INEMO DESIGN CONTEST 2014 (organised by STMicroelectronics) innovation Sensing
Seven teams of final-year undergraduates from the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University use sensors to improve everyday objects. The New Paper looks at three of the projects submitted
What: An auto-lock stroller
that will not roll away by itself
Mr Muhammad Norhaidar Salim was shocked when he saw an online video of a baby stroller rolling down a slope into the path of an oncoming train.
The 25-year-old said: "I was like, 'Wah, so scary!' Then I decided to design a stroller that will prevent such accidents."
Mr Norhaidar's design has two sensors: One on the handle of the stroller and another on the wheel axle. If the wheel sensor detects the stroller tilted and the handle sensor does not detect someone holding the stroller handle, brakes will automatically lock its wheels.
The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) electrical and electronic engineering student admits it was a challenge because he was working solo.
He said: "Sometimes, I spent more than 10 hours a day working on the project on top of my normal work. My girlfriend was my main source of strength, so I will be making it up to her now."
ANTI-TERRORIST TACTICAL ASSAULT ROOM SURVEILLANCE DEVICE
What: A video camera encased in a clear plastic sphere that can be thrown inside a room to scout for enemy targets
NTU students Tsui Pan Chuen, 26, and Lee Wei Yan, 25, were both in the infantry during their national service days. During their military stints, they learnt that the first soldier who enters a room with enemy troops in it often dies.
Recalling that, the two final-year electrical and electronic engineering students developed this device to help soldiers with their room-clearing moves.
The device's camera is designed to stop rolling on its own so that images taken will be upright. The video feed is then transmitted to a viewing device outside the room.
The pair put in many hours of hard work on top of their school work, often sacrificing sleep for the year-long project. Although they hope to refine and improve their design, both expressed relief that the contest was over.
SIGNALLING VEST FOR CYCLISTS
What: Lights on the vest come on when the cyclist is braking or about to turn.
The lights are activated by the cyclists' hand movements. An LED message on the back of the vest also displays in text what action the cyclist is about to take.
The prototype of the vest was designed and built by NUS electrical engineering students Tan Sze Wei and Low Kang Jiang, both 24, over a year.
Both are regular night cyclists and tapped into their personal experiences for the design.
Mr Low said: "We realised that the hand signals used by cyclists are difficult to spot at night, so we decided to work on that."
The same hand signals will now activate LED lights on the back of the vest with the help of sensors worn on the wrist. Sensors on the bicycle can tell if it is moving or not to activate brake lights. The device is even able to detect a fall and will activate an alarm and hazard lights to alert motoristst.
The design bagged the top prize of $10,000, which was sponsored by ST Microelectronics. Both plan to use some of the money to improve the vest.
Mr Tan said: "I'll be funding my graduation trip around South-east Asia as well."