From Lab to World Cup

Seattle bound (from left) Francis Swee Zheng Wei, Guo Xihuang, Yu Yi and Yu ZhiGang


The World Cup fever is raging. But for Francis Swee Zheng Wei, he is preparing to win his own world title in the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2016 that will be held in the IT giant’s headquarters in Seattle, USA, from 26 to 29 July.

The fresh graduate from the Diploma in Mechatronics Engineering (DME) has teamed up with fellow DME graduates, Yu Yi and Yu Zhigang, as well as Guo Xihuang, a final-year Diploma in Electronics, Computer and Communications Engineering student, to form Team YuuY for this competition.

Together with School of Engineering’s partner, Japan’s Institute of Technology Kita Kyushu College, the team built a social robot called Ruth which is capable of assisting senior citizens in their daily living, as well as being a companion to them. The robot can perform functions such as turning on the power supply for electrical appliances like the TV and lights, as well as reading the news and giving weather updates. For the project, the team explored and integrated the latest technologies such as Microsoft’s Cognitive Services, as well as fusing motion and image sensors to achieve the human vision sensing capabilities. 

To qualify for the International Competition in Seattle, the team had to first win the local leg of the Microsoft Imagine Cup Singapore 2016 which had three categories - Innovation, World Citizenship and Games. They won, beating more than 60 other tertiary teams along the way. For the Singapore leg, they each won a Microsoft Xbox One 1TB. At the international finals, they will face competition from 13 teams in the World Citizenship category.

“From the competition, I’ve learned how to apply different ways to execute a task. I also learned how to work efficiently as a team and improve on my soft skills such as communication,” says Francis, who plans to take up a computer science degree after his national service.

NYP has enabled Francis and his teammates to claim a spot on the world stage.

Because We Can


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