Miri – 5 May 2014 – A team of engineering students from Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) recently participated in the nationwide Autonomous Hovercraft Competition 2014 held at University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC).
The competition was organised by UNMC in collaboration with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Student Chapter and Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Student Branch at UNMC, the UNMC Robotics Society and Engineers without Borders Malaysia.
Curtin Sarawak’s ‘Ellipsis’ team ended up ranking ninth out of the 20 competing teams. Its members comprised electronic and communication engineering students Yazid bin Abdul Razak (team leader) and Mohammad Naqiuddin Ammar bin Othman; and mechanical engineering students Muhammad Yusof bin Azhar, Afif bin Mohammad Hanapiah and Mohammad Nabihan Adli bin Zailani.
The team was supervised by lecturer of mechanical engineering Dr. Hendra Gunawan Harno and head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Curtin Sarawak’s School of Engineering and Science, Associate Professor Dr. Sharul Sham Dol.
Students from various institutions of higher learning in Malaysia took part in the competition which aimed to inspire innovation in design and develop critical thinking skills through hands-on experience in using industrial tools and methods.
Each team was required to design and build an autonomous hovercraft using materials and sensors provided by the organiser. The hovercraft was then required to compete with other hovercrafts in trying to cover the length of a custom-built track in the shortest time possible.
Team HC01 from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) emerged the winner.
‘Ellipsis’ team leader Yazid said the competition provided an excellent opportunity for students from across the nation to develop and showcase their technical skills.
“The competition was so intense. We needed to achieve the autonomous motion by inventing a piece of code and using an electronic controller coupled with ultrasonic sensors that enabled the hovercraft to sense its surroundings and decide its direction of motion accordingly. On top of that, we had to apply our knowledge of fluid dynamics to reduce friction and improve its aerodynamic efficiency,” he added.
According to Dr. Sharul, the team performed very well and the team members applied much of what they have learned in their courses in the competition. He also thanked Curtin Sarawak’s School of Engineering and Science for its support and sponsorship.
For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at www.curtin.edu.my, its Facebook page at facebook.com/CurtinUniversitySarawakMalaysia, Twitter profile at twitter.com/curtinsarawak, YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/CurtinUniSarawak, or Instagram at instagram.com/curtinsarawak.