Author Archives: kramanathan

Singapore Polytechnic at Maker Faire Singapore 2017

Singapore Polytechnic is taking part in Maker Faire Singapore for the sixth year running! Each time, the students’ projeects are more and more ambitious. This is ofcourse partly due to a very strong makerspace and fablab culture that SP is putting in place. Here are some of the projects that you will see this year at Maker Faire Singapore. So join us, chat with the students and find out more about how you can implement a maker culture in your school environment

Höffice, the ultimate relaxation toy.


This is a tabletop toy that is targeted at executives working in an office environment. It combines the concept of white noise – to distract and therefore allow the user to relax, along with the concept of modularity – to allow users to custom it to their needs, and meanwhile also displaying their personality.


RoboKaiChi is a robot that was inspired by the TSO (Technical Support Officer) of FabLab@T1443 in Singapore Polytechnic. It is a robot that is controlled over Wifi, which can either be manually controlled or automatically driven. It features a simple device called a NodeMCU which enables us to connect to a access point. Watch it go around SP’s booths in the convention halls!

Semi-portable RetroPi


The semi-portable RetroPi is, as its name suggests, a semi-portable retro gaming emulation station powered by a Raspberry Pi. This project was constructed with a 1st generation Raspberry Pi Model B, with a TFT 2.8” resistive touchscreen mounted directly on the Pi, so there’s no need for an external screen. The controls however, are not part of the touchscreen, but rather through a USB connected D-pad. The entire setup can be powered by a mobile power bank at 5 volts. The Raspberry Pi can run a multitude of games on different game platforms, ranging from the Nintendo NES, SNES systems to the Gameboy and even emulate certain retro computer programs on platforms such as the Macintosh. StatiX BASIC: The StatiX BASIC is a truly single-chip single board computer (SBC). The StatiX BASIC harks back to the 1970s and 80s with its monochrome TV output and a variant of Tiny BASIC running on it. Functionally speaking, it is effectively a clone of the Apple 1, but instead of 62 chips spread over a huge circuit board, the StatiX BASIC needs only 1. The video and keyboard drivers are part of the ATmega1284 chip powering it, and one can even save programs onto the non-volatile EEPROM directly inside the chip for later use. The entire setup can be powered with a 9 or 12 volt wall-wart power supply with a DC barrel jack, and only requires a television and a keyboard to get started. Note: This exhibition requires a TV with an RCA jack and a PS/2 keyboard.

Organelles in Clay


We are a group of polytechnic students and we wanted to come up with a more innovative way of learning the names, drawing and functions of organelles. We hope to cater the needs for the kinesthetic learners who require to touch and sense to learn. Hence, we came up with these models to involve the visual learners to see, audio learners to listen and kinesthetic learners to sense. These models are made up of clay on Styrofoam boards. The organelles are made up of the clay which provide a suitable substance to be poked on. We made the labels using cardboards and toothpicks so that the toothpicks can poke through the clay. At first, the students will have to match the functions to the organelles. After which, they can proceed to label the model. It can help the students to focus on learning the functions first then learning the shape of it. This allows more effective learning as they focus on one thing at a time.


We named our project GHOD as it means flower in Korean. We came up with this toy idea through the studies of an animal movement. The animal is the crab spider movement when it is catching its prey. The movement is pouncing and grabbing hold of its prey. Our key mechanism for our toy is actually the linkage of the umbrella and the pear shaped CAM. Our toy actually acts as a toy for the executives to play when they are bored or stressed out. It can also be put as a decoration on your office table as the appearance is like a normal flower. So this toy is actually a multiplayer game which is built using 3D printed parts, acrylic which was laser cut, an Arduino, a servo motor, 6 different coloured LEDs , a push button and a buzzer. Some cool features about this toy is that the 6 LEDs will light up once when the push button is pressed to indicate the person have pressed it. Also the LEDs will blink for about 10 times and the buzzer will buzz when the game end. We also make the servo motor to jerk every time the push button is pressed in order to scare the executives. Next, these are the steps on how to play the toy. Firstly, the Arduino will generate a random number between 1 to 50 by itself. Secondly, the first player will press as many times as he want on the push button between 1 to 6 presses. Thirdly, It will pass on to the second player and the second player will choose between 1 to 6 presses to be press on the push button . Fourthly, it will pass on to the third and fourth player and back to the first player. Finally, when the total number of presses is equal to the random number , the flower will snap and grab your fingers and the LEDs will blink and the buzzer will buzz. So the last person who press it lost and can be appoint to do some forfeits depending on the executives.

Smart Guided Shoe for Visually Handicapped

Smart Guided Shoe will help partial and complete visually impaired patients to navigate about freely without needing much help from care takers using the technology which we use ultrasonic sensors to detect obstacles and alert them from collision by sounding the buzzer, showing bright led lights to road users and the vibrating embedded inside sole and attach to the body of the shoe to provide direction.

