Disaster Management AI-powered Drone Wins Gold Medal at WICO 2023 | Asia Pacific University (APU)

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Disaster Management AI-powered Drone Wins Gold Medal at WICO 2023

RescueAI, the AI-powered drone that’s taking disaster management to the next level, took home the highest invention technical award at WICO 2023 and advanced to the finals (business plan competition) of the DB-SNUbiz Global Startup Challenge 2023.

From left: Cheng Yi Heng, Ng Joo Kiat, Assoc. Prof. Ir. Dr. Siva Kumar Sivanesan, Dipl-Ing. Ir. Narendran Ramasenderan, Prof. Ir. Eur. Ing. Ts. Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam, Cajun Tai Ka Joon, Mr. Krishna Ravinchandra and Ang Jia Ze.

RescueAI: Smart City Disaster Management System with AI and Aerial Robotics, developed by a group of talented young engineers and researchers from Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU), was awarded a Gold Medal at the 12th World Invention Creativity Olympic (WICO) 2023, the world’s most prestigious invention competition.

The esteemed WICO 2023 Gold Medal Award is a Special Award given by the Turkish Inventors Association (TÜMMİAD) and a further recognition by the Toronto International Society of Innovation & Advanced Skills (TISIAS).

WICO 2023 was held in Seoul, South Korea organised by the Korea University Invention Association (KUIA) and sponsored by the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea.

RescueAI was built by a team of experts and students from APU’s School of Engineering (SoE) and the Center for Research and Development of IOT (CREDIT), led by Dipl-Ing. Ir. Narendran Ramasenderan, Mr. Krishna Ravinchandra, Ng Joo Kiat, Cajun Tai Ka Joon, Ang Jia Ze, and Cheng Yi Heng.

With the support of APU Chief Innovation & Enterprise Officer Prof. Ir. Eur. Ing. Ts. Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam and Head SoE Assoc. Prof. Ir. Dr. Siva Kumar Sivanesan, the team developed a pioneering prototype that stands as a beacon of innovation in disaster management.

RescueAI stood out among 1,200 inventions from 80 countries that were awarded the Gold Medal at WICO 2023. It used artificial intelligence (AI) and aerial robotics to collect real-time data on the environment, such as weather conditions, structural damage, and the location of people and assets.

This data is then used to create a digital twin of the disaster area, which can be used to simulate different scenarios and plan the most effective response.

The team is excited about the potential of RescueAI and is currently working on commercialising the system and making it available to governments and businesses around the world.

“We are honoured to have won the Gold Medal at WICO 2023,” said Dipl-Ing. Ir. Narendran, added, “The team’s success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire team as well as the power of innovation and the potential of young people to make a difference in the world.”

“RescueAI demonstrates how technology may be applied to solve real-world problems and improve people’s lives.”

Delta APU team, top 5 finalists out of hundreds

Team Delta (top left) visited the Seoul Start-Up Hub, a meeting space for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and stakeholders in the start-up ecosystem.

Meanwhile, APU is represented by Ng Joo Kiat, Chang Kah Boon, and Cheng Yi Heng from team Delta in the DB-SNUbiz Global Startup Challenge 2023, where they advanced to the final round in Korea and won fully sponsored travel tickets and accommodations worth over RM13,000.

The DB-SNUbiz Global Startup Challenge 2023 is co-organized by the DB Group, a major South Korean corporation that specialises in cutting-edge green technology and financial services, and Seoul National University (SNU), Korea’s top-ranked higher education institution. 

Team Delta also featured RescueAI: Smart City Disaster Management System with AI and Aerial Robotics as a project intended to address the issues caused by climate change, which has resulted in extreme weather events such as heat waves and floods. 

To replace the 2D dashboard, the team designed a 3D Digital Twin model, which provides a more comprehensible representation of flood and fire disasters. This Digital Twin model can run flood simulations that properly anticipate flood spread and impact on various places..

Drones equipped with sensors and pre-trained YOLOv8 models are used to record real-time data, while the Digital Twin model is constantly updated to ensure data accuracy. 

A mobile app for reporting flood and fire incidents is also being developed. This app contains AI detection and alarm functions that simplify the reporting process and enable for quick responses to emergencies.

Even though the team did not win any awards in the finals, they were able to clearly articulate the problem they were trying to solve, the solution they developed, and the potential impact of their project.

They also had the opportunity to visit South Korea's capital, Seoul, and participate in a variety of activities, such as exploring Seoul Start-Up Hub, SNU and the DB Finance Centre.

RescueAI demonstrates how technology may be applied to solve real-world problems and enhance people’s lives. It serves as a powerful reminder that the young can do great things — to create a future in which technology serves humanity, fostering a global community that is united in its quest for safety, innovation, and progress!