The IEEE Sarawak Subsection, in partnership with the IEEE Swinburne Sarawak Student Branch, has earned a series of remarkable accomplishments in engineering innovation so far in 2023. Their dedication to fostering community-driven engineering solutions has been recognized and celebrated on various platforms.
The subsection’s journey began with the approval of an EPICS in IEEE project earlier this year. EPICS, an acronym for Engineering Projects in Community Service, is an initiative that promotes collaboration between students and experienced engineering professionals. This platform is designed to develop solutions that have a transformative impact on communities globally.
The EPICS project that has garnered significant attention in Sarawak lately is the “Person-Following Ambulatory Assistance Companion Walker.” This innovative endeavor seeks to address the challenges faced by the elderly community and people in rehabilitation needing assistance to walk or move around without relying excessively on caretakers. While traditional walkers provide the necessary support, they often lack the advanced technological features required for today’s users. Recognizing this gap, the team introduced a multi-mode smart walker equipped to return to its user autonomously when misplaced. This feature enhances mobility and instills a sense of independence among its users.
This innovation was recognized at the Innnovation & Technology Exposition 2023 (InTEX23) organized by UNIMAS between August 23-24 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. The team behind it, comprising staff and students from Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak, Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Science (FECS), was awarded the prestigious Gold Award for the project.
A noteworthy aspect of the prototype smart walker is its object detection and person-tracking algorithm, built on the copyrighted Angular Position Estimation Algorithm (APEA). This algorithm was developed by IEEE members Isaac Asante, Professor Lau Bee Theng, and Dr. Mark Tee Kit Tsun. Further details on the APEA algorithm can be found in recent publications on Springer and IEEE Access. Additionally, the trio presented a second paper at the same expo titled “Dynamic Path Planning Using Depth Camera for Navigation by a Companion Robot,” which secured a Silver award.
The IEEE Sarawak Subsection thanks everyone who contributed to these projects. The subsection remains committed to driving innovation for the betterment of society.
Special acknowledgment goes to the team members who worked on the smart walker prototype: Professor Lau Bee Theng, Dr. Mark Tee Kit Tsun, Isaac Asante, Albe Chai Bing Zhe, Eiton Ng Zie Teng, Atiqul Islam, Kazumasa Chong, Chin Zhan Hung, Paul Cornelius Bong, and John Chua.