Bringing innovation to a greater level

From left: CEO of Terasic Sean Peng, Lim, Yong, Chong and Senior Director of Intel PSG Worldwide FAE Sean Dougherty

A trio from Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) successfully paved their way to Intel San Jose Campus, California to compete in the final round of InnovateFPGA Global Design Contest 2018 that took place from 14 to 16 August 2018.

The contest aimed to encourage everyone, including students, professors, makers and industry to showcase their creativity and innovation with actual results and real-world designs by incorporating DE10-Nano board in their design.

The competition, which saw teams from US, EMEA, APJ and Greater China, started with regional level preliminary respectively. The initial stage required UTAR team to pass the community voting, where online votes were cast by judges and public. Upon succeeding that stage, Chong Kwang Liang, Lim Jia Zhi and Yong Kah Men advanced to the Regional Semi-Finals where they received Terasic DE10-Nano kit and three Analog Plug-in Boards from Analog Devices to begin their project. The team, later on, made their way to the Regional Finals where they received Silver Award for their exceptional programming invention called VR/AR Headset with Kalman Filter Position Tracking and Stereo Vision Depth Sensing.

The team received Terasic DE10-Nano kit after passing through the community voting stage

“In VR/AR technology, we have data for head tracking, but now we are proposing another two data, which are eye tracking, one that tracts eyes movement, and depth sensing with two cameras placed in front of the goggle. So, this does not just produce overlay images, instead the image is “cast” on the table virtually. If this technology is utilised in a game, this feature will allow the characters in the game to interact using eye contact. They may also use this to access inventory by looking at it instead of turning their heads,” explained Lim.

For the Silver Award, the team won $1,200 cash prize, certificates and a trip to US Grand Final. The grand finale saw the team competing with 11 groups, including teams made up of researchers and professors.

“We were a little nervous because we were still fixing it during the lunch, before the demonstration. We could not test it earlier because we had no monitor at the hostel. So, on the day of the event, we had to make sure everything was working. We did some code editing and it all went well after that,” said Chong. 

Chong (in front) and his teammates were given 10 minutes to explain their project to the fellow judges and audiences

Yong (left) and Lim during the demonstration before Q&A session for their project

The team listening to the comments and views of the judges

Being the few undergraduate teams who managed to join the final round, UTAR team proudly walked home with Award of Excellence, winning a Terasic Self-Balancing Robot. On the following day, they were brought to visit the Intel museum and the Analog Device Campus.

Terasic Self-Balancing Robot they won in the grand finale

Advisor of the team LKC FES Dr Khaw Mei Kum could not be more proud of her students, “All this took place during the examination period. I reminded them to prioritise their examination, but even with such tight schedule, they managed to come out as the regional finalist. They had a lot of ideas but was restricted due to time constraint.”

She also wished other students to take the trio as an example, “Don’t be a regular student who merely studies all the time. Undertake conceptualisation works; joining a competition like this will give you better exposure and experience and make your resume look better. Do seek us [faculty] and we will assist you along the way. We can help you to manage and balance your coursework and the extra commitments.

“Usually if we participate in any competitions, we would always refer to the faculty and our Head of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department Dr Chang Yoong Choon. So when we approached him regarding this competition, he felt that it was a good idea and he even helped us to get financial aid,” said Lim.  He also advised other students to not think too much to join such competitions, “When we decided to join the competition, we weren’t sure where to start. The brainstorming only took place afterwards. Our initial plan was to get our hands on the board, but we are glad and happy that we went beyond that.  We (students) should take our own initiative to join competitions like this rather than waiting for the opportunity to knock on our door.”

For those who are interested to know more about their project, kindly visit this link: 

From left: Yong, Chong and Lim posing with their Silver Award and Award of Excellence certificates


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