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YOUNG INNOVATOR: FIRED IMAGINATION

A young student from Budgam has developed a speed breaker detector system that can help prevent road accidents

Iqrar Rashid Dav’s idea can save lives, literally. The class 12 student of science at Government Boys Higher Secondary Beerwah, Budgam, has developed an “advance speed breaker detector system” for vehicles that can help reduce road accidents.

It has already earned him the APJ Abdul Kalam Ignited Minds Award, 2017 from the National Innovation Foundation. He received the award from former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee on December 22 last year.

What sparked his idea? “In Kashmir, speed breakers are all too common. They are not painted everywhere, hence they cannot be detected from far off,” Iqrar explained. “If there is an emergency, say somebody needs to be taken to hospital, any driver goes faster. But often, because speedbreakers are not easily visible, it causes trouble.”

Iqrar’s system uses a laser and an image sensor to detect a speed breaker and raise alarm. The laser light, mounted externally, is reflected whenever it hits an obstacle, thereby measuring the distance between the vehicle and the object. The image sensor, also mounted externally, generates an image of the obstacle, which is processed by a controlling unit. If it matches the system’s predefined image criteria – of a speed breaker, say – the controller displays the information – how far ahead the breaker is, for example – to a display fitted inside the vehicle and activates an alarm.

In October last year, the National Innovation Foundation organised an “innovate ideas competition” at his school and Iqrar pitched his “advance speed breaker detector system”. The organisers were impressed enough to choose him for the Ignited Minds Award, the only one from Kashmir. “It was a great moment getting this prestigious award and it has encouraged me a lot,” he said. “My ultimate aim is to become a scientist.”

His father, Abdul Rashid Dav, is as elated. “I spend every rupee of my meagre income on my children’s education. I want to see them succeed,” said Rashid, a shawl weaver. “So I was greatly pleased when I heard my son had been chosen for such a prestigious award.”

Courtesy Kashmir Ink

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