Hwa Chong Institution (High School)

Projects Competition 2015
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Upper Secondary
Engineering Science
Project Title
Dynamic Indoor Occupancy Positioning System (DIOPS) for smart building management
As buildings are becoming larger, positioning systems also known as locating devices have also become more and more necessary in today's life.Our project embarks on DIOPS, Dynamics Indoor Occupancy Positioning System which uses wifi to triangulate the individual using sensors.The strength of the wifi collected by the sensors will determine how far away the person is to the sensors, thus locating the occupant.We are using wifi as it is cheap and easy to set up as it makes use of mobile phones and laptop internet connections. This can be useful in many ways, helping to save electricity as you can track where lighting and electrical appliances are needed and where not. It can also be utilised during an emergency to locate victims.We have further upgraded this product with an algorithm for efficient placements of the sensors so that users are able to know how to place their sensors for maximum accuracy. We also came up with an application that allows the authorities to contact the victim during an emergency, sending message and notifications to the user.With these softwares, we have created an application that allows efficient locating of occupants and an interactive platform that allows communication during an emergency . It is also user-friendly as it allows users to easily set up the sensors when they use this technology.
Link to Web-report page
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Link to Video page
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Dr Loh Wai Soong (JTC)
Mr Wong Yiu Hang (Hwa Chong Institution)
Team Leader/Members

(Name & Class)
Team Leader :

When we just engaged on this project, we did not imagine that we would be able to learn so much from it. It was different from a normal school project where students just find a problem and then try to solve it through various solutions. However, we were able to experience and learn from real professionals that are experts in their fields. We had to learn a lot of things ourselves throughout this project which also really improved my self learning capabilities. For example a large portion of our project required C++ and programming knowledge. Even though we went through infocomm lessons in secondary 1 and 2, we have already forgotten many of the things and we had trouble applying it in solving a real world problem. I had to spend many days watching Youtube videos and googling online on how to program many of the codings. It was like learning the whole subject again on my own. Even though it was tedious, it was enjoyable as I felt a sense of accomplishment when I managed to successfully code the mapping of the sensors after an umpteen number of times. I also learnt to not give up easily as coding was extremely tedious. A single capital letter or spacing could lead to your entire code not working. A lot of time was needed to find out these small errors. I have also learnt on how to lead a group more successfully. At the beginning of the year, I was facing difficulties because we are all in sports CCAs and it was difficult to find a time slot that we are all free. However, we still tried to squeeze out free time to work on the project. Even though there was the problem of different schedules for all of us, we still tried to stay back during recess and after lesson to discuss and work on the project. Another problem that we faced in the project is that the difficulty of the programming and coding of the project is relatively high. As some of the group including me did not have previous programming experience, it was initially difficult to follow. Even when we tried to learn, it still took quite long and because we are still new to the concepts, was slow in coding the actual program. Due to this, we decided to split up the work efficiently. We focused on each other’s strengths and utilized them to make the most efficient use out of it. For example if a group member is good in math, he will learn the things that require a lot of math. By doing so, we are able to work together and code the program as a whole, trying not to leave anyone behind. This can actually be applied to many other project works in the future. Some people are better in certain areas and they should utilize their talent so that the group can be efficient. This will allow the group to excel above others and work as a team. From all these problems, I have learnt a lot from this project and would definitely do it again if given the choice.

Group Members :

