City boys develop a better, affordable version of bubble tube, apply for a patent

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Rydham Goyal and Bhavya Agrawal have come up with ControLearn, which is a device that aids in the sensory development of differently-abled children.

August 27: Two students from Ahmedabad have developed a more effective and affordable alternative to the bubble tube, which aids in the sensory development of differently-abled children. The two students have also filed a patent application for the design of their breakthrough product. 

A bubble tube is a fascinating product as by simply watching bubbles rise in a tube and feeling the vibrations the air pump produces, children with developmental disorders can improve their visual and tactile senses and also their attention and concentration capabilities. 

Rydham Goyal and Bhavya Agrawal, class 12 students at JG International School, have given the name ControLearn SDBT (Sensory Development Bubble Tube) to their customisable and affordable version of the bubble tube. Incidentally, they learnt about the bubble tube by chance during a visit to the Hospital for Mental Health in Ahmedabad, as arranged by Mrs. Hiral Vaidya, where they stumbled upon a faulty one in the dark sensory room. 

“We learnt that good bubble tubes are imported and costly, making them unaffordable for most mental institutes. The one in the hospital we visited was priced at Rs. 1 lakh. We realised that its obsolete design doesn’t let users control either the light colour or the speed at which bubbles are produced. Psychologist Dr. Chinmay Desai also told us how being able to control these features would immensely improve the device’s functionality. And so, we decided to put our robotics, design thinking, and entrepreneurial skills for the good of society and started working on developing a better alternative consisting of these improvements, and this is how ControLearn came into being,” said the two youngsters, who have also founded their venture with the name ControLight Assistive Technologies. 

Under the guidance of Dr. Priyam Parikh, their mentor in robotics, and Prof. Parth Shah, their mentor in design thinking, the two started building a better version of the bubble tube. They used Medium-Density Fibreboard (MDF) to make a strong and sustainable base. They created a much more affordable alternative by using aquarium pumps with air stones and also managed to pack in features such as controlling the speed of bubbles which is not present in the regular bubble tube. Moreover, it also has the option to modify the source code and include additional features in later versions. 

“We are super excited about ControLearn and its potential to usher in a big change in the lives of children with developmental disorders. We are looking for initial funding to make available 100 units of ControLearn to NGOs in Ahmedabad. The next target is to reach 500 units in Gujarat and more than 1,000 across the country. And we don’t want to stop here. We aim to constantly innovate and improve ControLearn to better suit the developmental needs of individuals,” said the duo about ControLearn’s future.

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