The New Indian Express report on Vidya’s hands-free token dispenser

The national English language daily The New Indian ExpressI on 26 August 2020 carried a detailed report on the hands-free token dispenser developed by Vidya Skill Centre and handed over to Govt Medical College, Thrissur. The Editorial Team of News & Events would like to reproduce the full text of the report for the benefit of the readers of these pages.

Engineering students develop hands-free token dispenser to streamline hospital visits

Ever since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, everybody has become conscious about maintaining social distance.

By Steni Simon
Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ever since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, everybody has become conscious about maintaining social distance. People have resorted to various methods to manage crowding at places such as grocery stores but it is still proving hard for hospitals to streamline non-Covid patient consultations. Taking a cue, a team of students of Vidya Academy of Science & Technology, Thrissur, has developed a hands-free dispenser.

The innovative product, designed and developed by Vaisakh Unnikrishnan and Sooraj R of the fourth semester BTech (CSE B) batch under the guidance of Anil M, a faculty, from the Skill Center of the institute, has proved highly useful in the current crisis.  The hands-free contraption works with the help of sensors and dispenses tokens automatically when a person approaches the machines and extends his or her hand. “The product has been designed to avoid crowding especially in a time when social distancing is the new normal. Besides this, it also prevents chances of contracting the infection,” said Anil.

The dispenser prints the token number along with date and time. There are two methods to operate the machine. One is by placing the hand in front of the sensor and the other is by pressing the button manually.

The device is equipped with RTC (Real Time Clock) module which resets the token number automatically and has an in-built battery which can give backup of up to two hours in case of a power failure. Also, the device uses thermal printer for clear legible tokens at a low cost.The device has been installed in the Oncology Department of the Government Medical College, Thrissur, and is being effectively used to manage patients and bystanders.

“The department has been attending to more than 100 patients every day who crowd around the counter for consultations. In the wake of the pandemic, the device has proved crucial for many, especially for patients,” said Anil. About 100 tokens can be dispensed in a day.