MANILA, OCTOBER 27, 2003 (BULLETIN) By Alvin Campos - ]More than 30 Manufacturing Engineering and Management (MEM) students of De La Salle University-Manila (DLSU-M) showcased their unique and innovative theses in the recently-concluded Mechatronics and Robotics Exhibit held last Sept. 6-8 at Glorietta Mall, Makati City.

The machines exhibited have industry applications ranging from textile processes to medical aid, from food to entertainment. All the theses prototype and designs have undergone reliability run or endurance and quality control.

The Automated Lateral Turning Bed, a thesis by Elizabeth Abad, Raymond Catanag, Audrey Gatmaitan, Julirose Gonzales and Ivan Policar, bagged the People’s Choice Award for Best Thesis, which was chosen by the faculty members of the university and the exhibit visitors. The Gold Thesis Award was awarded to the Automated Donut Icer by Gregorio Co, Carolyn dela Torre, Michael Anthony Ko, Jeffrey Mendoza and Lexter Sy, 3D Laser Scanner with CAD Interfacing by Adrian Ponce See, Dewey Sy, Jenny Anne Tan, Victor Albert Tiu and Henry Wu, Print Defect Inspection for Consumer Product Bottles using Machine Vision by Paul Ang, Bianca Atienza, Mark Calaunan, Carrick Camelo and Carlo Ilagan, and the Vestibular Diagnostic Chair by Ana Ticman, Jennifer Oliva, John Paul Tamayo, Justin Kho and Theresa Santos.

Any person that has an illness or injury and is on bed rest can incur fatigue or worse, bedsores because of the constant pressure that the bed is exerting on the patient’s body. The best way to avoid them is to move the patient periodically by using a turning bed.

The relatively cheaper Automated Lateral Turning Bed is an alternative to the current highly-priced automated turning bed which costs between R150,000 to R500,000. It is a hospital bed, but does not need medical equipment to run it. It aims to provide even pressure distribution; provide no shear forces; provide proper temperature and humidity for the skin; comfortable and economical; and accessible for care. It has an automatic motor driven motion by the use of a microprocessor that provides electrically controlled patient rotation in manual and automatic modes.

Meanwhile, for the donut lovers who wonder how the icing is dipped on their donuts, the Automated Donut Icer will make the icing of donuts very easy. The Automated Donut Icer is very efficient in icing your favorite donuts at the very rapid pace with the minimum manual handling of donuts in the dipping process.

The machine made a noteworthy step forward in reducing the cycle time of the dipping of the donuts from 218 seconds (manual) to 80 seconds (machine).

The 3D Laser Scanner captures and digitizes a series of images of a certain object, and from the data it makes the necessary computations in order to generate the object’s size, shape and features in three dimensions. By using the 3D laser scanning system, a three-dimensional product or model can be quickly captured in digital form, remodeled and exported for prototyping or manufacturing.

The goal of the thesis of See, Sy, Tan, Tiu and Wu was to design and fabricate a 3D Laser Scanner that would accomplish point cloud generation of three-dimensional objects.

Scanning a 3D image and sending the scan to prototyping or CAD software programs saves not only hours of painstaking work, but quite a large amount of money as well. Embracing this new technology of reverse engineering, allows firms both large and small to meet the computing challenges that are pivotal to their competitive strength.

The Print Defect Inspection for Consumer Product Bottles Using Machine Vision electronically and consistently inspects the misprints, smudges and short prints of consumer product bottles which are done manually in the local industry. The inspection system beats the 35 bottles per minute of the manual inspection rate. The machine vision system consists of hardware and software.

The Vestibular Diagnostic Chair is a system designed to provide assistance to the doctor in diagnosing vestibular orders which include dizziness, unsteadiness or imbalance, vertigo, visual blurring, disorientation, problems with vision, muscles, thinking and memory; irritability, loss of self-esteem, depression, loss of stamina and inability to concentrate. The vestibular system plays a central role to maintain the balance of a person. It consists of the three semicircular canals that are sensitive to angular accelerations and two otoliths that are sensitive to linear acceleration.

The current methods of diagnosing Vestibular disorders in the Philippines are done manually which is tedious for the attending physician and discomforting for the patient, which in the process produces inaccurate data and unreliable results.

Other theses exhibited were Egg Placing Machine, which automates placing of eggs in trays. It increases the quantity of good quality eggs and saves time which provides more profit for the Poultry industry; the Automated Fabric Inspection Machine which automates the detection of damages in textiles. It uses several techniques in lighting, video rendering and computer vision system. It is an alternative to costly imported machines, which is very indispensable for local small and medium garments companies; and the Golf Ball Fetching Robot (GoFeR) which is especially designed to collect golf balls on a typical driving range area replacing human golf ball collectors in the field and reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

Dr. Homer Co, the exhibit organizing committee chairman believes that the “MEM will spearhead the modernization and advancement of the manufacturing industries”.

He said that the aim of this annual exhibit is to give solution to the industry-based problems using highly-technological equipment with the combined mechanical design and electronics knowledge “push-button technology”, which is the Mechatronics.

The Department is planning to exhibit product designs next year and they are targeting the small and medium enterprise.

“La Salle believes that MEM’s exhibit will be a precursor to potential profitable and product marketability of new equipment especially for the small and medium enterprise,” said Dr. Nilo T. Bugtai, Associate Professor of the MEM Department adding that “the Philippines’ future in Science and Technology is under construction through the young students of La Salle. The department is determined to construct brighter futures for every Filipino. The young La Sallian students at the MEM Department are taking giant steps in highly-advanced fields such as Mechatronics and robotics.”

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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