2023 Technology Infusion Grand Challenge winners announced in India

Team Tsars from Vellore Institute of Technology in Chennai India developed a smart breathalyser device to help reduce the number of alcohol-related road accidents and improve rider safety for two-wheeled vehicles.

Written by: Rei Fortes

The winners of the 2023 Technology Infusion Grand Challenge were announced by La Trobe University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Theo Farrell during his five-day visit strengthening ties with India.

Team Tsars from Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) won the fifth round of the competition with their smart breathalyser called SafenSober which aims to reduce the number of two-wheeler related road accidents associated to alcohol in Chennai, India.

SafenSober uses sensors to analyse the alcohol levels of a motorcycle rider and machine learning to identify the use of a helmet before enabling the vehicle’s ignition. This helps prevent drinking under the influence (DUI) among riders, while also enforcing road safety by ensuring the rider wears a helmet before travelling. Beyond two-wheeler vehicles, this device could also have potential in commercial fleets, share bikes, transport operators and heavy industries such as mining.

Professor Farrell said La Trobe is proud to be the founder of the Technology Infusion Grand Challenge competition helping shape future industry leaders.

“We are delighted to be supporting the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs participating in the fifth iteration of the Technology Infusion Grand Challenge,” said Professor Farrell.

“Over the last five years, we’ve attracted more than 230 teams and involved over 1,000 students from 55 institutions across 6 countries in the Asia Region.

“The winning team will receive an all-expenses paid two-week mentorship stay in Melbourne where they will have the opportunity to work with academic and business experts from the Centre for Technology Infusion, La Trobe Innovation and Entrepreneurship program and our School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.”

Two members from Team Tsars along with an academic from Vellore Institute of Technology were at the award ceremony and excited to receive their prize.

“We are thrilled to be the 2023 Technology Infusion Grand Challenge competition winners,” said Mr Tamilmynthan member of Team Tsars.

“I would like to thank La Trobe University for this opportunity that gave us the chance to use our skillsets and solve real-world problems and pushed us to develop new skills crucial in our future careers.

“I’m also thankful to Vellore Institute of Technology in Chennai for the knowledge and guidance we received through our amazing faculties. As Herbert Spencer once said, ‘the great aim of education is not knowledge but action’.”

Two other teams also received prizes at the ceremony for their innovative prototype designs. The teams received a ₹100,000 Indian Rupees (A$1,836) award each, celebrating their ground-breaking entries.

Team Warlocks from KCG College of Engineering at Anna University won the People’s Choice Award with their real-time distributed energy monitoring system that used IoT sensors, machine learning and blockchain technology to track carbon emissions from industrial waste. The Runner-Up Award was received by Team Bheeshma from JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research for their development of a smart bed with an air pressurised pivot grid system that moves in an alternating cycle to monitor and minimise the risk of developing pressure sores in at-risk patients.

Additionally, Team Bheeshma managed to secure an ₹800,000 Indian Rupees (A$14,686) from the Nidhi Prayas grant scheme from the Department of Science & Technology at the Government of India to build a fully functional bed from their prototype concept.

The Technology Infusion Grand Challenge is designed to encourage undergraduate students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field to identify a niche problem, apply formal research methodologies to provide a solution and deliver and execute an innovative solution ready for the mass markets.

La Trobe University extends their gratitude to the Victorian Government – Study Melbourne for being a co-sponsor of the Grand Challenge program.

Overall winners

Team Tsars - S Tamilmynthan, Vaishnavi Tripuraribhatla, S Suseth Menon, Reuben Manoj, Shakthi Magender N  - Vellore Institute of Technology


Team Bheeshma - Pallabi Gosh, Pavish S R, Vachana M N, Pritheevi Raj N - JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research

People’s Choice

Team Warlocks - Fahima Niaz, Joshuva Bernard, Danial Dhinesh G, Aadil Mohideen S - KCG College of Technology - Autonomous College, Anna University

Photo L-R: S Tamilmynthan, Professor Theo Farrell, Vaishnavi Tripuraribhatla and Dr D Saravanakumar.