Students design computer system to help blind passengers

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 January, 2008, 12:00am

Form Four student Leung Yun-yee and four of her classmates have designed a computerised bus service system that could help elderly and visually impaired people catch the right bus.

Passengers press a button indicating the number of the bus they are waiting for, sending an electronic signal alerting the bus driver not to miss the stop.

A computer screen also shows waiting passengers the number of the bus stopping next.

Leung, a student of the Chang Ming Thien College in Shek Kip Mei, said that she and her teammates wanted to design something that could make people's life better.

'We thought of this bus stop because there is a centre for the blind near our school. We see blind people waiting for buses in a dangerous way, such as leaning out into the street. It's dangerous and we hope to help them,' she said.

A model of the system was exhibited yesterday at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, during the inauguration of its Centre for Robotics and Technology Education.

The centre, which is dedicated to promoting and encouraging robotics education among secondary and primary students, also launched a new project called Internet Robotics Innovation Park, with the support by the Innovation and Technology Fund and Quality Education Fund.

Wong Kam-fai of Chinese University's Faculty of Engineering, said that many schools saw setting up design and technology education as costly and the university hoped to provide a centre and platform for such schools.

'Students in Hong Kong are very creative, especially at such a young age. All we need to do is to give them some stimulation and opportunities, and they can create something, but not all schools can afford to provide such hardware [for robotics design],' said Professor Wong.

The centre will organise the fourth Internet Robotics Inter-school Competition which will be expanded to invite representatives from cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

A six-day summer camp will also be held at Chinese University in July for the 128 teams expected to participate in the tournament.