UUM ONLINE: Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) clinched a gold medal at the Research Invention and Innovation Competition for Private Institutions of Higher Learning, Malaysia 2016 (PERINTIS 2016), held at the Seri Sarjana Hall, Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten), Putrajaya Campus, recently.
UUM was represented by a team of researchers from the School of Computing (SOC). The team, led by Prof. Dr. Zulikha Jamaludin, included Dr. Husniza Husni, Dr. Mustafa Alobaedy, and Dr. Azizi Aziz.
“The intense competition was quite thrilling since other universities had entered quite a number of products while we had taken along only three products, namely, Bacabot, Write-Rite, and Autism Social Aid. Thankfully, all three products caught the attention of the jury and each one managed to secure an award each,” she said.
It was double the joy for the team when Bacabot received the Special Award from the Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS). This award is only presented to recipients chosen from amongst the gold medallists.
According to her, Bacabot is an application devised to help children (both normal and dyslexic children) to read accurately, enhance their ability to count, and learn Malay, English, and mathematics in a way that can be adapted to the level and needs of their ability.
She explained that one of the elements that had won the jury over was the fact that its efficacy was result proven through a trial which, when carried out on school children, showed encouraging results.
“We use robots to attract the interest of the students to learn in an easier way. They can choose to use the robot, laptop, or tablet (multiplatform).
“What is unique about this application is that it is very flexible. Its database can be accessed and adapted by teachers and parents by way of updating data and adding new data, sentences, and phrases. Apart from this, it has features which will help students to read, listen, and even record their answers,” she elaborated.
She added that the idea came about after a research that was carried out in 2007 to produce a framework to help students. This, she said, later led to the development of several prototypes, namely, BacaMax, ARBaca, Mybaca, and BacaDisleksia, which were continually improved upon from time to time.
Meanwhile, Prof. Dr. Zulaikha won another gold medal for her product called Autism Social Aid, a joint initiative with researchers from Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP).
The product called Write-rite, developed with Safinar Rahim, succeeded in claiming the bronze medal. The prizes were presented by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Datuk Seri Panglima Madius Tangau.
The competition, organised by the Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and the Ministry of Higher Education, provides the best platform for researchers to showcase their scientific and technological inventions to draw the attention of manufacturers, inventors, and companies.
Translated by Mahaliza Mahadhir
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