Sensor that warns cyclists of danger

SUTD students (from left) Teng Yi Yang, Wu Chu Yi, Tan Yu Jie, Ng Jia Wen, Tan Yi Hao and Ethan Liew Sheng Wei, who are behind the Cylan prototype sensor.
SUTD students (from left) Teng Yi Yang, Wu Chu Yi, Tan Yu Jie, Ng Jia Wen, Tan Yi Hao and Ethan Liew Sheng Wei, who are behind the Cylan prototype sensor.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

SUTD team's device may make roads safer for riders

Cyclists on the road may some day ride safer if a prototype designed by first-year students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) comes to fruition.

Their project, named Cylan, provides advance warning if a vehicle is coming dangerously close to a cyclist. It is a smart bicycle ultrasonic sensor placed at the back of a bike, which sends out sound waves and detects the return echo.

"It constantly scans for fast-moving movement, like vehicles, coming from behind the bicycle," said project member Tan Yi Hao, 21.

If the device senses that a vehicle is coming too close to the cyclist, it will trigger warning lights below the sensor to remind the driver to keep a safe distance from the cyclist. Meanwhile, indicator lights at the handlebar, along with vibration feedback, alert the cyclist of potential danger.

The team was one of the 49 project groups, comprising 320 students, who displayed their prototypes yesterday at an exhibition titled A Better World, held at the SUTD campus.

Students displayed projects, which are graded, that they came up with for their introductory design module that address 21st-century issues. Transport issues were a popular choice but other topics tackled included overcrowding and waste management.

Another team, Carter Transportation, addressed one of the more common problems facing a densely populated Singapore: overcrowded MRT trains, especially near the doors.

Their solution: using pressure pads on the carriage floors, which detect where a crowd is building, and pulsating lights that guide commuters to less packed carriages.

Assistant Professor Chong Keng Hua, the course leader for the module, said: "The module lets students rethink and re-look societal issues, and think of how design can address these issues."

lesterh@sph.com.sg