Tuesday September 18, 2012
Young inventors excel
By ISABELLE LAI
PETALING JAYA: Worms, motorcycle accident statistics and rising electricity bills were the unlikely sources of inspiration for the inventors who excelled at the Engineering Invention and Innovation Exhibition (Einix) 2012.
Chemical engineering coursemates Lok Chen Chuang and Muhammad Shafiq Mohamed Ariff, 21, took home the grand prize of RM3,000, medals and certificates with their Vermi Battery innovation, which uses the vermicomposting process to generate energy.
(Vermicomposting involves using worms to break down materials such as discarded vegetable, food and other organic waste.)
Lok, from Universiti Teknologi Petronas, said they used African Night Crawler worms to help transform rubbish into energy for their Vermi Battery.
“We were able to power clocks, calculators and remote-control mini cars with our Vermi Battery. We want to share this technology in the rural areas as it is very simple to do,” he said after the prize-giving ceremony on Sunday.
Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka electrical engineering lecturer Mohd Farriz Md Basar grabbed both the second and third prizes for his Smart Motorcycle Safety Vest (SMS-V) and pico-hydro invention respectively.
Mohd Farriz said the high motorcycle accident rates amongst young people inspired him to create the LED vest.
“The red and orange lights on the vest correspond with the motorcyclists' brakes or signal lights. The vest is fitted with a receiver, while the transmitter goes under the motorcycle seat,” he said, adding that the vest would vastly improve rider visibility.
His pico-hydro invention uses waste water to generate less than 5KW of electricity.
“Many people think that hydro-power is only generated from rivers or dams, but I wanted to show that the water we use every day to shower or wash hands can be used to create electricity, too,” said Mohd Farriz, who won RM2,000 and RM1,000 respectively.
Einix 2012, organised by the Young Engineers Section of the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) in conjunction with Engineering Week 2012, serves to promote awareness about the profession to the public by exhibiting creative inventions and innovations from local universities.