153 year old Massachusetts institute of Technology publishes an annual list of under-35 innovators who have created stunning innovations in the field of biomedicine, computing, communications, business, energy, materials, and the web.
Presented by Technology Review magazine and published by MIT, ‘Innovators Under 35’ is a well known, prestigious recognition which is finalized after by inviting ideas and innovations from all over the world.
Some previous winners include Mark Zuckerberg, Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Jonathan Ive of Apple and Max Levchin, co-founder of PayPal and others. As per MIT, the inclusion into this list is reserved for those innovators, who are “exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world..”
It’s a proud moment for us as four Indians have been included in this list for 2015. These are:
- Rahul Panicker (34 year old)
- Aaswath Raman (30 year old)
- Rohan Paul(30 year old)
- Saurabh Srivastava (30 year old)
And here are the breakthrough innovations which they accomplished to emerge as winners:
Rahul Panicker: Saving Infants’ Lives
When Rahul came to know about the insanely high mortality rate of infants in India, he decided to apply his IIT Madras and Stanford education in India and left his job in USA. He created an incubator which can work upto 6 hours without electricity and can help save toddlers’ lives in rural areas.
This innovative incubator can save lives of low birth weight and premature infants by distributing an inexpensive and effective infant warmer, which costs just 1% of the traditional systems. His innovation has already reached 144000 infants as 4400 health care workers & 9200 mothers have been educated and trained via 105 programs launched in 11 countries.
His social startup Embrace Innovations has been backed by veteran Indian VC Vinod Khosla via Khosla Impact; and his next goal is to save 2,00,000 babies across 15 countries.
Aaswath Raman: Affordable Air-Conditioning System
A researcher at Stanford University, Rahul has developed a special mirror which gets colder under direct sunlight, and can keep the temperature down by 5 degrees. This mirror has a coating which can reflect back the heat into outer space and thus can be used for creating air-conditioning system which requires very little electricity to sustain. Nanoscale manufacturing technique has been used to create this disc mirror.
Raman has used a very basic and ancient Physics rule which states that object can cool down by radiating heat. A working prototype of this innovation has already been installed on the roof of Stanford’s Packard Electrical Engineering Building.
Raman has already received a funding of $3 million from Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy to implement this idea on the existing ACs; and once successfully tested, this can revolutionize the Air conditioning industry as the cost of electricity will drastically come down.
Rohan Paul: Assisting The Blind To Avoid Collisions
In 2005, Rohan visited National Association for the Blind while studying at IIT Delhi, and came to know that how frequently visually impaired people can hurt themselves while walking in open areas, which are usually flooded with objects such as trees, park benches, vehicles, stones etc.
This gave birth to an idea of creating an obstacle-detection system called SmartCane – a foldable cane which can automatically detect collisions. More than 10,000 people have used this magical cane since 2012, and the users have reported 95% fewer collisions using this device. SmartCane costs just $50 (Rs 3200).
Rohan has termed this innovation as ‘people’s product’ and have dedicated it to Mahatma Gandhi.
Saurabh Srivastava: Enabling Technology For Illiterate
Saurabh, who is working with Xerox India has developed a system through which illiterate people can easily use modern technology and empower their lives. Such people can now speak on their phone or use gestures infront of a web-cam to carry on with their normal tech-enabled activities and use the Internet for their businesses and homes.
Recently, he helped pregnant women in Assam to use this innovation, and diagnose their medical conditions using mobile internet.
You can see the entire list of 35 innovators from all over the world, here.