May 19, 2024

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UTM Excels at I3C 2023: Smart Guide Cane Innovation Receives Top Honors

The 2nd International Invention & Innovation Competition (I3C) 2023, organized by the Malaysia Innovation, Invention, and Creativity Association (MIICA), unfolded its virtual platform on February 11-12, 2023, through Zoom. This innovative competition spanned various disciplines, including Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, and Robotics. Positioned at the intersection of the 21st century’s global trends and the fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), I3C served as a catalyst for young scientists, researchers, educators, and institutions worldwide.

The competition commenced with a focus on mathematics subjects, particularly Engineering Mathematics II, aiming to inspire and motivate students to actively participate in innovative projects.

With participation from more than 180 teams across Malaysia and 10 countries, a team of students from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Faculty of Engineering, led by Catherine Tan Hwee Fung, emerged triumphant. The team, including MD Masum Anas, Humam Fadi Dawarh, Abdallah Allahbadi from the School of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, and Muhammad Arslan Babur from the School of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, under the guidance of Dr. Nurul Aini Jaafar from the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science, secured four prestigious awards.

Catherine Tan Hwee Fung represented the team for the project titled “Smart Guide Cane for Blind People,” earning the team a Gold Medal Award, Romania NWERA Association Special Award, and Most Inspiring Award. The team also participated in the Ruler Contest, securing another Gold Medal Award.

The team’s groundbreaking project focused on advancing cane design to aid the visually impaired, addressing critical issues faced by existing solutions. The Smart Guide Cane, their innovative assistive tool, goes beyond the capabilities of traditional canes. Integrating advanced technologies such as Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID), Global Positioning System (GPS), and computer vision, the Smart Guide Cane significantly enhances sensitivity. It addresses obstacles in the path, such as holes, and can trigger an emergency call in case of a fall.

This collaborative effort between a lecturer from the Faculty of Science and students from the Faculty of Engineering demonstrates the power of interdisciplinary collaboration. The Smart Guide Cane stands as a testament to the potential impact that innovative solutions can have on improving the lives of individuals with visual impairments. As this collaboration continues to evolve, there is immense potential for further enhancements and features to support and empower users even more.

Recognizing the achievements of young innovators is paramount to fostering a culture of exploration and pushing the boundaries of innovation. The success of this collaboration at I3C 2023 exemplifies the positive outcomes that arise when academia and industry converge to address real-world challenges and improve the quality of life for individuals in need.


Team members


Gold Medal Award


Romania NWERA Association Special Award

Most Inspiring Award

Gold Medal Award for Ruler Contest


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