i-Post ( Intelligent Electric Post) was my second innovative project. The first innovative project was Optimum Speed Locking Equipment ( OSLE), a device to control the speed of vehicles according to the road conditions. But it was a working model made from scrap, not a fully functional prototype. After that, I wished to do a prototype that led me to the i-post. The idea of i-post came to my mind when I saw reports about the protest against malfunctioning of street lights of the model road near my house.
“So why can’t we make an automated system which reports malfunctioning of streetlights to the nearest KSEB office” I thought
This was the basic idea behind the i-Post. Thus started my project journey for the realisation of i post. It was during my second year of college life. Since I didn’t know any thing about micro-controller, started studying Arduino with the help of my seniors.
There is a club in my college, Ideator, which focus on developing innovations. From there I met Rohit ettan, Vipin ettan, Unni etten and other seniors who helped me in prototyping.
“Using those days, I used to spent evenings in Ideator with them discussing innovative ideas. Those days, Ideator and talk with them are the factors that still acts as catalyst to my ideas.”
It was Rohit ettan who helped me in designing i-post PCB. I still remember those times I used to call him several times and spending time in Men’s Hostel for designing i-post. I couldn’t forget their room in A Block which was full of electronic boards, modules, sensors etc.
And Unni ettan helped me to solder the components in the PCB. Actually without the help of them and Ideator, i-post would remain as a mere idea.
i-post was first presented in ISTE student convention and it bagged first prize in the project competition.
After it, i -post bagged 2nd prize in NIT Thatva tech fest 2015.
And when I was searching for other competitions, one of my seniors Sarath ettan shared a poster about IoT project competition conducted by ICFOSS (International Centre for Free and Open Source Software) in our IEEE group.
At that time, I was unaware of the concept of IoT. So I was confused whether my project belongs to IoT category or not. I called ICFOSS office for enquiry and they said me to apply for the competition.
After someday I got the following mail from ICFOSS
As usual I got excited, but the evaluation is taking place at Trivandrum. What if my project is not fit for competition after reaching there.I thought
During those times, I didn’t have a team and I participated in competitions as solo. So I used to gave my team name as OMA (One Man Army).
In my journey to Trivandrum with i-post, my brother escorted me. We reached there one day before.
The project evaluation process was conducted at ICFOSS office inside Kazhakoottam Techno Park.
We reached there by 10 am and waited for our turn. There were many contestants from reputed institutions with great IoT projects.
By seeing those projects, my heart started beating faster. At-last our turn has come. They asked me to explain my project and I explained it before the panel. The panel consisted of IoT experts including ICFOSS director.
And when they asked about the IoT content in the project, I got tensed because i-post only uses GSM messaging for communication and I tried to convince them.
But the panel said they will select only 5 best projects for presentation in the conference and since my project does not fall in IoT category, I can’t present it.
“But you can attend the conference as an attendee”They said
I got sad and returned to home. After leaving the office, I called my father and asked him to get me return train ticket as soon as possible because I felt like heart break and wished to reach my home. I became emotional.
But the faith was different. During the return journey I again got a call from ICFOSS.
“Hello Shyam, your project selected as one of five for presentation at ICFOSS FYPM 15 at 22nd December. See you there”
I couldn’t believe that my project got selected. I was thrilled with joy
And the real drama happened at FYPM 15 after I came to know about my competitors in it. TCS was one of the four competitors and their project was humanoid robot !! –To be continued