – Hemkesh Agrawal
  • What does it do?

The project Be-Hold is a wearable device (a glove) which enables the user to make and receive phone-calls through simple and intuitive gestures. Be-Hold is a battery run, completely independent device which has an inbuilt speaker and a microphone. Gestures like counting on fingers are translated to ‘dialling a phone number’.

  • How does it to do it?
  1. The brain of the device prototype is an Arduino Mega
  2. There is a GSM shield to support the phone/SIM related functionalities
  3. The fingers of the glove are fitted with metal buttons which are connected to the circuit.
  4. Each button is sequentially assigned to a digit (just like a dial-pad)
  5. The user can dial numbers by tapping on the respective buttons.
  6. There are dedicated buttons to receive and disconnect calls.
  7. To talk, bring the thumb closer to the ear and the little finger closer to the mouth. The rest of the fingers can conveniently be folded.
  • Why this idea?

I wanted to pursue this idea to bring a more human-centric design approach into the common chore of making a phone call. More importantly, I felt, this could help the Visually Impaired by making them less dependent on carrying a phone as this device will always be with them like a piece of clothing. This is only a prototype but with further improvement and investment, this can potentially evolve into a much more sophisticated form, leveraging the recent trends in the world of technology.

  • Plans ahead

At present, the Be-Hold prototype only has the basic functionality of making and receiving calls. Below are some of the future plans for improving the device and making It much more useful for the target customer –

  • Improving the design and appearance to make it smarter, sleeker and more efficient
  • Adding the functionality of memory/storage
  • Providing an internet backed, voice recognition enabled personal assistant like Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant etc.
  • Investments made
Component Amount (INR)
Glove 50
Arduino Mega 800
GSM Shield 1300
Battery 300
Wiring 50
SIM card + Recharge 600
Speaker and Mic 500
Miscellaneous 200
Total 3800
  • Story of struggle if any/ interesting experience

The entire development experience has hitherto been a roller-coaster ride as there have been instances where everything worked in first attempt (surreal moments of epiphany) and then there were sleepless nights where everything seemed stalled nothing worked!

One interesting (and annoyingly taxing!) experience was with my GSM shield. One evening, I was trying hard to integrate the GSM shield with my circuit but it was not even booting! I exhausted all options, ranging from altering current supply, changing the capacitor etc. but nothing seemed to work. Disappointed, I lost hope and decided to urgently buy new components from the market. In utter desperation, I rushed out of the home and within a span of an hour I travelled for approximately 20km to buy two new GSM shields but only to find those refusing to boot too! Completely enervated and worked-up, I went to bed in a state of despair.

Next morning when I woke up, I had this sudden realisation of trying something as basic and simple as altering the voltage (which my fatigued mind had forgotten to consider the day before). And voila! My original GSM shield worked!

So, as it turned out, my commute and extra expenditure had all been in vain. And, more importantly, the sharp contrast between the horrors of a worn out and the wonders of a relaxed mind taught me an important lesson for life – Whenever stuck, grab some sleep!

  • Family support

I am very lucky to have such a motivating, helpful and supportive family! They always help me out in times of crisis, provide the requisite resources for my projects, connect me with relevant people, understand my interests (they never unnecessarily press me into doing anything), teach me the proper way of doing things and scold me too whenever needed!

My father helped me with logistics, industry knowledge and patent related work. My mom, being a Physics major, has helped me with the components and design of Be-Hold. My two sisters, both of them Computer Engineers (the elder one is also currently pursuing her MBA) have always been helpful in answering my doubts and brainstorming with me on taking certain technical decisions.

  • How will it help people /society?

Be-Hold, though can be used by anyone, is primarily targeted to benefit the Visually Impaired as they can wear it and not worry about ‘keeping and forgetting’ the phone somewhere! Moreover, its gesture driven nature makes it even more user friendly! Also, the future plans for this project aim at evolving it into a much more powerful and connected device which will empower the Visually Impaired to fully leverage the fruits of the technological marvels and inventions (at present most of them are heavily dependent on the sense of sight).