A team of students from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) has won a bronze award and a cash prize for innovation with their forest monitoring system from the eighth International Contest of Innovation (iCAN’16).
Wibool Piyawattanametha, director of KMITL’s Advanced Imaging Research Centre, who supervised the team, said iCAN’16 had attracted more than 15,000 students from 15 countries to participate in the final competition held this month in Paris. The KMITL team was the only one from Asean to make it into the final round.
The team consisted of NatchapolThepboon and Thanapat Puttiworasit, students from the institute’s departments of biomedical and electronics engineering.
ICAN is a global contest for university students interested in micro-nanotechnology, using micro-nano devices from sponsoring companies to create new applications. It is the first large-scale high-tech innovation contest initiated by scientists from both academia and industry in micro-nano fields.
With the aim of tackling the problem of deforestation, the KMITL engineering-students team generated a revolutionary forest-monitoring system based on smartphones enabling 24/7 surveillance with no human involvement.
“Even though there are currently many forest-preservation initiatives from the government, in all cases their success in reducing deforestation is limited by their ability to monitor what is happening on the ground. Smartphones have the potential to revolutionise whole landscapes, thereby fixing the monitoring problem,” Wibool said.
Modern smartphones contain a sophisticated set of sensors that make them ideal forest-monitoring tools. They have Global Positioning System sensors, pressure sensors, cameras, microphones and accelerometers. The ability to utilise all these integrated sensors with custom-made apps is a massive step forward for forest monitoring, and allows forest rangers to react to new threats instantly, he said.
Between 1990 and 2005, Thailand lost 9.1 per cent of its forest cover, or around 1,445,000 hectares. Currently, Thailand has an average annual deforestation rate of 0.72 per cent, which is a significant amount compared with other developing countries.
MG SEES STRONG SALES GROWTH IN FIRST HALF
MG Sales (Thailand) sold 3,778 vehicles in the first half of 2016, equivalent to the total sales achieved in all of 2015, or 5.3 times the sales in the corresponding period last year, the company announced.
June marked the highest sales performance in the past six months, with a total of 811 units sold. The MG3 outsold the other models at 558 units, rising 19 per cent from May and doubling the sales achieved in June last year. Total sales of the MG3 in the first half of this year reached 2,590 units.
The total sales of the MG6 in the first six months of 2016 stood at 235 units, up 87 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales of the MG5 were 769 units, while 184 units of the new MG GS were sold.