A team of engineering students from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) emerged champions in the Keysight IoT Innovation Challenge 2019, winning a cool cash prize of USD25,000 and an additional USD25,000 worth of Keysight test equipment.
Aimed at testing the creativity of students in conceptual and engineering design, participants were required to devise a low powered sensor network to tackle issues caused by rapid urbanisation around the world. The competition drew over 300 entries worldwide, with 6 finalists selected to present their invention to a team of judges in New York, all expenses paid.
In an outstanding accomplishment, the UTAR team bested finalists from renowned universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University. They were also the only finalist from the Asia Pacific and Greater China region.
Represented by Lee Long Chian, Lim Wen Qing, Au Jin Cheng, Yap Sheng Yao, Tan Kai Siang and Khor Jun Bin, their groundbreaking entry was a community-based smart device that monitors, analyses and reports readings of water pollution in rivers and lakes. They were inspired by the recent water contamination incident in Johor, where over 2,500 people were affected by gas poisoning as a result of illegal dumping of chemical waste.
What makes the device innovative is its node-to-node communicator. Each device is able to transfer and receive signals at the same time, even from areas that do not have an internet network or mobile signal. It also uses machine learning to analyse and predict future conditions based on large scale monitoring.
Lim Wen Qing shared that they spent a week in the Kuala Selangor river to test the device. “The judges were impressed that this device is very much community-oriented. People can easily report on any pollution found in waters by merely using an app.”
Congratulations to the UTAR Team on their inspiring idea!