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Undergraduates create innovative applications with iNEMO MEMS sensors

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article image Students create new applications with ST's iNEMO MEMS sensor-fusion technology

Global semiconductor leader, top MEMS manufacturer, and the leading supplier of MEMS sensors for consumer and portable applications, ST Microelectronics has announced the winners of the Singapore Area University iNEMO Design Contest 2013.
The winning teams successfully conceptualised, developed and built demonstrable prototypes of entirely new applications using ST’s iNEMO MEMS sensor-fusion modules.
According to Fabio Pasolini, General Manager Motion MEMS, ST Microelectronics, 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 was impressive. He adds that these achievements perfectly reflect the vision ST Microelectronics has for MEMS technology, pushing its boundaries beyond the usual applications in smartphones, consumer electronics and automotive safety to newer areas.
Associate Professor Loh Ai Poh, Deputy Head (Undergraduate Programs & Student Life), Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore observes that the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art, market-proven technology is definitely a valuable experience for their future engineers. Given that more and more products in the market are integrating sensor technology, the initiative from ST provides an opportunity for their students to develop 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 that the challenge to develop original life-enhancing applications with the latest sensor technology has spurred their students to stretch their creativity to the fullest while acquiring a clear understanding of market needs.
The objective of the iNEMO Design Contest is to encourage students to think outside the box and create entirely new applications for MEMS sensors. 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 winning team comprising of Mr Joel YeZhu’En and Mr Benjamin Pong Xiang Ming from The National University of Singapore developed a video camera stabiliser for aerial videography to address the typical volatile swaying that otherwise 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 of Mr Li Shiwei and Mr Wu Haozhou from The Nanyang Technological University developed a ‘Smart’ dumbbell that can manage the entire training regimen of the user but is also able to detect if the swing angle and velocity of the lift is incorrect and informs the user. The first runner-up team wins a SGD 5,000 cash prize sponsored by ST.
The second runner-up team comprising of 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 is able to measure distance cycled and calculate calories burnt while having safety features such automatically ringing a bell when turning a blind corner and indicating to the user the presence of vehicles in the vicinity. The second runner-up team wins a SGD 3,000 cash prize sponsored by ST.
Selected final-year engineering students from the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University participated in the contest in teams of two. Twelve teams competed, sponsored by ST with iNEMO modules, technical support and the financial support of SGD1,000 per team for the purchase of 3rd-party materials.
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.

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