May 26, 2016

Posted by in 2016, Expert's Session, News | 0 Comments

Discussion regarding field visits with Prof. Amaresh Chakrabarti

DATE : 26th of may 2016

TIME: 09:00 to 11:00

VENUE : School of Engineering and Applied sciences, Ahmedabad  University

CHAIRED BY : Prof. Amaresh Chakrabarti

Dr. Mahulkar apprised Prof. Chakrabarti of what has been done by the summer school participants.

He began with his suggestion by asking students to focus on four  main things before designing the product.

Those four things were:

The first is to answer what problem to focus on? When you see the  problem you should ask  certain questions like what difference is it  going to make? For how many people? What is the likely cost and  time?

The second thing to do is a more detailed analysis of the problem. Architect example showed the need to find where the main problem lies. He gave the example of grass cutting. Before cutting grass first you should think why to cut grass. If the aim of cutting grass is to maintain the length of grass , then an alternative of grass cutting would be to grow genetically modified grass which does not grow after a certain length.

The third step after identifying the problem is to write down a list of statements which if satisfied can solve the problem. So in the grass example, it could be writing down a list of requirement statements like the required length of grass, time period, cost etc

The fourth step would be looking at previous studies and comparing them. From this point onwards the session became more of a Q & A session.

And following questions were asked by participants:

Dr Mahulakar: What participants should do when the concept is ready to bring it to prototype level.


Professor: Give a concept and on which I will reply.

Dr Mahulkar: Let’s take cloth pulley example.

Professor: First follow the third step stated above. After this, think of the various ways in which you can solve this problem. While doing so, one will get a pool of ideas and so make a morphobyial chart. It was also a possibility that one may have one idea for each problem and based on which one should start sketching. If necessary, one can even have more than one sketch for solving one problem or otherwise. The initial sketches may not be very detailed but eventually one would have to make a detailed sketch.

Saish: What if I write down a problem and google it and realise this problem has been solved by another person and my innovation would bring only say 10% changes. Is it worth it then to go ahead with such solution?

Professor: Must do prior art search. However, just don’t be carried away by someone saying that problem has been solved, look into the exact claim and see if that is different from yours.

Akash: How not to get influenced by existing ideas while doing prior art search?

Professor: When you prior art, the aim is to get influenced by all ideas. So look into all problems and see what changes can you bring in them.

Manthan: Should we try solving problems which can be solved through other means like say govt. etc.?

Professor: If your solution can bring outcome at the least cost, it should certainly be done.

Shubhangi: How to deal with people who have problems but are not willing to share the problems with you?

Professor: It may happen so but you should try and reason out with respondents or observe things.

Manthan: We come from a technical background and how to find a problem which is not a problem?

Professor: Observation is the key.

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