The power of science and technology need to be developed and harnessed for the progress of humanity. While it is important to work at the frontiers of science, it is equally important to develop a technology appropriate for rural and semi-urban India and other developing countries – a technology that is appropriate to its people and their culture –, and at the same time emphasises the deeper psychological values that enrich life.
A technology is needed which will reach a large number of people quickly and directly, helping them to do their work more efficiently, with less health hazards and at a lower cost, and at the same time maintaining full harmony with the people and their environment.
Sri Aurobindo Institute for Science & Technology (SAIST)
The Sri Aurobindo Institute for Science and Technology (SAIST) aims at synthesising science and technology with deeper spiritual values and service of humanity.
Areas of specific interest are alternative energy sources, especially solar and wind energy, and appropriate technology.
Presently, research at SAIST is proceeding on the following:
- Project NIWT
SAIST is developing a new type of wind turbine Niharika-Ishan Wind Turbine (NIWT). The NIWT is spherical in shape and has certain unique characteristics. Unlike existing wind-turbines which have either a horizontal or a vertical axis, the NIWT has a universal axis and can be mounted vertically, horizontally or at any angle. It is also omni-directional and can harness the wind blowing in any direction.
These properties make NIWT suitable for any kind of terrain and even for marine applications. NIWT is also self-starting and can convert energy at even very low wind-speeds.
- Various capacity small detachable trailers (up to 200 kilogram load), with silent rubber block axle-mounted shock absorption, which can be attached to two-wheeled vehicles for the transportation of crops and other goods on any kind of road.
- "Sun and Planet" gearing to permit cycle rickshaw operators to start and surmount inclines without needing to dismount or strain themselves.
- Improved braking systems for cycle rickshaws.
- Slip clutch differential mechanism to prevent one wheel moving faster on cornering and the use of only two instead of the four ball bearings normally required.
- Double cycle rickshaws for loads of up to 400 kilograms.
- An air press tyre remover which does not damage the beading or inner ply as do currently popular techniques.
- LPG fuelled two-stroke engine with a vacuum activated mechanism to control the automatic advance and delay firing.
- Carpentry and mechanics
- Horizontal fixed position grinders to permit uniform smoothing of sawmill timber.
- Dust particle removers, using the airflows of the cutting/grinding machines themselves, to promote health of wood and metal workers.
- Improved reciprocal saws to permit faster shaping of wood.
- Improved fret saws for cutting wood, metal and plastic.
- Agriculture programme
- Organic pesticide smoke-spreader, currently only for cotton plants.
- Honey extractor centrifuge capable of accommodating combs of various sizes without damaging them.
- Recovery equipment, including underwater recovery, for "lost" submersible pumps and PVC pipes in bore well construction, which will save material and preclude multiple borings caused by such irrecoverable materials.
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