Kerala students develop machine to paint high-rises

Harikrishnan Jayachandran and friends are in final year of engineering course

It was the sight of a labourer painting a high-rise, precariously balancing himself without any safety measures, that set Harikrishnan Jayachandran thinking. The final-year Electronics and Communication Engineering student at Amrita Engineering College, Amritapuri, did some research and found that wall painters face a lot of health hazards as well. “According to WHO, these workers are in a high-risk category since they are exposed to toxic chemicals and lead in paint which leads to long-term and health issues and diseases like cancer.”

He discussed the problem with his friends. They created Wallpbot, the prototype of a machine to paint high-rises without human involvement. This was tested at The Business Incubator (TBI), Amrita University.

“Harikrishnan and team approached me with a report which laid out the problem, suggested a solution and sought assistance from the university. They had created a 3D-animated model of a robot that could paint the walls. We encourage and support students’ interest in solving real-life problems and were really glad to provide all support,” says Purushotam. A, vice-chairperson, School of Engineering, Amritapuri.

Robotic techniques

Harikrishnan says their challenge was to create a simple and innovative design. “We know that artificial intelligence and robotic techniques were what we wanted, to create the design.” Apart from Harikrishnan, the others in the team were Aravind Sadashiv, Arya Sudarshan and Allen Peter.

The team has contested for James Dyson Award and was semi-finalist in the Accenture Innovation challenge. It has applied for a patent for its product.

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