Even during the challenging period brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, TAR UC students are still able to rise above the challenge to achieve wins in competitions. The recent win was achieved by Lim Wei Chung and Hong Ching Hin who are studying the Diploma of Electronic Engineering at TAR UC Penang Branch Campus. The duo emerged as the Champion team in the Google Track of the Innovate Malaysia Design Competition 2020 for their inventions called Automated Recycle Items Sorting Machine with Reward System. The announcement of their win was made during the Online Innovate Malaysia Design Conference held on 17 August 2020. The organisers of this competition included Google, CODEC, Intel, Keysight, Microsoft, MathWorks, SAS, Silterra and SolidWorks and supported by the Ministry of Education.
The students invented the Automated Recycle Items Sorting Machine with Reward System to help manage two issues in the current recycling practice in Malaysia namely on how to simplify the current recycling process and how to increase the recycling rate in Malaysia. With their invention, the process of sorting out waste into 4 categories which are plastic, glass, metal and paper will be automated and users who recycle using this system will also be given reward points based on the weight of waste they have recycled.
“There are several reasons that helped us invent this machine. We discovered that by using engineering and creativity, we could improve the current recycling system in Malaysia. And after more extensive research, we found that the recycling rate in Malaysia is very low as compared to other countries and this was why we decided to include the reward point element in our invention,” Wei Chung explained about the invention.
Competing against 367 teams from 28 other institutes of higher learning, Wei Chung and Ching Hin faced difficult challenges for the competition. “Due to the Movement Control Order (‘MCO’), we could not use the facilities on campus for our project and we were not able to physically meet our lecturers to discuss and improvise our project. Although faced by these restrictions, it was not a hindrance for us to give our best for this competition. So we improvised with what we had.
“We constantly had online discussions among ourselves and also with our lecturers. In addition, we used our creativity to use whatever items we had at home to come up with the product. We faced many limitations in terms of materials and time, but it was during these challenging moments we were able to put to good use the knowledge, skills and practices we had learnt in our studies at TAR UC,” Chin Hing elaborated further.