Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan used a remote-controlled device here on Saturday to open a Super Fab Lab based in Kochi that was set up in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
It is billed as the world’s first such facility to function outside of the US and has been set up at the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) complex in Kalamassery near Kochi.
Along with the Super Fab Lab, he also inaugurated an incubation centre and a Mini Fab Lab at a function held at the Government Polytechnic College. Speaking at the event, Vijayan said that Kerala will implement a curriculum that is in tune with the times and guarantees employment and promotes entrepreneurship.
“We need to equip students with the resources that enable them to meet the global challenges of the new age. For that, they must get learning facilities of international standards and academic assignments of futuristic use,” said Vijayan.
“The new fab labs will enable the users to enter the next stage of scientific creativity. The Mini Fab Lab and the Startup Incubator in Palakkad will be of use to NRI investors who return to the state with the technical expertise and experience they gained abroad,” added Vijayan.
The KSUM Super Fab Lab at Kochi has state-of-the-art machines worth more than Rs 7 crore in an area of 10,000 square feet.
Currently, a standard community fab lab includes a laser-cutter, a sign-cutter, a high-resolution NC milling machine, a large wood-router and a suite of electronic components as well as programming tools for low-cost, high-speed micro-controllers for on-site rapid circuit prototyping.
To this, the super lab adds a set of highly-specialised machines that can do small to mid-volume manufacturing and can also be used for prototyping with a variety of materials including metals, composites and carbon fibres, besides testing, design and fabrication equipment and materials that cover length scales spanning from microns to metres in fabrication size.