SP Environmental Sensor Box

Our sensors monitoring system will bring awareness to Singaporeans of climate change and environmental condition within Singapore. Our network system will inform users to take precautions in case of extreme weather conditions. Sensor network is linked up with IoT cloud platform called Thingspeak and user can further analyse the data using Matlab.

IoT Sensor Uploading and Visualization

Using today available IoT technologies such as WiFi, Long Range Wireless Communication – LoRa interfaced with Microcontroller to push sensors data (temperature and humidity) to Thingspeak IoT cloud and AWS. The uploaded sensors data is further visualized and analysed with Microsoft Power BI.

Virtual Reality Enabled Fitness Interact and Training System for Healthier Citizens – FIT.Me

A fitness kit infused with the combination of Virtual Reality, electronic sensors (wearable) and mobile application. The project aims to provide an interactive platform to motivate and encourage users to adopt a healthy lifestyle in Singapore.


Maker Immersion Camp 2016

We had a wonderful time at our 2016 Maker Immersion camp. A great blend of learning and creation, the participating campers actually had a chunk of time during which they worked on their projects.

Here are some of our thoughts on the camp.

First of all, the packing list. Here is our inventory for the maker camp. We had a good mix of electronics and craft materials as well as a couple of power tools and the volunteers in charge of materials had a tough time managing the enthusiasm with which the campers explored the materials and tools.


The participants this year were pretty lucky – they got to play around with the Intel Genuino kits – 15 sets of which were given to us by Intel Singapore for the programme. Volunteers from Intel also joined us for the camp, both to train the participants on the use of the Genuino kits and how to do basic programming and also as general facilitators.

Which brings us to facilitators. This year, we were truly blessed with volunteers and facilitators who made the camp possible – and some people (other than Intel Singapore) have to be mentioned really loudly.

Neo En Dian – Engineer and Maker, with an apprenticeship in one maker group under his belt, Neo was a great help to the students, especially with the electronics, engineering and tinkering. He was also a good mentor to the volunteers and facilitators.

Yit Chee Wong – Crafter and Science Educator – Yit Chee was wonderful at facilitating projects that combined craft and tech, and for giving some of the more tech inclined kids a little push towards crafting as part of their projects


Kids learning string art from Yit Chee

Wen Ying – Wen Ying was really everywhere during the camp. She was getting supplies, materials, registering kids, receiving lunch, and all the while juggling other projects and often working late into the evening.

Temasek Junior College and Raffles girls school – the Seven volunteers from these schools were awesome. Managing tools and materials, helping the campers where needed, resolving conflicts, troubleshooting circuits (sometimes spending all day drawing circuit diagrams). They had a lot of learning too.


Neo giving our volunteers a quick brief on the use of the solder station

Suchita – Our adult volunteer, she was constantly there, helping, encouraging and cheering the campers.

We started off, as usual with the marshmallow challenge, based on the ted talk by Tom Wujec. We immediately saw leaders and innovators emerging in the teams and it was interesting, as a facilitator, that similar patterns of leadership and work came through during the rest of the camp.

The quick prototyping began almost immediately, with many campers choosing a project and sticking to it. Others used the opportunity to play with materials and tools on some quick toys – things that came out of it included crossbows and boats.

Elda Webb from The Curious Design Network joined us on the first day afternoon to work with the students on tinkercad, which a number of them used for 3D printing parts of their projects.

So, after two days of semi formal instruction, where kids learnt circuits, sewing with electronics, soldering, motors, arduino, string art and other skills, they began prototyping in earnest. Here are some of the projects that came out of the camp


Ms LED universe – a combination of sewing, arduinos, string art, and even a little pocket for the components. Ms LED universe consisted of a hacked T-shirt with one of those sashes that Ms Universe wears. The sash was a detachable string art – LED flowers, which responded to a light sensor


The carnivorous plant was another personal favorite – the sisters working on it iterated multiple times before finally putting together a hydraulic carnivorous plant.


And here are some more projects – a DIY drill, a lot of boats, including a Roat, several burglar alarms, including one that was extremely noisy and disguised as a clock, a burglar alarm for a handbag, a badge holder and an interactive dress. Some of the projects worked, some didnt, and it was a great experience watching the children grind their teeth, go through team divorces and make up again.

Check out the video here

Teachers workshop: Learning by making

We have done a couple of different versions of the learning by Making workshop for teachers previously and this time, decided to focus on deconstruction and transformation of toys.

Radin Mas Primary approached us for this workshop as they were in the process of setting up a makerspace and wanted a better understanding of the kind of learning that happens in a makerspace.


Twenty seven teachers joined the workshop, many of whom came from non-Science backgrounds. – Science, Drama, Physical Education – but it was wonderful seeing the teachers leverage on each other’s expertise to complete the tasks assigned. At some point during the session, teachers were very impressed by a multi-talented fellow PE teacher who was a great artist and constructor!

