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A nondescript staircase at the Somaiya Institute of Engineering in Vidyavihar has been drawing students by the hordes since the past two days. The common steps leading to the first floor have been redesigned to look like the keys of a piano in white and black-and interestingly, as you climb, they emit the sound of music. Students of the Research Innovation Incubation Design Lab (RIIDL) of Somaiya College have devised a musical stairway in order to encourage their peers and the faculty to take the stairs rather than the elevators.
Hiren Patel, who was part of the initiative, says “they were motivated by a campaign conducted by an international car manufacturer. The company wished to encourage people to take the staircase rather than the lift and decided to make its staircase interactive so that people would enjoy the experience of climbing. We have replicated that effort", he says. Former engineering student Gaurang Shetty, who devised the contraption, said it took nothing, fancier than aluminum foil that is used to wrap food, acrylic sheets and a Casio keyboard. The motor company had used far more expensive stuff. We also have around a hundred tunes that you can play on the stairway. Students who are trying it out tend to linger on each step for seconds longer just to enjoy listening to one note, he laughs. He has installed a motion effect software screen at the head of the staircase. People can see quirky mirror effects as they move. Either the image shows they are on fire or they resemble cartoon characters, he laughs. If 10 students are climbing, you will see 10 people on fire. It may be merely a fun exercise for now but the students see potential in the innovation. We plan to approach children’s hospitals to replicate this model. But we will have to make sure the patients are not disturbed. It can be done with some funding, says Patel. Somaiya, Colleges principal in-charge Prof Anil Thosar is concerned that the open circuitry must be monitored continuously. "In a college, one can never be too careful against mischief," he says. Otherwise, it is a wonderful invention.
Courtesy: Times of India
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