Innovative ideas to the fore at TiE University Pitchfest-2021


48 teams of tech students showcase automated battery swapping station for electric vehicles, sewer pipe cleaning robots and more

Automated battery swapping stations that provide for almost instant refuelling of exhausted batteries of electric vehicles, horizontal sewer pipe cleaning robots and floor cleaning devices were among the innovative ideas pitched by students participating in the TiE University Pitchfest 2021 organised by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) in Mysuru recently.

A total of 48 teams from 26 institutions across the State participated in the event.

Satyam Raj of Cambridge Institute of Technology, who is working on the automated battery swapping stations, said his pitch involved an innovative battery pack and swapping cable set-up. However, the users will have to visit their battery swapping station.

If the idea becomes successful, electric vehicle users can refuel in less than 30 seconds at the swapping station and continue with their journey just like refilling vehicles with petrol and diesel at petrol bunks.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Satyam Raj said today electric vehicle (EV) charging stations cannot compete with the refuelling time of petrol or diesel vehicles at petrol bunks. “This is why we are developing battery swapping stations that can refuel a vehicle in 30 seconds”, he said adding that the stations will look and operate just like a regular petrol pump.

“Once the user connects the swapping cable from the station to a port in her/his vehicle, the swapping process begins. The discharged cells from the vehicle’s battery pack are replaced by fully charged cells from the charging station via the swapping cable. We achieve this by using our proprietary battery packs and swapping technique, which works on an array of cells model, where cells are swapping individually instead of an entire battery pack at once”, Mr. Satyam Raj said.

“In our model, the customer gets the battery pack for free and pays a monthly subscription cost for using the swapping infrastructure. Thus, the cost of maintaining an electric vehicle comes down by 30 to 40 per cent”, he said.

Suraj from VIAT Muddenehalli pitched an innovative horizontal sewer pipe cleaning robot to provide controlled cleaning of pipes. The 15 inch x 15 inch robot can remove any blockage in horizontal sewer pipes by travelling upto 30 metres. The robot, which has built-in water-proof camera, can be customised to pipes of varying diameter ranging from 6 inches to 12 inches, according to the features of the product described on the website of Drona Automations, which has been founded by Mr. Suraj.

Broomstick, a Mysuru-based start-up co-founded by Mehul Jain and Yogindra K.G. from NIE, Mysuru, mooted an innovative device for commercial floor cleaning for the Indian market; and Sapientury, an IIMB-incubated start-up has developed a DIY Kit coupled with online micro-courses for engineering students to become industry-ready by learning beyond syllabus.

The four teams made it to the final round.

Panel of judges

PThe panel of judges for the TiE University Pitchfest 2021 included Craig Abbott, Managing Partner, CWA Advisors and Board Member, TiE New York, USA; Hemalatha Annamalai, former CEO and MD, Ampere Vehicles and Past President, TiE Coimbatore Chapter; and Viiveck Verma, Founder of UpSurge Enterprise Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and Board Member, TiE Hyderabad Chapter. The judges evaluated the pitches on parameters including innovation, scalability, market opportunity, commercialisation and business model.

Eventually, Team Sapientury, co-founded by Kushal S.L. and Komala Channa from RV College of Engineering, won the round and became eligible to participate in the TiE Global University Pitchfest, where more than 30 global teams will participate.

Team Saptientury will receive a cash prize of ₹1 lakh from TiE Mysuru chapter, said a press statement.

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