STMicroelectronics today announced the winners of the Singapore Area University iNEMO Design Contest 2013. The winning teams successfully conceptualized, developed and built demonstrable prototypes of entirely new applications using ST’s iNEMO MEMS sensor-fusion modules.
"We are impressed by the students’ ability to quickly grasp this technology to create working prototypes addressing new and diverse areas of application such as fitness, recreation, healthcare, navigation and industrial applications,” said Fabio Pasolini, general manager of the Motion MEMS division at STMicroelectronics. “These achievements perfectly reflect the vision STMicroelectronics has for MEMS technology, pushing its boundaries beyond the applications in smartphones, consumer electronics and automotive safety that we are more familiar with to create new applications and markets."
The objective of the iNEMO Design contest is to encourage students to think outside the box and create entirely new applications for MEMS sensors. MEMS technology essentially provides the "Smart" functionality in modern-day electronics, making it able to "sense" specific changes in its environment and react accordingly.
The contest participants, comprised of selected final-year engineering students from the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University, were paired in teams of two. Twelve teams competed, sponsored by ST with iNEMO modules, technical support and the financial support of SGD 1,000 per team for the purchase of 3rd-party materials. The submissions for the iNEMO contest were also part of the students’ final-year project.
The challenge to develop original life-enhancing applications with the latest sensor technology spurred the students to stretch their creativity while acquiring a clear understanding of market needs, said Professor Cheng Tee Hiang of Nanyang Technological University.
“This is the real industry environment they will have to function in and this program is a powerful teaching tool to that end,” he concluded.
ST sees MEMS technology bringing a lot of "Smart" features into many diverse areas including healthcare, wellness, recreation, navigation, security and industrial applications. The students participating in the iNEMO Design Contest were encouraged to create new applications in such areas and originality of ideas and real-life practicality were among the key winning criteria.
The champion team, comprised of Joel Ye Zhu’En and Benjamin Pong Xiang Ming from The National University of Singapore, developed a video camera stabilizer for aerial videography. The volatile swaying experienced in aerial videography makes it impossible for a video camera to fix its frame of focus on a specific target. Using the iNEMO to sense the multi-directional movements experienced by the camera, the module controls multiple motors attached to the camera platform to compensate for any swaying in any direction so that the camera maintains its frame of focus on a specific target. Joel and Benjamin’s idea has many possible industrial applications involving aerial and marine surveillance or videography where the camera platform suffers from volatile swaying or movement. The champion team wins a SGD 10,000 cash prize sponsored by ST.
The first runner-up team comprising Li Shiwei and Wu Haozhou from The Nanyang Technological University developed a "smart" dumbbell that is able to manage the entire training regimen of the user, as well as detect if the swing angle and velocity of the lift is incorrect and inform the user, improving their exercise skills. The first runner-up team wins a SGD 5,000 cash prize sponsored by ST.
The second runner-up team comprising Pushpaleela Prabakar and Nallasamy Suriya from The National University of Singapore used the iNEMO technology to transform an ordinary bicycle into a "smart" bicycle. The application measures the distance cycled and calculates the calories burnt, as well as it offers safety features such as automatically ringing a bell when turning a blind corner or indicating to the user the presence of nearby vehicles. The second runner-up team wins a SGD 3,000 cash prize sponsored by ST.