Tech At Its Best – The CFI Open House




The CFI Open House – the flagship event of CFI – is back this year with a plethora of technical projects, live demos, enriching technical presentations and static displays. The CFI Open House, originally started with the intention of improving faculty-student relations in the Shaastra and CFI sphere, has now evolved into a veritable platform for students to display their projects and get appreciated for their work.

This edition of Open House packs a lot more than just a showcase of projects as Hyperverge, Airwood and – startups that have grown out of CFI – as well as the much-publicized Nirmaan startups have lined up their stalls alongside exhibits by teams taking part in national and international competitions and a mini show by the ‘Envisage’ team.



Facilitating the creative genius


Projects On Display

CFI was conceptualized as a forum for the creative output of the budding engineers of IIT Madras. At CFI, students’ ideas often take the form of student projects. The sheer enthusiasm of the students is what fuels yearlong activities at CFI. Find below a list of selected projects on display to give you a flavour of what is in store this CFI Open House.


1. Wasp – Robotic Insect

Inspired by nature, the Wasp is an attempt to recreate a two-winged insect using a unique mechanism devised to mimic the -8- motion of the wing using a single driving motor.

2. Automated License Plate Recognition System

This project aims at recognizing characters on a car license plate using a variety of computer vision algorithms and has applications in automatic road tolling, measuring traffic density etc.

3. Protein Music

This project is an attempt to find a correlation between science and art by forming a relation between the attributes of music and protein structure.

4. Pneumatic Dog

The project aims to build a pneumatic dog, i.e. a mechanical dog operated by pneumatic pistons and capable of walking on any surface.

5. Autonomous Book Scanner

This is a design of a photocopier capable of flipping pages automatically and rids you of the tedious job of photocopying a book.

6. Eye Gaze Computation

The aim of the this project is to obtain the direction in which a person is looking using a simple webcam and has applications in assistive technology, gaming etc.


With regard to summer projects, the CFI Core Team wishes to make the following statement: “Every year, the CFI Open House somehow marks the end of all of the summer projects. Rarely are these projects pursued beyond the summer. This year, having started off with some challenging problem statements in summer, we hope to execute the second phase of the same projects beyond the Open House, take them one step closer to a startup, a patentable idea, a commercial product, or even a research outcome.


Entrepreneur’s Circle

Over the past few years, CFI has played a huge role in transforming the tech and entrepreneurship culture at IIT Madras. A large number of technological startups that have sprung out of IITM in recent times trace their roots back to CFI. Along with Hyperverge – the 1 mn$ raising startup – several other out-of-CFI startups like Ather, etc. are here for interacting with budding entrepreneurs.





Out-of-CFI startups


“A large fraction of CFI Alumni have gone on to pursue diverse fields such as research, entrepreneurship, social work etc. as opposed to traditional jobs, and established a standard of their own wherever they have gone. They have always been a source of inspiration for us.”, says Mr. Saikanth Dacha, the CFI Student Head.


Envisage Mini Show



The ‘Wiremap’


What you see above is the ‘Wiremap’ – a device that builds 3D objects out of light. It creates a floating, glowing 3D object made entirely of light that can be moved around, made to change color or size as per the user’s whims. More such mesmerizing exhibits by the Envisage team are part of the CFI Open House this year.



Nirmaan is an initiative taken up by CFI to prepare students to take the first step into entrepreneurship by providing them a risk-free startup environment, mentor-ship and the required resources. Under Nirmaan, students from IIT Madras and other colleges have come up with mind boggling solutions for problems from a wide range of sectors and pursued their startup ideas. Below is a short briefing on some interesting startups under the umbrella of Nirmaan that will set up stalls at the CFI Open House.


Micro Life Innovations

The core technology of MLI lies in the application of biotechnology to microfluidics, specifically to detect adulteration and pathogen detection in milk to bring in a paradigm shift in the dairy sector. 

Solar Polyhouse

This is an innovative startup that aims to combine agriculture and solar power plants by means of a hybrid structure christened the ‘Solar Polyhouse’.


This is a one-stop online portal for procurement of research lab supplies featuring vendor discovery, comparison and order placement that can be integrated with the purchase workflow of universities and research institutes.


We are creating a technology-backed ecosystem for shared usage of cycles to ease out urban congestion.


ShopIQ is a one stop product discovery platform for offline and online shopping. Use the android app to find the best price for your product from the local markets as well as online marketplaces and get it delivered at your doorstep.


Through the Open House, CFI has successfully garnered the attention of alumni, industrialists, faculty, media and the general public alike; the last edition of Open House was featured in over 40 newspaper articles, e-news, television news reports. Around 1000 students, alumni and faculty are expected to turn up for the 2015 edition of the CFI Open House to be held on 31 October 2015 (4:30 PM onwards), coinciding with the 7th foundation anniversary of CFI.


About CFI:

CFI is a one-of-its-kind student-run facility at IIT Madras facilitating everything from hobby projects to startups. With a vision to promote informal learning and foster innovation and invention in technology and a focus on technologies aimed at contributing positively to the environment & society, CFI has successfully evolved into a hub which encourages thinking and provokes students to generate novel ideas making it truly the ‘Centre‛ for Innovation.

(For more information, visit the CFI website:

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