Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have partnered with the industry to develop a touch-less sanitiser dispenser that can be deployed in vehicles.

The design of the sanitiser unit is scalable, and can be used with both AC and DC power supply. Materials for developing the unit have been chosen to ensure safety for both liquid and gel type sanitisers.

Kavitha Arunachalam, an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Design, partnered with Chennai-based firm Shima Engineering for the project. G. Anandraj and D. Rajesh of the company were part of the team. The company has moved to the production stage.

Dr. Kavitha said, “The idea was initiated by Shima Engineering in mid-March. I mentored to build prototypes to suit different end-users. We fabricated a few units that were installed in the student dining halls and the institute hospital and the research park.”

The proposal was approved by Seshadri Sekhar, faculty in-charge, COVID-19 Projects, IIT Madras, and supported by the Central Workshop.

According to the institute, the materials and parts that will come in contact with the sanitiser are chemically stable and the unit is designed to discharge 3 ml in three seconds, which Dr. Kavitha said, is ideal for industries, educational institutions and corporate offices.

There is no mechanical wear and tear of internal parts in this design as it is developed based on feedback received from the functioning of prototype units that were installed in the institute since mid-April.

Shima Engineering is in the process of getting incubation support from the institute for developing related products for personal hygiene and products for disinfecting classrooms, office spaces, shop floors and commercial buildings.

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