Engineering team wins trip to New York

  • Education
  • Sunday, 14 Jul 2019

(From left) Au, Yap, Khor, Lim and Tan with their lecturer Ng (third left) are the only finalist team selected from the Asia-Pacific and Greater China region.

A TEAM from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) have been selected as finalists in Keysight Technologies, Inc.’s IoT Innovation Challenge and the only finalist selected from the Asia-Pacific and Greater China region.

The team comprising current students in the UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science are Au Jin Cheng, Yap Sheng Yao, Khor Jun Bin, Lim Wen Qing and Tan Kai Siang. They are led by lecturer and advisor Danny Ng Wee Kiat.

Keysight is a leading technology company that helps enterprises, service providers and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Keysight recently called on graduate and undergraduate engineering students from around the world to conceptualise low-power sensor networks to tackle challenges brought on by today’s rapid urbanisation.

Keysight’s IoT Innovation Challenge has two tracks: the Smart Land challenge and the Smart Water challenge. It attracted nearly 300 entries worldwide in both tracks. Each entry was evaluated and scored by a panel of 15 semi-final judges based on metrics such as innovation, manufacturability and impact.

The public also played a role in the judging by voting for their favourite design entries. These votes contributed to 10 percent of each entrant’s overall score.

The entry that earned the student team a place in the IoT Innovation Challenge final is titled “IoT Detachable Waterway Monitoring Device with LoRa and Self-Sustainability”. This design idea, submitted in the Smart Water Challenge track, was inspired by the recent water pollution and contamination in Johor,where 2,500 people were affected by gas poisoning and 111 schools were closed as a result of illegally dumped chemical wastes in the river.

The UTAR students in the team were then inspired to find a solution and they created a device that will help to monitor and report on the quality of water in the waterways.

The IoT Detachable Waterway Monitoring Device with LoRa and Self-Sustainability is a system that consists of four major components which are monitoring of the water content; reporting of the data using GPS, sensors and using low power wide area (LoRa) as the wireless communication network protocol; analysing the data collected and processed by a machine learning algorithm.

The results will be converted into a user-friendly visual such as Choropleth Map. The feature will also allow the public to report on any pollution found in waters. The system will incorporate energy harvesting using solar, water and wind energy to ensure self-sustainability. The energy will be harvested to charge the batteries.

This whole system is innovative because it is a node to node communication where each device will transfer and receive signals at the same time.

It is community-driven allowing the public to provide feedback and report. It uses machine learning to analyse and predict the future condition of waterways for preventive purposes. It is self-sustainable with the help of renewable energy integrated into the system. The monitoring device is detachable and can be modified based on the environment.

“The quality of entries we received for Keysight’s IoT Innovation Challenge has been truly amazing.

“Our panel of 15 judges faced an extremely difficult task paring down the almost 300 entries to just the top six.

“UTAR’s student innovators set a very high bar with their entry, providing an outstanding example of how low-power sensor networks hold the potential to make the world better for billions of people,” said Cheryl Ajluni, IoT Challenge programme director at Keysight.

Two students from the UTAR team will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the final competition in New York in September 2019.

At the live-streamed event, the students will demonstrate their design idea live before a panel of esteemed judges. These judges include a United Nations officer, a top student innovator and entrepreneur, a popular social influencer and an industry-renowned writer.

Winners of the IoT Innovation Challenge will be announced at the conclusion of the final event in September.

Along with worldwide recognition, the top winning team will receive a US$50,000 (RM210,000) cash prize and US$50,000 (RM210,000) worth of Keysight test equipment for their school.

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