Deepa Malik: Will on wheels
After getting the nod from Deepa, it took about a month to fully conceptualise and modify the car. The first and the most important step, was to study the needs of paraplegics and the challenges they faced while driving under various driving conditions. For which they went to Delhi and spent some time with Deepa and some other paraplegic people. Apart from the obvious challenges of operating foot pedals and manoeuvring, tasks like half-clutch on a gradient too needed to be taken into account. “Designing these small details took time but once all that was thought out, assembling the car just took us 10 days,” Jyoti Biswas beams.
The exact designing modification wasn’t revealed but these six, 4th year engineering students turned a base model, manual transmission Renault Duster into an auto-clutch, manual transmission, hand-operated Duster. The clutch has an actuator, which when triggered by a button, pulls the clutch in and out; enabling gear-shifting on-the-fly. In addition to that, the steering has a knob which allows a 360 degree rotation without having to hold the wheel with both hands. “The auto-transmission model was the top-end one, so this modification also brought in the affordability factor,” Deepa adds.