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Category COLLABORATIVE LEARNING
 
Title Fabricating Solutions for the Persistent Problems of the Poor: Summer School on Inclusive Innovations, 2016: PART-II
 
Details Case 4: Seed dibblerSandesh Agrawal, JanhaviThaly, Paras Dhiman, Mahima ModiPrecision seeding involves placing seeds at a precise spacing and depth. This is in contrast to broadcast seeding where seeds are scattered over an area. Although, precise hand placement might achieve the same result with a stick used to make a hole that method involves enormous drudgery, labour and cost. A manual mechanical process is often warranted to achieve efficiency at an extremely affordable cost. A wide range of hand-pushed and powered precision seeders are available for small to large-scale jobs. Using a variety of actions, they all open the soil, create rows, place the seed, and cover it. The depth and spacing varies, depending on the type of crop and the desired plant density. A low-cost dibbler with a simple mechanism has been developed by Mansukhbhai Jagani but it needs some improvements especially in terms of precision.A manual seed dibbler costing less than Rs 3000 and with adjustable height has to be designed which saves seeds and avoids multiple seeds falling in a hill. After talking to stakeholders and innovators like Bharatbhai Agrawat, the team got a better insight and they worked on a model that satisfied the following user requirements: adjustable spacing, seedplacement at the right depth; choice of continuous and discontinuous mechanism in the same device and easy portability.The design development flow chartA semi-automatic seed-dibbler model was made with detachable wheels for continuous and discontinuous functioning. The bottom part has a gate controlled through a clutch. An accelerator type mechanism rotates the seed roller. The height of dibbler as well as depth and spacing of the seed to seed spacing can be adjusted.Another mechanism developed includes only one-clutch release system which drops one seed at a time with adjustable sizes of seeds. Thus, pressing the brake once will release one seed at a time and the height of the dibbler can be adjusted as per user’s comfort. Depth of the seed can be maintained as required.Way forward 1. Grooves on the seed wheel/gear should be made according to the size of the seed. 2. The motion of the seed wheel should not vary after some time. Proper and precise movement should be there. 3. Dibbler, when attached to wheels, should not have free movement and instead, be properly controlled by the user. 4. Both continuous and discontinuous methods of seeding should be present.Case 5: Load-carrying deviceAniket Singh, Arpit Kabra, Chintan Mehta, Rashi Jain At construction sites, workers generally carry loads like bricks, sand and cement on their heads using a plank placed over a rolled piece of cloth so as to provide support and cushion. The load typically varies from 25-30 kg for cement and sand to around 40 kg in case of bricks. The average distance traversed with the load is generally less than 500 metres. The workers manually lift the load on their heads and carry it to further distances. While loading of bricks is done by a single person and that of cement/sand requires two persons, unloading is mostly done by a single worker. The quality factor for the load being carried at the construction sites is generally not a major issue and material such as bricks and sand are mostly handled roughly by the workers, literally thrown on the ground while unloading. While the workers are highly accustomed to current construction practices and have been able to do their jobs efficiently, they have largely been ignoring the harmful health or ergonomic consequences of the existing load-carrying processes, especially like head and neck strains, joint pains, impairment of body posture and in some cases spinal cord injuries. To address these concerns a prototype developed initially was able to distribute the load on both the head and shoulders, and was light enough. However, it suffered from certain drawbacks.Balancing of the structure while loading and unloading was a major problem. The structure used to wobble backwards whenever the user would stop holding it. The height of the structure was another issue due to which the workers were not able to place the required number of bricks on the plate, which in turn reduced their productivity. it was unstable and unwieldy at times. The team came up with a considerably modified design of the prototype.The balancing issue of the structure was resolved by designing a metal frame that closely attaches to the body, making the structure feel like a part of it. The position of the load-carrying tray was also adjusted to balance the centre of gravity. The height of the structure was reduced by removing all the excess material like the base on the top of the helmet and reducing the thickness of the load plate. Workers would now be able to carry a conventional load of 12 bricks by using this device. The structure was made more solid and a general device was made to fit a wide class of workers. The entire structure was cushioned with foam to ensure maximum comfort.The Way ForwardThe device in its current state works well and achieves the intended purpose. However, there were several useful suggestions from the users and experts such as: Introducing a telescopic rod system for the load-carrier plate instead of a rigid one to allow the same device to be adjusted for a much wider set of workers physique; The use of an alternate material which is both light weight and has high strength; wider distribution of the load-carrying device developed for construction site workers and contractors; ensuring its incorporation in the current load-carrying practices and encouraging users to improve it continuously.
 
Volume No. Honey Bee 27(4) 20-21, 2016

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