Ideas From KCG Innovation Challenge

We started with 40 ideas ( 5 each from 8 departments). After initial screening, we selected 16 ( 2 from each department) and had them present to an external jury. Here are a list of these ideas. we will award three top ideas. We will support many of these ideas turn to prototypes.

  1. Robotic sewage Cleaners
  2. Detecting Landmines Using QuadCopter
  3. Partial Replacement of Natural Course Aggregate with Plastic Aggregate
  4. BIM Modelling using alternate Realities
  5. Voice ATM
  6. IOT based fire alert system
  7. Detecting and helping Dyslexia in Children
  8. Detecting early signs of foot problems for Diabetic Patients
  9. Automating powering up and down classrooms in a college
  10. Water Management system using IOT
  11. Automatic segregation of  recyclable material
  12. Hybrid Solar Panel
  13. MTC Bus Tracking
  14. IOT based Smart glasses
  15. Flexible and Compact couch
  16. Temperature control Jacket

What is Build to Learn?

Build to Learn is an initiative by a group of volunteers to help people learn programming by building useful micro-products. Our motto is – Build to Learn and Learn to Build.

Anyone who wants to learn or build or do both can participate. We plan to meet a few times a week in 3-4 hour coding sessions and build useful products.

The setting is informal. You can start with a simple one paragraph definition of a product and recruit volunteers to work with you on the idea. We do not have any rigid processes. The team can decide how to interact.

We had the first session on the 3rd of February and 10 of us were present. We started 4 projects. We hope you can all join and either learn or help others learn.

Who can participate? Anyone who wants to help  define  a product, code, design, and  test.


5 Reasons Why Should You Host An Hour of Code

I was talking to a group of faculty members at KCG Tech on why we should ask schools to host An Hour of Code.

The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts.

Here are some reasons why you should be interested in hosting an hour of code or help schools to host it.
  1. This grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide.
  2. It is an international movement to get people interested in learning to code.
  3. The first step in teaching programming is to get the learner engaged. Next steps include creating curiosity and giving them a sense of wonder. Show them what they can do with the code in a few minutes.
  4.  Students will do something different and have a lot of fun while learning. In the past couple of instances where we conducted an hour of code, many 7th graders went beyond the hour, refusing to leave the computer lab.
  5. The program will be run mostly by student volunteers and techies. We are trying to get students involved in social causes. We believe the best form for students to learn, is by teaching.

Congratulations to the Magnificient 7

Congratulations to the seven students from Chennai who made it to Google Summer of Code.  I am especially proud that they all participated in #32hourstartup and/or #in50hours product building events. Here is a list of the people selected.

  1. Yuvi – KCG College, Mediawiki
  2. Madhu-  SSN, GNOME
  3. Karthik –   SSN, GNOME
  4. Kishore – KCG College, OSGeo
  5. Sathya – CEG, Tor/EFF
  6. Feroze – VEC, GNOME/GStreamer
  7. Shiv Deepak – SRM, Sahana Eden (Didn’t attend 32HourStartup, but attended #In50Hrs)

#32hourstartup was the first weekend hackathon organized by students of SSN college and actively supported by other colleges. Yuvi from KCG Tech played a pivotal role in bringing this event along with Sharath and the team from SSN. They pulled off an amazing event and it was a privilege for some of us to be involved in that event. Nice to see that several students applied for GSOC and six of them were selected. To quote Yuvi:

People for whom 32HourStartup started the hackerspirit, eventually ending up in GSoC applications

That is really nice to know. You never think of these effects when you start these events.

#in50hours was another product building event organized as the launch of The Startup Centre in Chennai. There was considerable overlap between the participants of #32hourstartup and this event.

Some of these participants are regular contributors and participants in Chennai Geeks techmeets, Nerd Dinner casual meets and hang out in other startup communities like Chennai Open Coffee Club.

One thing is for sure. A tech/startup eco-system is emerging in Chennai and it is nice to be part of it all.


Thanks to Yuvi for alerting me to this event (about 4 hours before the results were published) and pinging me immediately after to tell who was selected. Yuvi was selected last year also. He is the true inspiration behind all these participants.