Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Student Success Stories

The following post was provided to us by Emmanuel Balami from the University Putra in Malaysia.  Thank you, Emmanuel, for sharing this news about your work!

High-Tech Public Utility Management

Following global concerns about Sustainable Development, and Environmental issues, it has become imperative to innovate, so, the idea of using embedded systems and ICT to help our world efficiently manage resource. These resources (water, energy, and food) are not only scarce but grossly mismanaged or wasted by the public. This module is a contribution in facilitating Responsible ConsumptionChange of Attitude by the public toward public utility, especially where governments subsidise these resources for the poor and also to schools and large populations. Organisations/countries that are providing aids to poor countries may wish to take advantage of this module in providing services to humanity, and also, there will be no need for subsidy coupons for countries offering that.

Here are some photos that show the system components and a demo:

Emmanuel util mgt demo2   Emmanuel util mgt demo   Emmanuel util mgt demo5Emmanuel util demo 3



Additional information on the project may be obtained by contacting Emmanuel Luke (bel) BALAMI

balami emmanuel luke - bel

And, if you’d like to learn more about Universiti Putra Malaysia, please click the logo:  Putra U (Malaysia) logo

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For those with allergies,  a ‘no pets’ policy can be a welcome salvation.  These types of rules generally apply to 4-legged furry creatures; but, the regulations have been extended as folks have gotten more “creative” in their choice of non-human companions for the home.  I recall (with somewhat of a shudder), the glass box of Tarantulas that graced the bedside table of a guy friend of mine.  Don’t know what became of him – or the arachnids – but, I do know that fish are often in a nebulous gray area when it comes to those pesky pet policies.  Their mini-homes within your home can range from a glass jar filled with water to some really impressive tanks, with all sorts of acoutrements to make the inhabitants feel like they are back in their native locale.

There are a lot of fishy people in the world (I leave the interpretation of that up to you!) Two of them, Yoon Hoon and his friend and co-founder, Andy Zhong, have come up with a nifty gadget to give your finny little friends a CLEAN place to frolic – no human intervention required!!  The product has been debuted and promoted at Hax Demo day in San Francisco and the inaugural CES Asia event in Shanghai last May, as well as the 2014 Mini Maker Faire, in Shenzhen, China.

Read about the




AquaTrek is an all-in-one cleaning, monitoring, and surveillance tool. Much like the Roomba, it is a largely autonomous, utilizing an aquatic scrubber and auto sensing technology to perform its duties.


The pair have a start-up and you can sign up for their email list here: Moai Devices

What a great use of Robotics and Sensor tech!  If you’ve got an idea that seems ‘out there’, maybe reading about these guys will spark you into acting on your brain-child… It might be the next big thing!

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August 10th, 2015

A project by Seattle-based charity Sawhorse Revolution is both educating young people and creating accommodation for the homeless. The Impossible City is a community of housing built by local teens as they learn new skills. The accommodation is designed to be affordable, sustainable and movable.

blog impossible city

“It wasn’t hard to realize that we really needed to engage with off-grid living practices to build for an off-grid community,” says Sawhorse Revolution executive director Adam Nishimura. “That idea also inspired the use of salvaged and up-cycled materials whenever possible.”

Additional shelter designs have been shortlisted for building in the future, including one with collapsible functionality, canvas-covered structures and a concept inspired by disaster relief shelters. A solar charging hub, a community cookspace and composting latrines are also shortlisted for creation.

What a nice way for youth of today to learn life-long skills and the art of volunteerism.  I hope they realize what a BIG impact they are making in people’s lives!

Do you have any new sustainable breakthroughs that can be shared with Sawhorse Revolution?

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McMaster University has developed a process whereby ordinary inkjet printers can be given a special cartridge containing DNA-based bio-ink that produces paper sensors patterned after the codenames of pathogens.

Sensors that identify infectious disease and food contaminants may soon be printed on paper using ordinary office inkjet printers. Researchers at McMaster University have developed a prototype that could lead to a commercial product in the next few years which helps doctors and scientists in the field quickly detect certain types of cancer or bacterial and respiratory infections or monitor toxin levels in water.

blog pathogens“In the published paper, we detect ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is a marker of bacterial contamination, and PDGF (platelet derived growth factor), which is a marker for cancer,” Brennan explained. “We can print the letter ‘A’ for ATP and ‘P’ for PDGF, so that the letter encodes the compound detected. This allows us to do something we call multiplexing, where we can use any combination of letters or symbols to allow detection of many different targets on a single test strip.”

Just think of the applications for this product, they are far reaching and would save many lives in developing world countries.

Do you have the expertise to save lives by developing advanced detection tools for the medical field?

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Travel can be risky – monetary crises, allergies to unusual foods, unsafe drinking water…and being a potential robbery target as you navigate unfamiliar locales.  Not that I’m advocating fear of traveling!  I love to go exploring anywhere and everywhere.  Sometimes, just getting there carries risks, too.

Read this short piece published by RedOrbit about a budding 17-year-old scientist named Raymond Wang from St. Georges School in Vancouver. Wang’s device sets up “personalized breathing zones” for each passenger.

Teen invents way to stop airborne viruses on planes


And watch the YouTube video linked there of the award for his prize-winning invention – and an interview with the inventor himself (you can click the pic below to go right to it…)

Airborne virus

With global concern about the spread of diseases, this young man’s invention may make the air we breathe safer for everyone – and it has applications far beyond commercial flights.  What adaptations can you envision?

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