JMF2 AI Autonomous Scooter for the Visually Impaired is the innovative invention from Mr. Mr.Promsurin Phutthammawong, a graduate student from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Thammasat School of Engineering (TSE) and his teammates.
The innovation has been awarded the gold medal award from Thailand Research Expo 2020, an event held by Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) and National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) at Centara Grand Hotel and Bangkok Convention Center @ Central World.
There are three members in the team: Mr.Promsurin Phutthammawong, Ms.Purichaya Angboothorn, and Ms.Patchawan Sridech with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dulyachot Cholaseuk and Asst.Prof.Dr.Phisan Kaewprapha, their advisors.
“We have integrated knowledge from electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering. Our inspiration is initially from the guide dogs for the blind. But unlike the guide dogs, we wanted the blind to be able to use our invention regardless of the environment or condition. Therefore, we come up with an idea to design the guide dog but with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and an autonomous system,” says Mr Promsurin.
“This is a collaboration project with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, serving as the prototype for further development in the field of using an algorithm for technology for the people who are visually impaired. Also, we make sure that the invention is “self-driving” to ensure that they can use it by themselves.”
Mr Promsurin further adds, “In the first phase, we spent three months constructing hardware and integrating it with software. We started by designing the different parts which can hold the user’s weight up to 80 kg. Next, we simulated to make sure it is safe to use, as well as installed many safety systems all over the scooter. We use a water jet to cut different parts except for the mechanical parts and ask experts to weld them together. We also installed a lot of sensors including Encoder, 3D Camera Depth sensor, Lidar Sensor, etc. all of which will help detect and analyze the surroundings to make sure the inputs are accurate.”
“We started with not a lot amount of money. So, we have to maximize all the radar and safety systems to increase accuracy and safety. The second phase is tuning the parameters, making sure it is reliable and consistent. Overall, we spent around six months, but there are more improvements that we can still make in the future.”
On further plans for the development, he explains “This invention still has a lot to be developed, especially to tailor it to the surroundings in Thailand. This is because the infrastructure in our country still needs to be improved. Just like how Tesla cannot be on auto-pilot mode through the entire trip.”
“Besides, it is possible to be collaborating with other industries like the medical tourism business, and real estate. We are in the middle of discussion and negotiation.”
He also thanks and expresses great appreciation to both Asst.Prof.Dr.Phisan Kaewprapha and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dulyachot Cholaseuk, for guiding supporting, and advising throughout the entire time.
“They gave us very useful advice concerning the advanced knowledge that we have never learned before.”
“Learning and welcoming new experiences are never a bad idea. With the chances, time, and advisors, we just need to try our best and see how far we can go. Don’t be afraid to start because it is never too hard. Don’t think you can’t do it. Just try your best and soon you will realize that everything has its solution. Everything will become great experiences and fundamentals for your work and even your life in the future,” he concludes.