Winners of the Eighth NTU Innovation Contest
Announced—Blood Hunter and Electronic Clothing Took the Crown
Emphasizing "Problem solving with innovation", the Eighth NTU Innovation Contest held an achievement exhibition and an award presentation ceremony at the Gallery Building of the Department of Electrical Engineering recently. Altogether there were 17 teams from the Science and Technology Division, and 6 teams from the Operation/Management division entering the finals. Competition for this year's Innovation Contest has been very fierce from the start, as 95 teams registered for the preliminaries with a total number of 106 contestants. And the panel of judges consists of a cluster of elites, as many professors from the College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the College of Management were invited to serve as judges.
Dr. Liang-Gee Chen, Director of NTU's SOC Center maintains that, nowadays knowledge economy reigns supreme, only innovation can create true value. The purpose of the NTU Innovation Contest is to hone the students' innovative capabilities while they are still in school, so as to create future value. Last year, Shanghai Jiao-tung University sent a team to NTU to participate in the contest.
Compared with Shanghai Jiao-tung University, which has had an innovation contest for ten years, NTU is still a slow start. Therefore, Dr. Chen believes that the scope of the Contest needs to be enlarged in the future, or that the winners need to participate in overseas competitions to broader their international outlook. Finally the top prizes for the Science/Technology division and the Operation/Management division were won by the Blood Hunter 100% team and the Change E team. In addition to winning N.T. 80,000 in cash prizes, these two teams will be sent abroad to participate in international competitions. Professor Joseph Tao-Yi Wang, one of the judges from the Department of Economics points out that, the challenge for the Operation/Management division is to come up with a business model. Anyone can invent a new patent, but how to actually put the patent into production, circulation, and eventually engender profit is the important criteria for evaluation, he said.
Winner of the Operation/Management Division: Electronic Clothing Allows You to Wear New Clothes Everyday
Change E, the team from the College of Business, proposed "Change E.com" as a third party network platform in addition to electronic paper and clothing manufacturers. Consumers need only to download specific graphic designs from the web, and then insert the electronic paper into the T-shirt to have the designs printed out. "Whereas in the past you buy three T-shirts, now you need only buy one." The new business model proposed by Change E team allows T-shirts to change their designs freely and also allows repeated use of the T shirts. At the same time, Change E.com becomes the communication platform between electronic paper manufacturers and garment manufacturers, and between consumers and apparel brands.
Change E team admits that their members were first struck by a brand of Adidas shoes that could change their side icons freely. They felt that the idea was super cool, and they were induced to think about using electronic paper to change the designs on the T-shirts.
Professor Joseph Tao-Yi Wang points out that, the technology for electronic papers, garments and for on-line shopping are already existent. That the Change E. team could integrate these resources together and propose a new business model is extremely feasible, therefore they won the top prize. But other judges pointed out that, there remained the question of the depreciation of the T-shirts. Even though the graphic designs could be changed every day, the T shirts could not stand all the wear and tear. So this problem needs to be taken into consideration when using the electronic clothing repeatedly.
Winner of the Science/Technology division: 100% Blood Hunter
Statistics from NTU Hospital shows that with outpatients and inpatients, an Hospital averages drawing blood 4000 times in a single day. In order to heighten the success rate of the nursing staff when they draw patient's bloods, the Blood Hunter 100% team integrates optical technology, image processing techniques and chip implementation, and invented "the 100% Blood Hunter."
Although its name sounds kind of funny, but the principle of the "Blood Hunter" is actually quite complicated. It first uses infrared light to penetrate the skin to find the blood vessels, then it uses a web camera coupled with a polarizing filter to take the image of the blood vessel. And, by the use of a rear-end real time image processing chip, the vascular image can be projected directly onto the skin of the patient, so that the nursing staff can draw blood with only one stitch.
Some judges raised the question that, the vascular images were two dimensional, how could they be useful in a three dimensional operation like blood drawing? The Blood Hunter 100% team said, they would use two cameras, and project 3D images for the nursing staff to see where they should inject their needle.
Using Waves to Engender Electricity, Second Hearing and the Recharge System for Brakes
In addition, the "Father was Right" team, the Bobo Transformer team, and the Bao-Yi team were among the winners of the Science/Technology division. The "Father was Right" team had only one member, Mr. Wei-Shen Su, who was a senior from the Department of Bio-industrial Mechatronics Engineering. He designed a "wave power device" which could store the energy from vibrating waves and reuse it. And he used two-way electricity engendering, which was twice as powerful as the one-way, hydraulic, piezoelectric, and rotation type of electricity engendering methods. Mr. Su also entered the Contest under the name of "Mother was Right." His design, "the piezoelctrical warm socks" was among the winners in the Science/Technology division. The "Mother was Right" team finally won the Congeniality Award with the Bobo Transformer team. And, to add flowers to the brocade, when it came to the lucky raffle draw, Mr. Su took the top prize HTC HERO from the hands of Dr. Liang Gee Chen and became fortune's favorite of the day.
The BoBo Transformer team expressed the predicaments of a hearing impaired person through an action drama, then went one step further to propose a "portable language visualization system", which could transform the languages heard by the ear into texts which could be seen by the eye. Then, the texts could be projected through portable projectors, so hearing became vision, and the hearing impaired people could have a new means of communication. Even if some errors occur in speech recognition, the hearing impaired people could still judge and comprehend the speaker's intent from the context, thereby enhancing the error tolerance.
The Bao-I team pointed out that, when automobiles were traveling in a city, about 40 percent of its energy was spent on its braking system. So they tried to find a way to improve the braking system to recycle its energy. They devised a "mechanical brake recharging system", which could store and recycle the kinetic energy engendered when a vehicle braked. When the automobile moved forward again, such stored energy could be used to push the vehicle forward, thus improving the energy efficiency.
Tablizable Floor Liftable Table
The "Don't want to be bald" team utilized the concept of a "liftable table" and proposed the "Tablizable Floor", which could create different space configurations by arranging its components differently. It was ranked among the winners of the Operation/Management division. For instance, if we lower all the components in this table, it becomes a flat room wherein you could dance and have all kinds of activities. But, if you raise part of its components, then it becomes an U-shaped meeting room, a panel discussion room, or a double classroom table, etc. Through this system, the users can easily achieve maximum use of space and economic optimization.
The other eleven winning teams had some very interesting inventions as well. Take the ILU team for example. They invented the "Game urinal toylet". Since the male gender likes to compare the size of their genitals, the urinals thus become a game machine. Its brand new ways of interactionelicited many laughs from the audience. Even the judges cracked some jokes:"Who would want to repair it?" Some teams made their departure from the real aspe cts of life. In order to solve the problem of expensive overseas roaming of cell phones, the OM Guide team invented the "innovative overseas roaming mode for mobile phones" which created a fair profit distribution through the differences in mobile software pricing. The "Tears of Socrates" team, on the other hand, seeing that green life is on the rise, devised " glial pen, roller eraser, and assembly type of paper board" to stress their environmentally friendliness and convenience. The "Un-penetrable ass" team designed a "high tech intelligence glasses" which allows its users to look afar or near without having to adjust its focus. Similar products in the markets today would demand the user to manually adjust the focus, but this intelligent glass emphasized its ability to adjust its focus automatically through the use of an infrared transceiver, micro-magnetic device, an automatic chip etc., which could change the focus of the lens to achieve its functionality.