Chandigarh University Student invents AI-based Smart Stick ‘Netra’ to make visually-impaired people self-reliant.


According to a report by the World Health Organization, there are currently 28.5 Crore people in the world who are visually impaired. Among those, 3.90 Crore people are blind whereas as 24.60 Crore people are living with low vision or visual impairment of some kind. In India, there are as many as 1.20 Crore blind people, which means that around one-third of world’s blind population lives in India or every third blind person on this planet, lives in India.

To help this visually-challenged populace, Chandigarh University’s student Lovelesh Dutt has developed a smart stick or cane which helps them with their day-to-day activities, ensuring that their visual impairment doesn’t hamper them from living a life of joy. Aptly named ‘Netra’, this smart cane is a smart device developed and based on Artificial Intelligence, and not only just as a guide but a protector for the blinds, thus making them self-reliant in ways more than one as it has sensors to sense obstacles, GPS navigation system, SOS alert, inbuilt taser among others.

Lovelesh, who hails from Haryana and is currently a student of MBA in Chandigarh University, explains the working of the cane, “Based on Artificial Intelligence, the smart cane has a number of features. For example, if any kind of object or animal or even human comes in the way of the user, then the Smart Stick will generate beep sound, besides producing vibration, making the user aware of the object coming in front of them.”

Dutt informs that the AI-based smart stick is connected to the GPS navigation system, which provides information about the location of the user to their family. Besides, the device draws its power from sun with the help of solar panel mounted on it, thus removing the hassle of charging it.

“The device has an emergency SOS alert feature inbuilt. A SIM card can be inserted inside a slot in the smart cane and the user can set the number of family members or police. In case of any emergency, the user can press the button on the cane, which will automatically send an SOS alert to the police and family members along with the location of the user. Also, if anyone tries to harm the user, the inbuilt taser at the bottom of the stick will give a shock of 400 kV to the offender, which will enable the blind person to protect themselves,” he says.

Speaking about the inspiration behind the smart stick, Lovelesh says, “While blind and deaf people used a simple stick, I felt there was always a need of some form of support and assistance which led to this device.”

“Visually-challenged people might take more time to complete a routine task, their pace might be slow but it does not mean that they are unable to do it. To make visually impaired people self-reliant, I have done my bit of contribution,” he added.

Lovelesh informs that he has prepared the smart stick at the cost of around Rs 3000 a piece and has successfully filed a patent for this device as well, which he has successfully surveyed and tested it in various NGOs and schools.

There is more to Lovelesh than just the smart cane. With exceptional performance in the field of research and innovation, Lovelesh has proved his talent at the national and international level. Fulfilling his responsibility towards the society, Lovelesh is providing free technology and research education to poor and orphan children under DDU (Dutt Dua Universe), an established company in the field of technology and research education, even as his work towards women’s safety and self-reliance is leading the charge for a safer society for women.

He has been honoured by the World Book of Records, London for his matchless contribution in creating Smallest SmartBin with extra-ordinary features, besides the National Excellence Award-2019 for Outstanding Contribution in Promoting Innovative and Creative activities. Lovelash’s Talking Smart Bin can monitor waste level, sense motion, and support more than 100 globally accepted languages with salutations like ‘hello’, ‘use me’ and ‘take the trash out’.

Keeping in view the safety and self-reliance of women, Lovelesh Dutt has created a security device, using which women can ensure their safety. Weighing less than 100 grams, this security device gives a high voltage shock to eve-teasers, while possessing a fast charging module with an inbuilt 1-inch 3.7V battery that can be charged in just 3 minutes. His name has been included in the India Book of Records 3 times for manufacturing women safety devices and satellites. Lovelash currently has 20 patents for different gadgets that he has created over the past five years. He has registered his company Innovative Robot King with Chandigarh University Technology Business Incubator.

Lovelesh has been awarded the RAX Karmaveer Global Youth Fellowship and Karmaveer Chakra Award 2020-21 (White Medal) sponsored by the United Nations, for ensuring his participation in various social activities as well as channeling his passion in innovation for social welfare. He has been honoured by the Haryana Cabinet Minister for his exceptional achievements in the field of research, and the National Excellence Award-2019 for his exemplary contribution in innovative and creative activities.

Expressing happiness over Lovelesh’s achievements, Chandigarh University’s Pro-Chancellor Dr. RS Bawa said that the University is committed to provide its students with information and knowledge-based environment and adequate resources for research and innovation at the level of higher education. He said that a special budget of Rs 12 crore has been proposed by Chandigarh University for the year 2022 to encourage the students towards research, so that the economic problems do not become a hindrance for the budding scientists of the future.

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