Drones to Autonomous bot, IIT Madras CFI Open House has it all


Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) Madras held 10th Centre For Innovation (CFI) Open House 2018 on November 4. In the annual CFI, gathering saw some of the unique innovations and projects done by the students. From drones that can aid in disaster management to autonomous bot that maps railroads, many interesting projects were demonstrated at the event.

CFI is a student-run facility which aims to encourage engineers to apply knowledge from their academic pursuits to ‘innovate’ and propose solutions to real-world problems. The Institute held the Open House for students so that they could network with potential mentors and facilitators in technology and entrepreneurship.

“CFI is a place where our students find their idea translating into a real product. CFI’s open house is the fruit of days and days of hardwork infused with passion for making the world into a better place to live. Students explain what they did not just by words but by displaying their creation in action,” said Prof M. S. Sivakumar, Dean (Students), IIT Madras, while addressing the gathering.

Projects Showcased

Around 50 student projects were demonstrated during the event, of which 21 are socially relevant. Students explained their projects to the public as well as industry representatives during the day. Some of the Projects include:

  • UAV for Disaster Management-leverage the autonomous drone usage to help relief and post-calamity surveillance work helping the first responders and the army.
  • Artemis – Autonomous bot that detects and maps railroads to search for possible cracks, wear and tear for the maintenance and monitoring of the nation’s over 1 lakh km length of railroads.
  • Driver Assistance System for Indian- On-road Application, Handheld spectrometer, Modular plane, Electric Bevel Gear Bicycle, Motorcycle Engine Electronic Fuel Injection controller are among other highlights of this year.

Speaking about the event, Prof Boby George, Faculty In-Charge, CFI IIT Madras, said, “CFI is a continuously growing, constantly evolving, family of young, talented, creative minds who enjoy peer learning and collaborating with the industry, academia, and alumni and consistently offer high-impact solutions to many pertinent challenges in the society.”

What is CFI?

CFI aims to promote informal learning and foster innovation and invention in technology, with a focus on technologies aimed at contributing positively to the environment and to the society. To strengthen the innovation ecosystem within the IIT Madras campus, CFI ensures that a pipeline of potential incubatees is created through a body called ‘Nirmaan,’ which seeks out students with ideas that have commercial potential and puts them through a one-year programme to refine the ideas, develop products, and formulate business plans.

How Far it Has Reached?

A decade since its’ inception, CFI is now home to 11 clubs and five competition teams with over 600 students involved in various activities. The comprehensive inventory and workspace at CFI acquired and maintained over the years, uniquely facilitates these teams and clubs to rapidly design and implement their ideas.


Multiple projects in CFI have been patented and also recognized at national and international level with achievements such as the GYTI award, James Dyson Award, bagging the 5th and 6th places at the Defense Expo 2018, first runner up position in the Smart India Hackathon, Employees’ Choice award at the Accenture Innovation Challenge and many more.CFI was also invited to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, for the President’s Festival of Innovation.

Leave a Reply