With presentation day of the Design Innovation Programme (DIP) module looming, each team is working hard to bring the finishing touches to their project. DIP is a module where SUTD students work with ZJU Industrial Design students to design a marketable product. As part of the module requirement, each product must incorporate a machine learning element.
My group in particular has built an AI study companion that reads your emotions while you study, and gives encouragements in the form of expressions and purrs. We hope that our product can boost your productivity in your dullest late night mugging session!
For my team, the ZJU students focused on the form of the product, doing the cadding, 3D printing and finally the presentation slides, videos and the script. The rest of us from SUTD worked on the brains of the product: programming the Raspberry Pi to perform inferences to output a display on an LCD and power several servos.
The past month or so have been a great learning experience for me. In my Freshmore term, I rarely touched the Raspberry Pi, working more on my computer’s IDE. This was an opportunity to get acquainted with the Raspberry Pi and its Linux OS. I learnt about using SSH to remotely access the Pi, as well as some modules like Pygame and Threading which we used to run our output functions concurrently. Did I mention how fragile the Pi is? I have managed to destroy 2 in the past month. My presence might be costing the team more than anticipated.
Working with the Chinese students has been thoroughly enjoyable. They have been very friendly and hospitable, finding time in this busy project and exam period to bring us out for meals. Our Chinese friends understand and speak English quite well too (one of them is actually on exchange from NUS), thus communication is not an issue. I have been seizing this chance to brush up on my Mandarin, which has been languishing in Singapore’s largely English-spoken climate.
That’s enough for today. I have a project to finish!