Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) won five (5) gold medals and two (2) special awards through an entry of nine (9) innovation products at the recent World Exhibition on Innovation, Research and New Technologies (INNOVA 2010) in Brussels, Belgium. The other four (4) of UNIMAS showcased products managed to grab one (1) silver medal each. About 500 researchers from all over the world participated in the exhibition which was held from 18-20 November 2010.
One of the products in the Medicine-Health Care Category that won the gold medal is a battery operated finger rehabilitation device which allows a controlled movement of the fingers that gave the much needed opportunity for post-stroke patients to undergo basic physiotherapy session for restoring control over their hands movements at the convenience of their own home. This simple robotic device is a much needed solution for post-stroke patients’ rehabilitation exercise where the service of a personal physiotherapist is a scarce privilege. This product is an invention by Shahrol Mohamadan of the Faculty of Engineering.
Taking the use of mobile phones to the next level, the ARUT Mobile Version 1.0 which was developed by Dr Edmund Ng Giap Weng, from the Centre of Semantic Technology and Augmented Reality, offers a fully-integrated Mobile Augmented Reality System. The system allows its 3D animation contents to be visualized within a real or virtual live video on a mobile phone's built-in camera, presenting virtual highlights which are superimposed on an actual real-life image. This invention was awarded a gold medal and Special Award under the Radio-Television-Communications Category.
Another gold medal and Special Award came from the Energetic Category. Here, Assoc Prof Dr Pang Suh Chem of the Faculty of Resource Science and Technology took the innovative approach of combining the easily available, abundant and cheap local sago flour with conducting material to produce a novel starch-based gel electrolyte (SbGE) film of high ionic conductivity. The conduction properties afforded the film high potential use in various electrochemical device applications such as rechargeable batteries, super-capacitors, fuel cells, electrochromic devices and sensors.
Also, a compact rescue stretcher which is foldable and easy to carry, and a smart kiddy wear for the active kindergarten kids took an innovative approach in design by looking at their conveniences to the users and injecting innovative solution to increase their practical usage. Both the inventions took gold under the Safety-Protection-Life Saving Category and the Textile Industry and Clothing Industry Category, respectively. The researcher behind the compact rescue stretcher is Assoc Prof Dr Khairul Aidil Azlin Abd Rahman and behind the smart kiddy wear is Norhayati Suleiman; both are from the Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts.
This surely is, one of UNIMAS' most successful entries at the international level as the rest of its showcased product managed to grab a silver medal each. These products are Flexible Thin-Film Electrochemical Capacitor Prototype Fabricated by a Novel Rapid Prototyping Process by Assoc Prof Dr Pang Suh Chem, Magnetic Silica Nanocapsules for Biomedical Application by Dr Chin Suk Fun, DIY Smart Pattern by Dr Nazlina Shaari, and Indigenous Attire Design for Paralysis Patients by Norhayati Suleiman.