The Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IITK) in India has developed a matchbox-sized device to monitor the wear and tear of railway tracks and prevent derailment.
The new 100g device will replace the bulky, box-like contraption used by Indian Rail to detect cracks and fissures on the rail tracks. Its oscillation monitoring system will work in real time to automatically prevent derailment.
The device has been designed and developed by a team of IITK's mechanical engineering graduates along with Indian Rail's Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO).
It can be placed on the track floor of a running train to measure vibrations and detect any faults by tracking the pattern of these vibrations.
The device feeds the collected data and locational faults into a fingernail-sized data storage card with the help of a GPS receiver.
If the vibrations exceed the threshold limit the devices sends an alert via audiovisual signals (beeps and flashing LEDs).
The researchers said the device locates and logs track faults accurately with the help of the GPS, eliminating human errors and making train journeys safer.
The device has a battery life of ten hours and can be recharged via a USB port on a computer, according to ians.in.