IIT Madras CFI Open House showcases student innovations  
From Drones that can aid in Disaster Management to Autonomous botthat maps railroads, many interesting projects were demonstrated
CHENNAI, : Indian Institute of Technology Madras’ Centre For Innovation (CFI) showcased some of the unique student innovation and projects to the public as well as industry through the annual ‘CFI Open House 2018’ held today (Sunday, 4th November 2018).Prof. Jagadeesh Kumar, Dean AcademicCourses, inaugurated the Open House in the presence of Prof.Boby George, Faculty-in-Charge, CFI, IIT Madras, faculty and students.
CFI, a student-run facility to encourage engineers to apply knowledge from their academic pursuits to ‘innovate’ and propose solutions to real-world problems, hosts the Open House for students to network with potential mentors and facilitators in technology and entrepreneurship. CFI now enters its Tenth Year with ambitious plans for the future.
Speaking about the importance of this Prof M. S. Sivakumar, Dean (Students), IIT Madras, said, “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! It’s great to see so many people adding to their joy by showing up, listening and watching in awe, their creation and effort.  I guess appreciation is bound to be natural”
Over 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: 
1. UAV for Disaster Management - leverages the autonomous drone usage to help relief and post-calamity surveillance work helping the first responders and the army.
2. Artemis - autonomous bot that detects and maps railroads to search for possible cracks, wear andtear for the maintenance and monitoring of the nation’s over 1 lakh km length of railroads.
3. Driver Assistance System for Indian On-road Application, Handheld spectrometer, Modular plane, Electric Bevel Gear Bicycle, Motorcycle Engine Electronic Fuel Injectioncontroller 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.”
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.
Highlighting the opportunities CFI provides to the students, Mr. S. RaghavVaidyanathan, Student Executive Head, CFI IIT Madras, said, “CFI is a unique platform for students to explore and innovate beyond their classrooms. It plays a vital role in the mentorship and entrepreneurial culture of IIT Madras. The Open House is a day of networking and celebration for the entire community and stakeholders.”
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. 
Since its inception, CFI has augmented the ‘tech’ space in the institute wherein projects from CFI have gone on to produce high-profile start-ups and internationally acclaimed competition teams apart from bagging laurels at the national and international levels. Driven by passion and fuelled by enthusiasm, CFI aims to kindle the spirit of inquiry and foster the spirit of engineering, not just in IITM - but also in other institutes via mentorship.
To strengthen the innovation ecosystem within the 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.
Multiple projects in CFI have been patented and also recognised at the national level 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 RashtrapatiBhavan, for the President’s Festival of Innovation. 
Four competition teams: Raftar Formula Racing, Anveshak (University Rover Challenge), Abhiyaan (Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition) and AvishkarHyperloop (SpaceXHyperloop Pod Competition) have represented IITM and the country in international competitions. This year, Raftar Formula Racing was the only Indian Team to qualify and participate in the Formula Student Germany 2018. Teams Anveshak, Abhiyaan and AvishkarHyperloop performed exceedingly well at their second attempt. 
Multiple innovations from CFI community have been accepted and lauded by private agencies and Government of India for having tremendous potential to improve lives.