We started session with a brief introduction to learning to make and how learning by making differs from traditional learning. We followed it up with the Yes And and the Yes But game developed by the D-school in Stanford.

We had two activities around the which the teachers explored the role of maker centered learning – Toy take apart and Toy transformed.

While some groups were hesitant to dismantle the toys, everyone eventually completed the task and took all the toys apart – right down to the last DC motor. The teachers then explored more about how their respective toys functioned and were fascinated to find that most of them comprised very simple mechanisms. They then shared their findings with each other and embarked on their next task – to utilise the old toy parts to reanimate a chicken!

The room was abuzz with excitement as the teachers exercised their creativity to come up with interesting ideas to complete the task. It was a pleasant sight to see the teachers purposefully using different materials and tools, such as hot glue guns and soldering irons, to animate their toy.

The session culminated in a sharing of all of the various toys created and it was indeed interesting to see the final products.

We hope that the teachers will be able to apply what they’ve learnt to create a safe and encouraging MakerSpace in school.

The half day workshop Learning by Making is offered with four different themes to choose from. A minimum of 20 teachers are required for the workshop. For more details, please contact Kiruthika (

1.       Make a simple robot with everyday materials

2.       Electronic art

3.       Interfacing with Makey Makey

4.       Chain Reaction machines

About the writer: Nichelle is a student from Raffles Secondary school. At the point of writing this article, Nichelle was interning at the Science Centre for two weeks and facilitating various Maker programmes

Making things Move

One thing we consistently observe in workshops with parents and kids at the Maker workshops for families is how children and parents are eager to use tools, technologies and equipment that are difficult to obtain.

But besides the tools and equipment which allowed participants to geek out, there was a certain wholesome learning to the three low tech activities that we had – Cup Automata by Din Chan of Madlab and facilitated by Elda Webb of the Curious Design  network.

Children and parents were working together to make a cup open and close its mouth using a paired set of cams.  Here were some simple teachable moments.

A child was trying to cut a skewer with a pair of scissors. Elda pointed out to the child that after scoring the first lines, she could simply break the skewer. I was amused by the look of delight on the child’s face (and relieved that the scissors didnt have to be damaged 🙂 )

A mom and son were having a conversation over the activity. The son made a remark and the mom exclaimed “Oh, i had no idea that you know so many things”.

Often, working side by side with a child, on seemingly simple things opens up conversations and confidences

If you want to explore automata on your own, check out this nifty intro by the exploratorium.

The hydraulics activity, put together by Craft minds was a huge hit. One of the boys stayed only at the hydraulics activity station for the whole of the three hours, after building two models of his own, he kept playing with the many different models and samples that Grace and team had put together. The Craft Minds teams organizes workshops periodically, so do check out their website. Find out more about hydarulics and Penumatics


The solder iron is a fun tool to introduce to young kids – imagine the power of melting metal. Having parents and kids together makes it more feasible for us to introduce tools such as soldering irons and glue guns to children as young as five, and we have, in the past, had several activities which needed the iron, including DIY speakers, PCB soldering etc. This time around, we used the well known vibrobot activity to introduce soldering to the participants, and added an additional twist by giving them the use of solar panels.



It was a bit of a bummer was us when we woke up to a rainy cloudy morning, which meant that the families couldn’t test their vibrobots in the full sun. However, we did have some lamps for testing. Check out the video here! I had a great conversation with a dad who was more curious than his children to learn about solar panels in series and parallel.

There were also opportunities to loose your marbles in the DIY marble machines activity facilitated by Anjali and Sophia. Catch the video here where a mother and son made a swimming pool tipper!


En Dian was ready with basic electronics in a know your circuits station where kids and parents learnt to spin motors and make cars. You can download the content here to play on your own! know-your-circuits 20161022_131355

How to assemble the Maker Faire Robot

If you have received the maker kit of a paper robot at Maker Faire Singapore, here are the assembly instructions

Design your own 3D paper toy using free and easy to learn tools like Tinkercad and pepekura


iCare: Cognizant workshop 26th June, 1.45pm to 3.15pm

26th June, 1.45pm to 3.15pm Register

The workshop will showcase the transformation that can be expected in healthcare where existing solutions and systems will be merged and simplified to guarantee high levels of health care. Cognizant supplies IT solutions to many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies and health-care providers, and we have identified several exciting areas where the truly connected health-care sector is taking shape. In particular, the rapid technical developments within social networks, mobile devices, data analysis, cloud solutions and sensors are creating several exciting possibilities for hospitals, health-care providers, health-care recipients and the preventative care market. The workshop will showcase and demo a few examples of upcoming possibilities for the health-care sector.


