Students win gold with mine-boggling invention

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 11 Nov 2015

SEPANG: It was a double celebration this Deepavali for C. Jaimishran and his team when they won a gold medal at the World Robot Olympiad 2015 in Qatar.

They designed a robotic suit, equipped with its own drone and a moving camera system, to help miners who work in dangerous conditions.

Besides Jaimishran, the team from SMK USJ 4 comprised two other Form Three students –S. Ruhanesh and Liew Chan Yue.

“We feel happy about our team’s achievement as our hard work had paid off.

“Our win is extra special as it is a present for my parents on Deepavali Day,” said Jaimishran at the KL International Airport yesterday.

Their winning project for the lower secondary schools category is called the MECH, which stands for mechanically enhanced crisis handler.

“Its main purpose is to help ­miners with their task and also to protect them when there is a crisis,” said Liew.

“The body suit will also automatically activate a gas mask if dangerous gases are detected.”

Ruhanesh said the suit, equipped with a camera system called Alpha, would explore the mine before the miners go in.

“There is GoPro camera attached to it, with a 360° view of the mine.

“There is also a gas sensor, so that when it detects harmful poisonous gas, it will send a signal to the suit. Once it is activated, a mask on the body suit will be turned on,” he added.

The drone, which is equipped with a GPS device, can detect the user’s nerve senses and emit signals to the system which could help identify the wearer’s location.

Asked what inspired the project, he said the group was moved by the Chilean mining disaster in 2010 known as the Copiapo mining incident.

“Although all of the victims were rescued after being trapped for 69 days, they were left physically and mentally traumatised,” said Ruhanesh.

“They were later allowed to return to work in the mines.

“We would like to build a system with a rapid solution in the event of a mining crisis.”

The group was among 19 Malaysian contingents that grabbed three gold medals, two silver medals and two distinction mentions in the World Robot Olympiad competitions.

The competition saw some 3,000 participants from over 44 countries competing in the competition, themed “Robot Explorers”.

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