Students use MEMS sensor technology from STMicroelectronics to build "smart" functions in new areas of application
Fabio Pasolini, General Manager, Motion MEMS Division, STMicroelectronics, said: "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. 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."
Associate Professor Loh Ai Poh, Deputy Head (Undergraduate Programs & Student Life), Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore added: "The opportunity to work with state-of-the-art, market-proven technology is definitely a valuable experience for our future engineers. More and more products in the market integrate sensor technology. We greatly appreciate this initiative from ST and are really encouraged to see our students developing very innovative yet practical applications with the market-leading technology.
Professor Cheng Tee Hiang, Acting Chair of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, said, "The challenge to develop original life-enhancing applications with the latest sensor technology has really spurred our students to stretch their creativity to the fullest while acquiring a clear understanding of market needs. This is the real industry environment they will have to function in and this program is a powerful teaching tool to that end."
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.
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 comprising Mr. Joel Ye Zhu'En and Mr. 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 Mr. Li Shiwei and Mr. 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 Ms Pushpaleela Prabakar and Ms 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.
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.
ST's iNEMO is a unique evaluation and development tool that offers up to 10 degrees of freedom, combining 3-axis linear acceleration, 3-axis angular rate and 3-axis motion sensing through a magnetic field, together with barometric/altitude readings, managed by an STM32 microcontroller. The integration of multiple sensors with processing capabilities, dedicated software and wireless connectivity in a single platform enables leaps in functionality and performance in a wide variety of applications, including Gaming, Human Machine Interface, Robotics, Portable Navigation Devices, and Patient Monitoring.
iNEMO is a registered trademark of STMicroelectronics
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