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Coronavirus: IIT-Madras partners with Chennai firm to develop touchless sanitizer dispenser

Coronavirus: IIT-Madras partners with Chennai firm to develop touchless sanitizer dispenser

The Indian Institute of Technology – Madras has partnered with the industry to develop a touchless sanitizer dispenser that can be deployed in cars, vans, buses and even auto rickshaws.

This design is scalable for use with both AC and DC power supply. Special care has been taken in the choice of materials so that they can be safely used with liquid and gel type sanitizers.

This project was led by Kavitha Arunachalam, associate professor, Department of Engineering Design, IIT- Madras, who worked in collaboration with Anandraj G and Rajesh D from Shima Engineering, a Chennai-based firm.

Tracing the origins of the project, Kavitha said, “The idea of building a touchless sanitizer dispenser was initiated by Shima Engineering in mid-March 2020. Anticipating the need for hands-free personal hygiene products in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, I mentored Shima Engineering to build prototypes to suit different end-users.”

“Our proposal was approved by Seshadri Sekhar, faculty in-charge, Covid-19 projects, IIT-Madras, and supported by the central workshop, IIT-Madras. We fabricated a few units that were installed in IIT-Madras student dining halls and the institute hospital besides in other areas of the campus such as the IIT-Madras Research Park.”

The choice of materials and parts that will come in contact with the sanitizer are chemically stable and the unit is designed to discharge three millilitres in three seconds, which is ideal for industries, educational institutions and corporate offices. There is no mechanical wear and tear of internal parts in this design.

A rugged design has been developed based on the feedback obtained on the functioning of the prototype units that have been in use on the campus since mid-April. Shima Engineering is in the process of getting incubation support from IIT-Madras for developing related products for personal hygiene and products for disinfecting classrooms, office spaces, shop floors and commercial buildings.

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