Student-volunteers from the Engineering Good Student Chapter (EGSC) have met a major milestone over the past week, completing the mid-term review of their developed solutions for SPD and the Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled (BHID).
EGSC’s student-volunteers developed technical solutions for SPD and BHID as part of EGSC’s Technology Development (Tech Dev) programme. The Tech Dev programme is a programme where students from NUS and NTU work together in teams to develop technical solutions that are affordable, appropriate and sustainable for local partner beneficiaries over the course of 6 months. Student-volunteers work with mentors and EGSC to ideate, design and develop prototypes with the ultimate aim of creating solutions that they scoped scoped to the actual requirements of their beneficiaries. Tech Dev began in August, and will run through until January. For this pilot run of the Tech Dev programme, EGSC, the student arm of EG focused on engaging students in Humanitarian Engineering, managed to attract two teams of 4-5 students to work with SPD and BHID specifically.
The SPD team was tasked to tackle to problem of enabling wheelchair users to safely and independently access their homes, many of which are older HDBs with 2-3 staircases leading up to the door. Over the last three months, the SPD team managed to develop a proof-of-concept prototype which uses a floor-mounted remote-controlled winch and a hook.
After positive reviews and feedback both from external reviewers and SPD, the SPD team will be embarking on the next step of development. Much work will still need to be done by team, and the team aims to improve their solution by targeting user-feedback trials and refining designs to meet the practical needs of wheelchair users.
The BHID team chose to develop an affordable but reliable sensor system to gather gait-and-balance data of BHID patients. Working closely with our volunteer team, BHID identified an issue with the lack of an affordable and easy-to-use system to gather gait-and-balance data for therapeutic and predictive purposes to develop more effective treatments, and keep their patients ambulatory. The BHID team spent the last three months developing a circuit board that would be capable of capturing different parameters such as walking speed and gait angles.
After their successful mid-term review with BHID, the next step forward for them would be to develop the rest of the system to capture and analyse data for BHID’s use. Work will also have to be done to validate their system with user trials done in conjunction with BHID, so there is still lots of work to do!
The next milestone for both our teams will be our end-term review and hand-over ceremonies with their respective beneficiaries, but with still much work left to be done to refine their solutions, both our teams are excited and ready to go!