Kicked off last November 22 to 23 at the Cory Aquino Democratic Grounds, the De La Salle University (DLSU) Innovation and Technology (DITECH) Fair highlighted the conceptual designs and prototypes of professionals and students alike. On its sixth year, DITECH boasted its theme of Green Technologies→Social Impact, which aimed to emphasize on the possible areas for innovation, most especially in the Philippines, as spearheaded by members of the Lasallian community.
Presented by guests from DLSU and other institutions like the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), DITECH was open for collaboration and sharing of knowledge among those in attendance. The event consisted of several sessions related to the fair’s environmental theme, with topics such as renewable energy and water rehabilitation being tackled by its respective speakers. The event also featured panel discussions, exhibits of inventions, and research presentations, among others.
A social responsibility
DLSU President Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC stressed that “it is important to remind ourselves that all of us have a social contribution to make.” As the fair showcased inventions not only made by Lasallian faculties, but also students from grade school to college, he also praised the fair’s organizers and participants and reminded the community of the University’s commitment to social transformation and development.
The fair featured renowned guests Arthur Tan, the CEO of Integrated Micro Electronics, and Rowena Cristina Guevara, Undersecretary for Research and Development of the DOST, as keynote speakers for the first and second day, respectively.
While briefly talking about the future of the Philippine market and where it is headed in the following years, Tan also shared his admiration for the passionate young inventors, stating, “We will need you because you will be the next generation of innovators for our world. This will drive and change the markets, and I know it.”
Emphasizing how DOST advocates the importance of social value, Guevara stressed that “An idea is nothing if it does not have value. If it has value, it becomes an innovation.”
Off to an early start
Displayed throughout the whole duration of the program and of the fair itself, exhibits of concept designs, robot prototypes, and developed technologies of participants rounded the event area.
Among those who concentrated on the field of Engineering and Robotics were fourth grader CJ Chiong and eighth grader Bianca Roxas from De La Salle – Santiago Zobel School (DLSZ). The DLSZ duo developed a prototype robot design for their invention, Adsorbot, which according to their team was developed in three months, and was prompted due to the common occurrence of oil spills and their want to support the Sustainable Development Goals.
When asked what impact they had in mind while working on the project, the duo cited that their invention would be of help to other people, most notably the fishermen. “[In our exhibit], our oil spill is just [that of] motor oil. What [the fishermen] deal with are much more dangerous,” Chiong asserted. Chiong and Roxas were not the lone group from DLSZ, as other students from their elementary and high school departments also showcased their inventions.
Among the other participants in the event was the DLSU Eco Car Team. In an interview with Team Manager Wilfredo Sevilla Jr., it was disclosed that the current members of the group intend to produce a new model this year. He stated, “We’re going to use a space frame; it’s a bit lighter than the previous [models]. Right now, we’re focusing on [redesigning] the engine because it’s one of the biggest contributors for the efficiency of the car.”
Furthermore, Sevilla hoped that the presence of their current car models and that of the members during the said fair will let people know that their organization is there, and will promote engineering.
As a staple in DITECH every year, there were different paper presentations that showcased the respective inventions that aligned to the theme of social impact. These include Akibat, Daloy, and a computer mouse catered to those with limb disabilities.
Considering that numerous doctors tend to stay in urban areas, Akibat aims to provide an immediate and reliable connection between doctor and patient for easier accessibility. Akibat is made up of three parts: the mobile clinic, the Akibot, and the data hub. The mobile clinic and the data hub are online facilities that can be used by doctors and nurses to access patient information, while the Akibot is aimed to provide a face to face connection between the doctor and the patient. The Akibot is a carefully designed robot that includes a screen where the patient can see and talk to the doctor whom are connected through the internet. The Akibot was designed to consider the average ergonomic height of the typical Filipino, as emphasized by the team behind the invention.
According to Madon Arcega (BS-MEM, ‘18) and Joshua Manalili (BS-MEM, ‘18), current techniques in Philippine medicine can only conserve an organ for about six to eight hours. Daloy was invented to consider the possible lack of accessibility when it comes to liver transplants. One of the goals for its creation was to increase the preservation time of an organ. With Daloy, preservation could last up to 12 to 16 hours. The technique involves the concept of normothermic perfusion, which in layman’s terms, means that the donated liver is “tricked” into thinking that it is still inside the human body.
The “mouse” for those with upper limb amputations, on the other hand, does not involve an actual mouse. The invention makes use of a strap attached to the arm instead. The cursor is moved through arm movement, while clicking can be done through adjustable time intervals such as every second or every four seconds. Aside from considering accessibility, the inventors also focused on the cost of the invention. Thus the “mouse” was created to be a “cheaper alternative compared to those already in the market”.
DITECH was also sponsored and attended by groups from inside and outside the University, while being headed by the DLSU Intellectual Property Office, the DLSU Innovations and Technology Office, and Animo Labs.