SUTD designs a smart navigation system that uses shoeprints to help seniors find their way around the hospital

12 Apr 2024

Lianhe Zaobao, 12 Apr 2024, 新科大设计医院智能导航系统 助年长者看病凭脚印不迷路 (translation)

What can help seniors if they get lost in the hospital and miss their medical appointment? Students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have designed a smart indoor navigation system that uses a person's unique shoe print to guide them.

The navigation system, named "Glowing Guide", is a final-year Capstone project completed by a team of seven fourth-year students from SUTD under the mentorship of Alexandra Hospital.

The system was designed to provide personalised navigation services for hospital patients and caregivers, thereby making the medical treatment process more convenient and efficient.

Unlike traditional navigation, this system does not require users to use a smartphone. After entering the hospital, patients need only scan the barcode on their identity card to register and obtain their medical appointment number. They will also stand on a pressure sensor that scans their shoe print to bind their unique shoe print to their appointment number. The pressure sensor can obtain a patient's weight, standing posture, shoe sole pattern and other information, making each person's shoe print as unique as a fingerprint.

Lim Yu Wen (22 years old), one of the team members, said: “Patients will see the same pressure sensors when walking to some intersections where they can easily get lost. By stepping on the sensor, the system identifies the patient's queue number and consultation room, then projects directional cues onto the floor ahead of them.”

In addition to personalised navigation projections, the student team also recommended that the hospital make existing area designs easier to understand. For example, the original area A or area B, etc. can be represented as Orange area or Banana area, etc., which is clearer and more eye-catching for patients who are not good at remembering letters.

Alexander Yip (42 years old), clinical director of Alexandra Hospital, was very satisfied with the outcome of this final-year project. He said: "This system does not require users to download an application, so even seniors who are not tech-savvy can use it. If the accuracy can be further improved, we hope to incorporate this technology into the new Alexandra Hospital that is being built.”

This year, for the first time, students from SUTD’s Design and Artificial Intelligence (DAI) programme participated in the final-year Capstone project exhibition. As the first degree in Singapore to combine design and AI, DAI focuses on the application of AI-driven design in user interfaces, user experiences, products, systems and built environments. 

A seven-member team from SUTD designs an intelligent ergonomic desk

Of the 67 final-year Capstone projects on display, 20 project teams included DAI students, and Intellidesk’s team was one of them.

As people spend more and more time working at their desks, issues like body aches and cluttered charging cables begin to surface. To solve these problems, seven students from SUTD designed a smart ergonomic desk.

This desk has three major functions. First, a camera placed in the corner of the desk can measure the user's body posture and angle, and provide real-time feedback to the user through an application, reminding the user to maintain the correct sitting posture when necessary.

Secondly, the desk has a dynamic, autonomous wireless charging system. Jeff Lai (26), a student on the project team, said: " Unlike ordinary wireless chargers, smart table users do not need to manually align the coil, because the charging coil can flexibly position the device and automatically find the location of the phone on the table to charge it.”

The smart table also comes with a virtual AI assistant, JARVIS. Users can use voice commands to adjust the height of the table or receive reminders when their posture is unhealthy. JARVIS can also act as a chatbot, answering simple questions.

Deep fake audio detector specifically designed to detect Singaporean accents

In addition, another team including DAI students designed Veritas, a deepfake audio detector. The detector features state-of-the-art models that help users detect deepfake audios and was specifically built to detect deepfake audios with a Singaporean accent.