A team of students from NTU's School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) recently participated in the SCDF X IBM Lifesavers' Innovation Challenge: Call for Code 2020 on 12 June 2020 and took home the third prize with their solution for early detection of electrical fires.
During the competition, the students were given 48 hours to solve 1 out of the 4 problem statements, utilising Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and lnternet-of-Things (IoT) capabilities from IBM cloud. NTU's team, Team Circuit Solver comprising Lim Wee Jen Aaron, Lim Wei Jia Vanessa, Loke Seng Theodore, Lee Jia Wei and Tan Ding Hao competed against more than 300 teams and 1,200 participants from various Institutes of Higher Learning. At the end of the 48 hours, the team had to submit their project onto Github along with a 2-minute video pitch responding to the problem statement and explained how their solution helps to shape a better Singapore. Team Circuit Solver was one of the top 5 teams to proceed to the grand finals and presented their ideas to the judging panel.
As electrical fires are among the main contributors to fires in Singapore, the team's idea was to prevent electrical fires and other sources of fire by early detection of electrical anomalies such as current surges and overcharging. This would be complemented with the use of smoke sensors and smart plugs centred around the IBM Watson IoT platform. The smoke sensors will determine the concentration of smoke, while the smart plugs with a built-in current sensor and temperature patch will determine if there are current surges and overcharging occurrences in the power outlets respectively.
The team's solution will also notify homeowners, Community First Responders and the SCDF immediately through various means, enabling appropriate actions to be taken swiftly to prevent the spread of fire and endangerment of lives.
Sharing on the team's experience, Aaron from Team Circuit Solver said, "This experience has truly enabled us to see how the theoretical knowledge gained in school can be applied in the meaningful realisation of innovative practical solutions that can impact society at large for the better. The ability to leverage upon cloud technologies in the development of our prototype has also challenged our traditional ways of approaching and tackling issues and stimulated our interests in the future development of computing, where smart sensors and systems in an IoT environment will be an integral part of our everyday lives."