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24-YO Builds India’s First DIY Neuroscience Equipment For All Ages


On the age of six, Deepak Khatri began taking part in round with electronics. 

He would break his toys open to examine the elements inside and the way they functioned. By the point he was eight, he had moved onto greater merchandise like the tv units, opening them as much as see and observe their inside workings. 

“I liked opening up electronics and checking how they labored. As soon as I used to be accomplished with the home equipment at house, I started visiting scrap retailers. I might purchase soldering irons and different merchandise, and open the merchandise and attempt to see the circuits. I additionally learn magazines with detailed circuit diagrams,” he remembers in dialog with The Higher India

When he was in Class 11, he learnt pc science. Geared up with this extra information, he would mess around extra with circuits, however it will be one other two years earlier than he would uncover his true ardour.

Discovering his ardour 

A DIY kit designed by Khatri
A DIY equipment, Muscle BioAmp BisCute designed by Upside Down Labs

In 2016, when he was in first yr engineering at Netaji Subhas Institute of Expertise, Delhi, he chanced upon a TED Discuss by neuroscientist Greg Gage, and remembers that his thoughts was “blown away”. 

“Within the video, Gage makes use of a neuroscience DIY equipment to manage one other individual’s arm. He connects the equipment to 2 folks, and the opposite individual’s arm strikes in keeping with the primary individual’s mind sign. It’s a completely fantastic video, and sparked my curiosity in neuroscience,” says Khatri. 

Gage is the co-founder and CEO of Yard Brains, which offers neuroscience kits for college students of all age teams. All their data is open-source, which led Khatri to dig into their kits and check out constructing one. 

“I noticed their {hardware} schematic on-line for the circuit and tried making it. Nevertheless, the fabric value was coming to Rs 1,000, which was so much for me at the moment. I then researched the know-how for every particular person half. I purchased the elements for cheaper and made the identical circuit at Rs 100. You simply want the fitting instruments,” he notes.

This primary experiment with neuroscience in 2016 led the 24-year-old to launch a startup known as Upside Down Labs 4 years later. This, he says, is India’s first start-up that creates DIY Neuroscience kits.

“I named it Upside Down as that’s how my room seemed at the moment. I’m additionally a fan of the present Stranger Issues, which has an alternate dimension known as the Upside Down,” laughs Khatri.

Whereas in faculty itself, the biotechnology engineer began engaged on low-cost designs to make neuroscience kits cheaper.

Designing India’s first DIY neuroscience kits

In 2017, he constructed a low-cost bio amplifier design that he says can be utilized for prosthetics and human augmentation. This challenge gained him a prize at his faculty. Motivated, he went on to promote his first DIY equipment on Tindie, a web based market, in 2019. 

“This was the Bioamp v1, which is an open {hardware} board that may amplify organic alerts just like the EEG, ECG, EKG and EMG. I put up two merchandise on the Tindie market. However it took a variety of time for them to promote. Two folks purchased my merchandise in 2020, and that saved me going,” Khatri says.

In the identical yr, he participated in Google Summer season of Code, which is a free and open-source software program coding challenge, by which individuals get a stipend. At this challenge, he gained Rs 2 lakh, which he used to bootstrap his firm. 

In December 2020, he registered his firm Upside Down Labs. The startup’s thought is to make neuroscience accessible to college students in India, and develop their curiosity within the subject from a younger age. Based on Greg Gage, 1 in 5 persons are more likely to develop a neurological dysfunction, and we’d like extra folks learning concerning the mind.

“We want extra neuroscientists. For this to occur, we now have to kindle an curiosity in kids. Neuroscience shouldn’t be taught in colleges and schools because the gear is dear. Now we have subsequently give you reasonably priced DIY neuroscience kits, beginning at Rs 499, in order that college students and researchers can discover the topic by making initiatives. Our merchandise can be utilized by kids in Class 6 and above, however these under that age can use it with parental supervision. We even have saved all our analysis open-source so that everybody can study,” Khatri explains.

They at present have eight merchandise obtainable, the preferred of which is the Bioamp EXG capsule. Utilizing this board, one can report biopotential alerts from the guts (ECG), muscle groups (EMG), eyes (EOG), and mind (EEG), with out including any {hardware} or software program filters. The merchandise can be found on the Upside Down Labs Retailer, Amazon, Crowd provide, Tindie and Mouser.in. 

Khatri says that college students and researchers in India, Switzerland, USA, Canada, UK and New Zealand have used this product to make prosthetic hand controllers, clicking photographs by blinking eyes, drowsiness detectors and way more.

“We began a crowdfunding marketing campaign on Crowd Provide in 2021 for this product and have raised greater than $11,400 thus far. This product has been bought in 22 international locations. Mouser Electronics has additionally purchased this product,” says Khatri.

Rameet Singh, a pupil, used the Bioamp EXG capsule for a challenge. 

“This small machine has the aptitude to measure all biopotential alerts. Its compact design makes it very simple to make use of throughout totally different initiatives. IT will also be utilized in many functions and designs,” says Rameet.

Making neuroscience accessible 

The Upside Down Labs team
The Upside Down Labs group

Khatri, who believes in ‘Make in India’, remembers the challenges he confronted whereas launching Upside Down through the second wave of COVID.

“My thought is to acquire all the pieces inside India. It takes a little bit of time to seek out good printed circuit board (PCB) producers, on par with China. One product utterly flopped as the standard of the elements wasn’t good. It additionally took me time to seek out good sellers, which occurs on a trial foundation,” says Khatri.

Apart from kits, Upside Down Labs provides customized know-how improvement companies to firms. 

Khatri additionally onboarded two co-founders, Bhawna Sehgal and Dikshant Dahiya, in 2021. They’ve a complete of 5 workers and one intern now. The startup was incubated at IIT Mandi in 2022 and gained the Himalayan Startup trek. At IIT Mandi, they’ve gained a Rs 4 lakh grant. 

They’re now engaged on DIY digital kits, plug and play, and making an attempt to get the prices decrease for his or her neuroscience kits. 

“Now we have made the information freely obtainable. We would like extra college students to have an interest in order that they take up AI robotics or neuroscience. Now we have already diminished the price for these kits by 1/tenth, and hope to cut back it additional. We need to make neuroscience as accessible as doable,” says Khatri.

Edited by Divya Sethu, Photos Courtesy Deepak Khatri



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