SINGAPORE - Three Temasek Polytechnic students have come up with an innovative design for an anti-riot shield that they hope will better protect police officers.
The project, currently in its prototype stage, contains two unique features embedded in the front of the shield - strobe lights to blind rioters and a miniature camera to capture footage, which will be sent wirelessly to a police command centre.
It is one of 80 exhibits presented at the polytechnic's annual Engineering Project Show, which is part of the school's Open House. Other exhibits on display include an in-vehicle unit with an integrated alarm to deter thefts.
The final-year engineering students - Ms Low Siyi, Ms Florence Quek and Mr Ng Jun Hong, all 21 - were brainstorming ideas last April, just months after the Little India riots in 2013, when they decided to work on a design that improves on the existing anti-riot shield.
In June, they came up with their prototype shield, which is made of polycarbonate and weighs about 2.5kg.
"We read the news that there were many police officers and (civil defence) personnel injured, and the two main challenges we felt were identifying the culprits amongst the 400 rioters, and keeping police officers safe," said Ms Low. The riots left 49 Home Team officers injured.
"These shields will make it easier for the police to handle these situations," said Ms Quek.
The miniature camera captures and sends footage wirelessly to the police command centre in real time, so the authorities can survey the situation and decide whether to dispatch reinforcements, Mr Ng said.
He added that the strobe lights emit a glare to blind oncoming people. The speed of the flashes can be controlled.
The students' project supervisor, Mr Hong Geok Hua, said representatives from the police have been invited to take a look at the students' work.
"Even in other countries, riot police don't have shields with features like this. I thought this is something crucial and important that they have come up with," said Mr Hong, a lecturer in business process and systems engineering.
This article was first published on Jan 10, 2015.
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