Students of UOW Malaysia KDU School of Computing and Creative Media emerged as champions at the Open Data Hackathon Competition 2019, a victorious moment for all!
Participants comprising students, working professionals and industry experts at the Open Data Hackathon Competition 2019.
Students from School of Computing and Creative Media explaining the specifications of their invention to an esteemed panel of judges during the Open Data Hackathon Competition 2019.
By Davin Dhanraj
Compelled to offer a progressive solution for excessive irrigation for plants, three final year students from School of Computing and Creative Media have paved their way to excellence by emerging as champions at Open Data Hackathon Competition 2019 by inventing LIFE – Smart Irrigation System, a comprehensive, versatile cost-saving monitoring and controlling device that helps transform and digitalise farming techniques.
Organised by Malaysian Administrative and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU); students Khaw Chi Hun and Ian Shih Ye Vei from Bachelors of Software Engineering and Chew Chee Lin from Bachelors of Computer Science bagged an impressive cash prize of RM 10, 000 under the University and Industry category, defeating 69 teams of 191 participants comprising students, working professionals and industry experts. The first phase of the competition was an online submission whereby students needed to brainstorm and submit a business proposal that detailed the summary of their invention and how it benefited the community. Upon selection, the shortlisted participants were required to present their idea to a panel of esteemed judges.
“It was definitely a victorious moment when we received the news that we won the competition. To be honest, it was tough at the very beginning of the research as findings on fertility sensors are very scarce in the market. But after receiving immense guidance, motivation and impeccable advices from mentor Dr Law Foong Li , we pushed on and for this this achievement, we will always be eternally grateful for” said Ian Shih Ye Vei from Bachelors of Software Engineering. He highlighted that through the invention of LIFE – Smart Irrigation System, farmers can not only customise irrigation and fertilisation automation for different plants, but they can also read and analyse the quality of soil using respective sensors accurately and control the irrigation equipment.
“Excessive irrigation for plants are ubiquitous in Malaysia and as it commonly happens in Malaysia, the conventional system will water the plants even if it is raining heavily. Hence, through the invention of this system, the irrigation of plants will happen automatically when the moisture level of soil is critically low to prevent overflooding” added Ian.
The system comprises two parts, a Mobile App developed using Android Studio and a hardware system using Arduino IDE (C programming). The sensors will be connected to a microcontroller that includes the Soil Fertility Sensor (Fertility & pH), Soil Moisture Sensor, Soil Temperature Sensor, Air Quality Sensor and Air Temperature Sensor. Each sensor complements each other by offering different functions allowing farmers to control and automate the irrigation and fertilisation pumps when necessary thus fostering a more eco-friendly farming experience.
“As soil-based and landscape-based agriculture continues to play a fundamental role in Malaysia, we are very proud to see our students inventing devices which will serve a distinctive purpose in the future of agriculture farming. At the School of Computing and Creative Media, we encourage students to produce out-of-the box solutions that stimulates higher order thinking skills. As a top innovative private tertiary education provider in Malaysia, our aim is to provide a unique real life learning experience to nurture and inspire students to become independent, innovative, resourceful and successful in their future endeavours” said Dr Law Foong Li, Senior Lecturer, School of Computing and Creative Media. Dr Law highlighted that it is important for higher educational institutions to leverage learning competitions like these to fully develop students’ potential and capabilities.
Prior to this, an experimental process was conducted by planting sprouted onions to measure the effectiveness of the invention and a more intensive research will be conducted to further explore the possibilities in determining the fertility of the soil to deliver exceptional user experience and responsiveness of the invention.
UOW Malaysia KDU’s School of Computing and Creative Media (SCCM) offers undergraduate programs in technology to develop students’ understanding beyond their classroom. The syllabus ensures the students are provided with a strong grasp in the fundamentals in computing; learning the basics of programming to using complex algorithms in designing, building and testing applications and systems. The success of student projects is a testament of the three core values practiced in the programme. With the Malaysian Government focus on industry relevance in education; real world experiences where the students are thrust into real world scenarios faced by consumers, clients and the industry. The students get a taste of proper working scenarios to develop functional solutions for the working environment. With the ever-changing technology, the syllabus is constantly evolving to suit the needs of the industry; this evolution is important to a student’s development for the foreseeable future. In producing highly competitive talent, the synergy between the updated technology used and skilled personnel is of utmost importance whereby it acts as an anchor and rudder to steer a student’s academic progress to the proper direction.