Computer engineering team places 2nd in James Dyson Award national rounds

Computer Engineering students Clyde Matthew Condor, Danica Marie Dumalagan, Klyle Alexandre Luchavez, and Jun Niel Paquibot (see photo below) placed 2nd in this year’s James Dyson Award national rounds. The awarding ceremony was held on September 13, 2023, in Dyson Philippines, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines. 

Assoc. Prof. Luis Gerardo Cañete Jr. (3rd from left) mentored the USC team that was named as the runner-up for the national rounds.

The Carolinian team developed the AI-Assisted Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Device (see photo below), a device powered by a power bank that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and electrical current to rehabilitate the muscles of paralyzed fingers to enable the fingers to move again.

The AI-assisted Functional Electrical Stimulation device uses machine learning to optimize the rehabilitation of muscles of paralyzed fingers.

Their goal is to “develop an adaptive system that responds to real-time physiological changes in patients, identifying the ideal electrode location for stimulation with the aim of enhancing the efficacy of rehabilitation.”

Compared to existing electrical stimulation systems, the device developed by the USC team is unique. Aside from using AI to automate the electrode location, it also incorporates finger motion measurement using sensors and electrode selection via a switching circuit. As such, the device requires minimal operator intervention or adjustment. 

According to the team, their long-term goal is to achieve “fine control of finger movement which allows functional movement such as grasping to be used for manipulation of objects.” 

If realized, this would help post-stroke patients regain the use of their hands and improve their overall quality of life. 

The Carolinian team developed the device under the mentorship of Assoc. Prof. Luis Gerardo Cañete Jr. of the Department of Computer Engineering.

During the James Dyson Award national stage, a panel of external judges selects one National Winner and two National Runners-up. The National Winner and Runners-up will enter the next stage, where a panel of Dyson Engineers will review, select, and shortlist the Top 20 teams worldwide. This shortlist then makes it to Sir James Dyson, who will personally select the international winners and runners-up.

by Syrine Gladys Podadera, with reporting from the James Dyson Award

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