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Date [ 2014-07-25, 10:31 ]

The university has scooped a hat trick of prizes.   

The participants of three academic staffs and 23 students

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) Nancy Joseph = University of Malaya (UM) won three out of five prizes at the National Assistive Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Technology (AR&TTs) Challenge Malaysia 2014 which was held in July 2014.

Students undertaking the Bachelor in Biomedical Engineering (Prosthetics & Orthotics) alongside Bachelor in Biomedical Engineering programmes won the Third Prize Award, Most Popular Awards and Viewer’s Choice Award.

The Faculty of Engineering sent a total of nine teams during the challenge composing of five lecturers and 39 students. During the competition held in UTM, Skudai Johor, three academic staffs and 23 students were present and had actively participated with their eight innovation prototypes. The 23 students included five postgraduate students, two final year students, eleven third year students and four second year Biomedical Engineering students.

Among the eight innovation prototypes were Self-standing Turning Transfer Device (STURDI) which won the third prize. STURDI has been designed to ease the burden of both caregivers and users. The innovation does not involve any electrical parts and free from any electrical accidents, such as electrical shock. It also enables the user’s upper limb to support his weight without breaking any of his bones. In addition to that, STURDI eliminates complicated procedures to ensure the safety of the users and is cost efficient at the same time.

Other prototypes were the Miniature Wireless Disposable Electrode for Pre Term Baby, Wheelchair Seating Training System with Alarm for Spinal Cord Injury Individuals, Simple Electronic Communication Board for the Elderly, Home Use Shoulder CPM, Bioneer Hand, Modular Bed Escape Alarm System, Bio-Impedance Analyzer Diagnostic Tool and Wireless EMG Instrumentation System for Low Back Pain Evaluation.

Submissions had to define a problem that the elderly or physically disables faced and thenfind a solution for it. To make sure that no one went off the mark, organisers of the AR&TTs Challenge collaborated with a number of health and voluntary welfare organisations to provide inputs on the design of the prototypes.  . Arrangements were made for the students to visit these organizations, which also gave teams of four their‘wish-list.’ From then on, the teams were expected to work in conjunction with these organisations so as to develop a prototype that would come closest to the requirement of the organization.

According to Dr Nur Azah Hamzaid from the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the students enjoyed themselveswhile reaping the benefits of the whole experience. “In essence, the experience was priceless. Students reported gain in terms of product design priorities, commercialization insights, networking opportunities and great fun.”

She went on to thank the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research & Innovation for the funding and hoped that this support will continue for the benefit of a greater majority of UM students.

The Assistive, Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Technologies) Challenge (AR&TT) is a focus challenge for social innovators/inventors who have novel ideas that will be beneficial for all. It provided undergraduate students from institutions of higher learning as well as professionals, withthe opportunity to develop creative and innovative prototypes of various technological devices and products or technology thatwill have social benefits and improve the quality life among the elderly and people with disabilities [PWD].


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