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Projects in Developmental Informatics Laboratory

A. Interlingua

These projects aim to develop multilingual tools which can take queries in the local language and return results to the same in the language of query. This project was initiated keeping in mind that most of the people in India are denied the huge wealth of information present on the web simply because they do not know English, the lingua franca of the web. Enabling access in local language is important to bridge the digital divide.

Tools being developed under this project:

  1. Agro-explorer - a search engine for documents on Agriculture
  2. aAQUA - A multilingual multimedia question and answer forum for rural users. Currently crop advisory services for Rajgurunagar , Haveli and Shirur talukas are being provided.
  3. Bhav Puchiye - A price information system simplifying the access to the NIC Agmarknet database
  4. Digital Library - a library of content related to agriculture
B. Polysensors

These projects aim at providing low-cost and easy methods of testing the impurities in water, with low-cost, rugged and tropicalized sensors. Presently, the purity of water in our increasingly polluted environment can only be tested in laboratories using expensive equipment and highly trained technicians.

This project is investigating the following

  1. Sensors for pH, F, K, Cl and urea as per WHO guidelines for potable water.
  2. Developing suitable electronic systems.
  3. Packing of electronics and sensors and their mass productions
  4. Increasing the perception of hygiene
C. Interfaces for all

These projects focus on design and evaluation of devices and interfaces for computer users. Issues surrounding usability of computers relating to non-computer savvy users and vernacular language computing are some of the first issues being addressed. Several efforts like the Key-lekh keyboard, Bhav-Puchiye (a tool for finding market prices for the agricultural produce for farmers), Tangible user interfaces, etc. are under way. In addition to this, the group also assists other projects in designing appropriate interfaces for their tools.

Tools being developed under this project:

  1. Tangible user interfaces - Hardware browser can help you use the internet without a mouse and keyboard
  2. Indian language input devices - The Keylekh series keyboards simplify typing of Devanagari characters
  3. Interactive Voice Response systems - Touch tone systems are being developed for agricultural extension centres.
D. Education through ICTs

These projects aim at investigating the use of Internet and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in addressing the challenges in the primary, secondary and vocation education sectors. The tools allow sharing of knowledge, customization to the learners' needs and testing of the learners' comprehension of the material. The content is designed to create interest in the learner and encouraging them to think as opposed to solving problems by rote learning.

Tools being developed under this project:

  1. Content Repository and Tutoring system for schools
  2. Education of Nomadic children using innovative methods & ICT tools

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