Mechanics meet Creativity
Photo Credits: Aneek Mustafa Anwar
After a semester-long worth of brainstorming, hard work and sleepless nights, we the students of Level-3, Term-1, Department of Mechanical Engineering, BUET, are at last done with our projects. Around six months ago, when we were still branded as the campus juniors, we had come across the course "Instrumentation and Measurement Sessional" which demands the true engineering instincts of a student. We were posed with real life problems and as engineering students, we were expected to put into practice all that we learnt in our freshman and sophomore years.
The course was a chance for us to explore the potentials within ourselves and in what is available around us. We decided to get our hands dirty and dive into the realms of real life engineering that lay out of the scopes of theory. Nothing felt more appeasing than being able to showcase our precious creations to everyone. The Student's Project Show-2010 organised by the Department of Mechanical Engineering was a means of making the whole country know about our efforts.
The event kicked off on the morning of October 23. The honourable Vice Chancellor of BUET, Dr. S.M. Nazrul Islam, inaugurated the daylong gala event. Dr. M. Habibur Rahman, honourable Pro Vice Chancellor of BUET was present as special guest. Dr. Muhammad Mahbubul Alam, the Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering, presided over the inaugural ceremony. Dr. Md. Ashraful Islam, coordinated the event. A total of 32 projects were showcased. 5 received certificates of excellence.
The second runners up awards were jointly awarded to the projects "Vehicle Velocity Measurement" and "The Payloameter 2010". The first project focused on simple ways of tracking velocity of vehicles on roads via lasers, detecting those that violate speed limit and storing valuable information in a database about traffic criminals via camera and visual units interfaced with computer. The whole process runs in the Matlab® code. In the wake of frequent road mishaps, a prototype as this made solely out of local materials can by far, be the most efficient way the government can attempt to tackle the problem. The second project is yet another nifty creation. This is an attempt to automate the regular procedures involved with measuring the weight and dimensions of payloads and cargo in airports and customs checkpoints. The prototype works on the astoundingly simple idea of light impedance and resistance change to measure dimensions. A state-of-the-art pressure sensor does the trick of measuring weight. The two elements of the prototype are amazingly interfaced using miniscule computers and microcontrollers. A little bit of programming and voila, the tedious job of cargo handling can be completed without any manual interference.
The first runners up awards were jointly awarded to the projects, "Automatic Fire Detection and Extinguisher System" and the "Automatic Toll Collection and Barricade System". With increasing incidents of fire disaster and shortcomings in fire fighting methods of the country, a prototype as this is a boon. The system incorporates a fire detection system comprised of temperature sensors and LDRs activated by smoke and temperature and has its own fully automated fire extinguisher consisting of water sprinklers. The other project is an attempt to automate the toll collection of vehicles as seen in bridge and border entry points. It consists of a weight sensitive platform sensed by linear variable differential transformers (LVDT) and an automatically controlled barricade. The whole process was controlled by a computer.
The ultimate showstopper of the event was the well-deserved winner with the project titled "Remotely Operated Vehicle for Extraction & Reconnaissance (ROVER)". The ROVER is a radio-controlled robot. Its amazing three jaw gripper can get a grasp of almost anything at a multitude of angles. It comes with a compact radio controlled CCTV that allows for remote surveillance. The creators stress that the ROVER can be used in delicate bomb diffusal missions and even in events of nuclear and chemical disasters.
What is incredible about all the projects is that they all embody sophisticated systems that can appear quite futuristic if compared to the present scene of the country. Yet the students have been able to achieve remarkable feat amidst the limited budget and material constraints. This goes to prove that Bangladesh offers a pool of intellect that boasts of new ideas and revolutionary schemes waiting to be unleashed, provided the necessary patronage is given.
The event of the Student's Project Show 2010 was a blessing for us and we express our deepest gratitude to all the teachers and patrons. Our earnest appreciations are extended to our honourable course supervisors, Dr. Md. Zahurul Haq, Professor, Mr. Abdul Motin, Asst. Professor, Mr. Nusair Mohammed Ibn Hasan, Lecturer, Mr. Md. Reaz Mohiuddin, Lecturer and Mr. Mahbubul Islam, Lecturer, all from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Had it not been for their timely assistance and supervision, we could have never opted to complete our projects and organise a show of such monumental scales.
(The writer is a student of Department Of Mechanical Engineering, BUET)