Throughout this project I learnt about time management. We have to spend alot of time on this project as we have to travel to NTU, which is quite far away from where we stay, in order to meet with the NTU students. Furthermore we are beginners in programming with David and I having close to zero knowledge on it prior to this project. We have to spend time learning programming from scratch. In order to save time, we used the following methods. However not all of them were successful. Firstly, we thought that longer and less frequent project meetings could save us more time. However we realised that long project meetings had left us easily distracted. When we start working on ideas without discussing with the students from NTU, we often have misconceptions and made mistakes, leading to further time wastage. Hence we decided to discuss our project on Whatsapp so we do not have to cut out time from our schedule for meetings. It is quite convenient for us as we are in the comfort of our homes but that too is not too effective as the other members may be busy when someone starts talking about the project. This leads to delayed responses which wastes time. We decided that this system does not work too. At this point we realised that we do not need to be discussing over everything as long as each of us know what to do. In the end we decided to discuss and split the work load while in school so that each member just needs to focus on one area which helps in productivity overall. We would then share what we have done during the next meeting with the other members. We found this method to be more effective as less discussion meant less time spent. Looking back, discussions on Whatsapp was feasible but we should have established a certain time for discussion so that all of us can try to make space for the discussion. Time management can help us in our studies especially when we are going to the college side next year where the work load would be very heavy. It also teaches me to learn to priorities certain things over others as we should not be spending so much time on unimportant tasks Through this project I also learnt about adaptability. Due to misunderstandings between us and the NTU students, they had completed this testing procedure for their programme before we first met. Thus we were not able to embark on the project that the school has planned for us. Nonetheless we were not daunted and thought of ways to do a meaningful project. We tried thinking of project ideas by through finding flaws in their application. Initially, we thought of improving their user interface but we soon realised that it was too difficult for us. We also thought of ideas to design and customise the application to suit the user but it does not solve relevant problems. We decided that we were barking up the wrong tree and relooked at the project objectives. We discovered that the main aim of DIOPS was to locate occupants and thus came up with brainstormed for certain ideas. Even then we did not get a suitable project idea. Initially, we tried to come up with a code which compares data collected by the sensors with the position of the occupant over the last few seconds to make the movement of the occupant appear smoother. However we realized it is much more complex then we initially thought. Eventually, we tried rearranging the positions of the sensors to make detection more accurate and made a program to communicate with occupants. Adaptability is an important skill that is applicable in all areas of life as things often do not go as when planned. We should also not be too disheartened when things do not go well and always try to think of what we can do to make things better.
Our project DIOPS is about using Wi-Fi routers to triangulate the location of an occupant through his mobile phone, which would enable us to locate and save him in an emergency as well as optimising energy usage by turning off or powering down electrical appliances when there is no one of few occupants nearby. Our role included coming up with an algorithm to optimise the positioning of the sensors and an java app for the occupant to communicate with the building administrator and vice versa. This severely enhanced our programming skills in both C++ and Java, as we had to learn to code proficiently in both languages. We also encountered many difficulties while coding as we do not know how to key in what we wanted the program to do, but discovered that we could easily turn to online resources to seek help, learning an important lesson, that whenever we are in doubt we can always rely on the internet for help, but we must remember to check for other's comments to judge its accuracy and truthfulness. This is effective as the internet is a very useful tool as it has inputs from thousands of other internet users and the good codes and solutions would be upvoted and complimented which helped us in choosing which codes to use. People also build up on one another's ideas and improve on their code, providing us with code segments that are finely refined. And as the internet is easily accessible in this age rather than slowly flipping through guidebooks in the library, this method is much more efficient and time saving. After sourcing for the codes online, we edited them to fit our program. By coding, we also enhanced our critical thinking skills as we had to think of what code to use to program a certain function. We tried to do the same for the java application, but it was more difficult to find resources online as what we were trying to do is quite unique in the sense that few others are trying to write the same process. However, we persisted and managed to find some codes for the building administrator part of the communication program. This taught me that even though the internet is a useful tool to find information, only information that is also highly searched by other internet users is easy to find and hence its usefulness is limited in a sense. Hence, we decided to use a online app building program to code the client part of the program, using a physical style "connect the boxes" to code the app, which would in turn help us translate what we constucted into java code. This process is much easier, and taught me that if we encounter a difficulty in doing something, we should first seek if there are any alternative ways of doing it. Before we begin doing anything, we should also consider if there are any easier ways of doing the thing too. To prove our algorithm, we also conducted rigorous testing. However, our initial testing was unscientific as we had changed more than one independent variable in the experiment and hence it would be impossible to conclude which variable caused the change in experimental results. Hence, we learned that when conducting experiments, there should only be one independent variable so that any change in the experimental results is definitely attributed to this variable. After our mistake was pointed out, we went back to conduct more experiments by changing only one variable 2 times for the different variables to draw a more accurate conclusion. Whenever I do experiments in the future, I would ensure that I only change one variable. We also came up with many suggestions on improving the work and apps the NTU has done, which enhanced our critical thinking and creativity skills. However, I feel that we could have imrpoved on this aspect had we also referred to the internet for ways to optimise these things, as we do not have a in-depth knowledge in this field. Optimising the app has also taught me that even if you think something is already perfect, there is always room for improvement.
No Reflection