The connected hospital

The Internet of Things and a wide standardisation of communication protocols have paved the way for new technology platforms where everything from health technology, measuring instruments and mobile devices can communicate with one another. A good example of this is the iCare project. iCare is an ambitious software project that lets health-care employees use tablets to access patients’ health status information in real time. By using wearable sensors and connected medical equipment that measure vital functions such as blood pressure and blood count, the staff can do more than just make their rounds. Now they can monitor their patients’ health status remotely and be notified quickly of any changes that may be warning signs of a decline in patient health.

Sensors are another exciting area of innovation within the health-care sector. Today we have micro cameras that can be swallowed to give physicians amazing insights. Thousands of images are recorded whilst the camera travels through the patient’s intestinal system, which helps the physician make a diagnosis and identify problem areas.

The connected patient

Today’s technology lets patients play an active role in their own health care and rehabilitation. Patients can use consumer-adapted sensor technology, such as connected blood pressure and blood sugar measuring equipment, to track their own values and see how their treatments are affecting them. By keeping patients updated on their disease developments and actively providing input on their treatment, they become more invested in their own recovery. This reduces the amount of cases of patients who do not adhere to their medication programmes. The overall results include higher levels of patient engagement, fewer follow-ups and reduced health-care costs.


The connected preventative care market


An important part of the rehabilitation process is motivating people to make health-conscious life choices and seek care as early as possible. The use of health bracelets and apps can motivate individuals to live in a more healthy fashion. This new sensor technology can be used with gamification in order to increase the individual’s health consciousness and encourage healthy life choices such as meal planning.


The Internet of Things has created new possibilities for hospitals to increase the effectiveness of their employee resourcing and information sharing. Wearable sensors give patients a lot of information-based feedback on their health data, and can play an important part in improved rehabilitation and preventative care. Sensors, mobile apps and gamification can therefore enable the health-care sector to make huge advances in the long-term improvement of people’s health.


The massive amounts of data generated in the health-care sector today can give us countless insights — We just need to utilise them properly.

The Autodesk Gallery comes to Maker Faire Singapore

From the buildings we live and work in to the machines that propel us forward to the products that enrich our lives, we live in a designed world.

Bringing together stories of exceptional design and engineering from across the globe, the Autodesk Gallery celebrates the creative process and shows how people are using new technology to imagine, design, and create a better world.

The SCDF Red Rhino comes to Maker Faire Singapore


HOPE Technik‘s showcase for Maker Faire Singapore includes the Red Rhino and a 3 hour long Its Alive! Mini Robotics workshop where you can learn to build your own robot.

The Maker Faire Singapore Learning Passport

One of the primary cornerstones of the Maker Movement is the learning mindset that makers have and which we hope to spread through the Faire. We are therefore very happy to announce an exciting initiative for Maker Faire Singapore 2016, in collaboration with the Lifelong Learning Council and the LearnSG seed fund.


How it works

Step 1: Get a learning passport at the information counters

learnSG passport

Step 2: Make

Try your hand and making something and pick a new skill

Step 3: Snap

Snap a photo of your creation

Step 4: Share

Share it on Facebook of Instagram using the hashtag #LearnSG

Step 5: Print

Now head to the photobooth to print your photo.

What you can make. All activities are free of charge for Maker Faire Singapore attendees

Light Puppet Theatre. Learn about light and shadows in this DIY shadow puppet theatre. Bring it home for hours of fun for children.


String Art- String art teaches you that Science, Maths and Art are not very far about. Get an appreciation for geometry and patterns through this fun craft, and make a little bookmark

string art


Learn the skill of soldering –  a key skill for any maker.


Paper Quilling-Coils of paper glued into beautiful shapes. Learn this addictive craft from the simplest of everyday materials.


Blink a bottle –Look at the lights on these bottles! learn about basic decoupage and make these little night lanterns

blink a bottle

Yarn bombing: Street art with yarn – and make these little critters, one to bring home and one for the community


Curious Design Network – Learn about empathy when you make something for someone. Design a notebook or a coaster, this time for a friend.

curious design

This project is supported by the LearnSG seed fund




Digigirlz @ Maker Faire Singapore

DigiGirlz, a Microsoft YouthSpark program, gives middle and high school girls opportunities to learn about careers in technology, connect with Microsoft employees, and participate in hands-on computer and technology workshops.

Happening at Maker Faire Singapore LT4 on 25th June 2016, 10am to 1pm. Register Now!


Microsoft Logo

Jessica Wong DigiGirlz – Past, Present and Future


Introduction to Computational Thinking

Lesly Goh – Director of Analytics, Microsoft APAC Girl Power in IT – How I started my infocomm journey
Networking Tea Break
Jessica Wong, Shuna Khoo, Candy Wong An Hour of Code Workshop – Everyone starts somewhere
Gary Lim Closing Remarks