Driverless Bicycle for Disabled Persons Developed by IIT Kharagpur Students
IIT students Kharagpur developed driverless bicycle. This driverless bicycle suits for disabled persons who face severe difficulty while steering or pedaling environment issues. The driverless bicycle is named as I-bike and its salient feature is that it will run autonomously to any desired location. This innovation is a blessing for disabled person since it has the features like autonomous steering, brake, driving and balancing mechanisms. In this bicycle manual riding is also possible as it is equipped with innovative gear mechanism. It is environment friendly too.
“We saw some differently abled people who could ride bicycles but had to face many problems when trying to take their bikes out from the parking space, as most such spaces are not disabled friendly. To tackle this problem we started working to make a bicycle that would be controlled wirelessly,” says Ayush Pandey, a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student of IIT Kharagpur, one who is behind the invention of I-bike and his counter part was Subhamoy Mahajan.
The bicycle uses global positioning system (GPS), laser and sonar based sensors and also uses the data to plan its motion and the bicycle can easily trace the obstacle on its. Wireless telephone network is also associated with it. Parking retrieval is one of the major applications of I-bike and it surely offers assistance to the person with disabilities.
“We felt that it can also be applicable in those bicycle sharing stations that run in many developed cities around the world and are also being planned in India. In such systems, you pick a bicycle from a station, ride it, and then leave it at another particular station. So you have to find a sharing station each time you want to leave the bike – governments have to invest a lot in setting up several stations like these. But if the bicycle is autonomous, it can be called by a user to his/her home and can be sent back to the station after use. This way, we can completely change the bike sharing system,” says Ayush Pandey.
There are 13 undergraduate students behind the development of driverless bicycle, and it has won first prize in nation wide innovation challenge organized by KPIT technologies.
“The best thing about the bike is that it is a normal bicycle with external modifications only. All modifications are retractable and it can function as a normal bike by simply flicking a switch. So, in the case of bike sharing systems, users can ride the bike themselves after calling it autonomously. No such design exists in the world,” says Ayush Pandey.
I-bike will also help the common people who are struggling to find affordable means of transport after getting off local trains, metros, and buses. This bicycle will be available widely in the country once the students acquire the patent.