How idea came about

A school trip to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital last year made him realise the help disabled people needed.

With that in mind, Mr Ren Shuheng, 22, and his schoolmates, then third-year Republic Polytechnic (RP) Biomedical Sciences students, came up with a device that could control home appliances through thought.

The device works on a brain-computer interface (BCI), which creates a direct link between the brain and a machine to be controlled.

This is done by recording and monitoring electrical activity from the brain via the device's nodes placed on the scalp.

BCI has been an area of interest at RP since 2009. Research in BCI began with a headset with just two nodes, said Dr David Jiang, the manager of the Wireless Technology Development Centre at RP.


Over the years, RP has won various awards for BCI projects, like a wheelchair that can be manoeuvred using brain signals.

RP's current batch of third-year students - Mr Hui Khoon Fai, 23, Mr Ho Zong Hua, 21, and Mr Zhong Zhen Wu, 22 - decided to take things further by improving the device to one that is wireless.

This combined team effort across two batches of Biomedical Sciences students helped them bag the Young Creators Award at the IES Institution of Engineers Singapore) Prestigious Engineering Achievement Awards last Friday.

"We are trying to make it more portable, and the sensors on the device to be more responsive and reliable," said Dr Jiang. "Hopefully, we can interest investors and commercialise it in a year or two."

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