EMBER – an engineering innovation
As part of the Design 3 subject, electrical, electronic, communication, computer and biomedical engineering students work in teams to develop an idea from concept to reality.
As part of the Design 3 subject, electrical, electronic, communication, computer and biomedical engineering students tackle a design challenge. Students work in teams to develop an idea from concept to reality.
The video features students talking to camera about their experience, interspersed with scenes of students working on the EMBER project in the lab and in the field. Upbeat music plays throughout.
EMBER – an engineering innovation
Electrical, electronic, communication and biomedical engineering students tackle a design challenge where they must develop an idea from concept to reality. EMBER monitors the temperature of a haystack in order to prevent spontaneous combustion.
Konstantino Psinas [School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University]: So, for Design Three, over a year long, our subject, what we had to do was design a product that fulfilled a need.
Nicholas McNamara [School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University]: As part of the subject, there are also projects that are industry-based, or sponsored by a company. One of them being Telstra.
Cameron Vale [School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University]: The Telstra M2M Challenge is a challenge that Telstra runs every year, to try and develop new M2M technologies.
Nicholas McNamara: Ember is a haystack monitoring and alert system. What that means is, is it monitors the temperature of a haystack, and when that temperature becomes hazardous or dangerous, we then alert the user, the user being someone in agriculture or a farmer.
Cameron Vale: When hay is baled, it's full of moisture and bacteria that reproduce very quickly. That bacteria generates heat. Once the temperature reaches about seventy degrees, the temperature can increase dramatically up to a hundred and eighty, at which point the hay can catch fire.
Jin Hu [School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University]: The original ideas came from two of our members, and their families are involved in the farming business. Pretty much we nailed this idea in the very first Design Three meetings.
Nicholas McNamara: Basically, it's very different to the other subjects. In this subject you're essentially on your own. There's no one telling you exactly what you have to do, you're just given deadlines and you have to meet them.
Konstantino Psinas: I guess, in an engineering sense, it is perfect. It takes your knowledge from everything you've learned, and you're taking that product from conception to birth.
Jin Hu: Throughout the project, we had problems coming up all the time. It required us working together, and communicating effectively with each other.
Woon Chun Chong [School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University]: Also we learned research skills, because we need to research all the components that we need to use for our projects.
Nicholas McNamara: Because we participated in this Telstra M2M Challenge, a lot of us actually got fast-tracked to final interviews for their summer vacation program.
Konstantino Psinas: We had a consultancy session with them, especially the Chief Technology Officer of Telstra, helped us. With his engineers, we took our ideas in, and they gave us feedback.
Nicholas McNamara: It was really good to actually get people who are actually in the field doing this as their daily profession, to actually give us this positive feedback, and actually help us move forward with this. The whole idea of taking a product from concept to deployment, or delivery, in a year, that's extraordinary.
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