Naresh Vashisht Center for Tinkering & Innovation (NVCTI)
Sometime in the year 2018 ISMAANA received a request from IIT(ISM) for finding sponsors to fund several infrastructure projects at IIT(ISM). Even though ISM had become an IIT it was not receiving funding from the Govt of India to fund these projects. One of the projects in this was for setting up a research laboratory where the students and faculty could conduct research that could lead to the development of innovative products. The model of this laboratory was going to be the one that was operational at IIT(Delhi).
Mr. Naresh Vashisht (1967 PE) agreed to fund this project. He wanted to build a world class research laboratory that was superior to the lab at IIT(Delhi). After a yearlong period of tiresome research, that involved visit to the IIT(Delhi) Lab by Naresh and the Director IIT(ISM) The blueprint for the construction of this facility at IIT(ISM) was developed. The lab with space of 10,000 square meters is located at the newly constructed GRIHA compliant building, inside the IIT(ISM) campus. With the total cost of 1.157 million US$ (8.2 Crores Indian Rs.) it is one of the biggest donations made to a premier educational institution of India.
NVCTI is now fully functional. It consists of the following five separate units:
- Unit 1 (Mechanical Tools & Rapid Prototyping unit): Mechanical equipment, tools and instruments are integral part of the Lab. Collection of these equipment works as a mini workshop where the students can give shapes to the ideas. Some of the major equipment in this unit are CNC milling machine, Lathes, drilling machines, welding and grinders, 3D scanners and various types of modern 3D printers.
- Unit 2 (Electronics Circuit and IOT Unit): This unit’s design consists of the basic and the advanced instruments to provide hands-on of the electronics design for innovation and Industrial applications. It offers in depth learning of the electronic circuit design and simulation with the PCB design, followed by the fabrication of the circuits and the validation of the same.
- Unit 3 (Animation and Game Design Unit): This unit primarily contains the hardware and the software used in designing animation and games.
- Unit 4 (Pouch Battery Cell Assembly Unit): This prototype battery fabrication unit is in the form of coin or Pouch cell. It would be helpful for the in-house production of the battery prototypes. It could be scaled up for the further development, based on their capacity and integration with the solar cells.
- Unit 5 (Robotics & Automation Unit): This unit is designed to develop intelligent robots and to train them. Major equipment in this unit are Industrial Robots, IP Cameras, Workshop Tools, Parallel Robot Actuators & Controllers, Pneumatics IOT Training Systems, Mechanical Simulator Software and PLC Training System.
To encourage students to take advantage of the facilities offered by NVCTI, combined with the endowment fund setup by Mr. Naresh Vashisht, IIT(ISM) is now offering a minor in the product development at NVCTI. Any student (including from the first year) that has completed at least two regular semesters at IIT(ISM) can apply to participate in this program. This provides the students opportunity to convert innovative ideas into products or processes by using the lab facilities of NVCTI or any other lab or workshop at the institute. Consumables / contingencies when required are provided to the students. The students in the program receive stipend of 6000 IRS per month for a maximum of 12 months.
To earn the minor in PDI, the students are required to earn 18 credit hours in three consecutive semesters by taking courses like: Smart manufacturing, Robotics, Electronics, Data Software and Aeronautics and Space technology etc. They also must maintain a minimum GPA of 7.0. The faculty support at NVCTI is currently being provided by Prof Pankaj Mishra (Dean & HOC) and Prof Ajit Kumat (Head Strategy & Execution).
Since opening in April 2021, NVCTI has participated in the Samsung Innovation awards 2021. These awards are organized every year to identify and encourage innovative ideas and projects. It is a multi IIT event. ISMAANA sponsors has setup 9 prizes to be awarded each year to the students that have developed innovative processes or products. A summary of these awards is listed below. For the year 2021 ISMAANA Piyush Dutta award of $1500 was jointly awarded to two students: Mr. Saswata Som & Ms. Shweta Kumari.