ISLAMABAD: The NUST College of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) was a hub of genius on Wednesday as it hosted its 11th Inter-college software exhibition. With over 22 universities participating and 78 diverse projects, the event was a measure of the level of innovation within engineering and software development students across Pakistan.
The projects, divided between the categories of electromechanical, information, communication and digital systems, demonstrated the extent of the talent of the youth, whose algorithms provided solutions for the improvement of security through robotics and efficient surveillance methods, as well as for improvements in quality of life through the assimilation of creative technologies.
“Pakistan is host to one of the largest populations of landmine victims,” explained EME students Salmanul Hassan, Zoya Tanzeel and Fatima Mahmood. The group had chalked out a system to detect landmines through multiple scanner operators wirelessly connected to a base station, enabling them to map the depth and location of the explosive devices.
Cadets Mashab Ali, Asad Ishtiaq, Abdul Waheed and Muhammad Abbas, whose awareness extends to the military, displayed a training simulator using Nintendo Wii for the use of the RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
“It is expensive and potentially lethal to use an RPG-7 for training purposes,” Mashab explained, adding that by attaching Wii’s remote control to the head of an imitation RPG-7, the shooter’s aim is recognised by sensors on the simulator screen, making it an effective means of training as well as significantly cutting costs for the forces.
Diverse ideas, solutions and algorithms circuited between the halls of the computer engineering building, as unmanned robots mapped out obstacles within indefinite terrains, motion vectors detected abnormalities in crowd behaviour, android applications guided the lost to their destinations through augmented reality, electrical wheelchairs improved accessibility for the disabled and radio frequencies were tapped using just a small circuit connected to a battery.
Students from Mirpur University of Science and Technology explained a complex diagram that showed the simultaneous use of multiple technologies to improve inter-vehicular communication. “We are working on a system that will allow greater security for vehicles on the road,” a confident Mohammad Ibrahim asserted.
Hailing from Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the young men said there were few resources in their university to encourage and enhance their work. But, being immersed in a creative, competitive environment was a healthy boost to their creativity and future endeavours. “This has given us great confidence,” chimed Faisal.
Doctoral candidate and EME database administrator Abdul Wahab Muzaffar said, “This annual event is an opportunity for students from across the country to interact with their peers and competitors and for us to gauge the standard of innovation within the youth.”
Despite invitations to over a hundred institutions, representation from certain regions was certainly lacking.
“It is such a pity that the costs of travelling, coupled with a lack of confidence in students or desire to encourage their development has held a lot of students back from participating,” he added.
The competition is being judged by reputed academia from different universities and will be on display till Thursday (today).
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2012.