IIT Bombay to make Aakash foolproof!


New Delhi: Aakash tablet was launched in February 2012 with much fanfare, only to prove a big embarrassment to the

government. The previous two versions of Aakash tablet – Aakash and Aakash 2 – failed students in many ways.

They were very slow, their touch screen didn’t work properly, and their battery got discharged every few hours.

 Aakash and the expEYES system

Aakash 2.1 and the expEYES system

Hence, IIT Jodhpur lost the affordable home-grown tablet project to IIT Bombay. IIT Bombay developed Aakash 2.1

(third generation of the table) which had 1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB storage and ran on Android 4.0. Its

screen picked up scratches easily and it had extremely low resolution of 800X400 pixels. Taking the cautious approach,

the tablet was not released to the public. Datawind, the company that produced the table sells it under the name of

UbiSlate 7Ci for Rs 3,799.

Now, IIT Bombay is developing a new version of the tablet called Aakash 4 (fourth generation). It is lighter than

previous versions, has a clearer display, and has a smoother video playback. It has USB ports to attach a keyboard

and a mouse.  Aakash 4 has Linux installed on it and one can boot Ubuntu 12.10 on their tablet from an SD card

without having to root their Android OS. The price of the tablet will stay close to $50 (about Rs 3,100).

Aakash is not a great gaming device but it has very good educational and robotics apps.

The apps available through Aakash include:

Educational and Robotics Apps

  • ProxyMITY which high-quality video lectures from reputed teachers online,

  • Blender Animation that teaches animation software basics,

  • Clicker which is an app for student-teacher interaction,

  •  Robot control through which students can programme and control a robot,

  • Aakash Programming Lab where students can code in C, C++, Python and Scilab, and

  • expEYES used for conducting science experiments.

Aakash apps will be open source and students will be able to download them for free at a platform called Aakash Bazaar.


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