Double win for Curtin’s ‘Neural Works’ in IEEE Innovation Nation Malaysia 2022

Miri – 5 January 2023 – Team ‘Neural Works’ from Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently emerged first runner-up in both the Sarawak Track and Malaysia Track of the recently concluded IEEE Innovation Nation Malaysia 2022 – Technopreneurship Bootcamp held over four and a half months from 1 August 2022.

The team comprising Dr. Basil Andy Lease, Dr. Jonathan Phang Then Sien and Chiam Dar Hung won for their innovation of an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven analytic tool for archery precision and self- monitoring (AI3D-CAMS x Archery).

The annual IEEE Innovation Nation Malaysia – Technopreneurship Bootcamp provides an advanced upskilling platform for aspiring techno-entrepreneurs to equip themselves with advanced technical knowledge and related business skills.

Its key objective is to motivate more Malaysian entrepreneurs to be driven by technology-based invention, create innovative technological solutions to tackle real-life issues, and equip themselves with adequate knowledge of the fast-growing start-up ecosystem.

This year’s bootcamp was divided into two tracks – the state-level Sarawak Track and the national Malaysia Track. 13 teams competed in the Sarawak Track and 17 in the Malaysia Track.

The teams had to develop prototypes by the end of the bootcamp to demonstrate their proposed solutions. In addition, they had to demonstrate that their solutions addressed either the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #3: Good Health and Well-Being, or #9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

The teams in each track then had undergo rigorous judging by their respective panels of judges where they pitched the merits of their solutions and showcased their prototypes.

Commenting on team Neural Works’ proposed solution, which was entered in both the Sarawak and Malaysia tracks, team leader Dr. Lease said sports science is a niche area where technology is used to assist the study of biomechanics and the team’s solution seeks to provide accurate posture and consistency analyses to archers to assist in their competitive training.

Explaining further, Dr. Phang, the AI expert in the team, further explained that the AI3D-CAMS x Archery system AI to infer human body joints from movement captured on camera and subsequently performs related data analytics.

“Our solution makes it possible to study the movement of human joints such as knees and elbows in sports. We leverage the power of AI to construct the human joints in 3D and reconstruct a 3D human model for better biomechanics study. Our system has been tried and tested by top-performing archers and they say it really helps them improve their performance,” he said.

“It provides immediate feedback on their technique and allows them to upload video footage of their sessions to generate reports based on a comprehensive analysis of their posture and movement. They can use these reports to adjust to their technique and improve their overall performance. The use of this technology and machine learning in bio-mechanical evaluation has the potential to significantly improve the performance of archers.”

The bootcamp was hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Curtin Malaysia Student Branch and its event collaborators included the TEGAS Digital Village & Digital Innovation Hub, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC),, FixColab, Farbeat Technologies, IEEE Young Professionals, IEEE R10 Young Professional, IEEE Young Professional Malaysia Section, IEEE Students (SPAx), IEEE R10, IEEE Industry Engagement, and IEEE Entrepreneurship.

The team said the bootcamp was a great platform for them to learn how to pitch their idea to the mentors and judges, and share their innovation with the public.

“We were thrilled to be able to showcase our project at such a prestigious event. It was also an opportunity to compete with, and learn from, some of the best teams in Malaysia,” said Dr. Lease. He added that the team is excited to explore the potential for commercialising their solution and turning it into a successful startup someday.

All three credited their previous studies in electronic and communication engineering as well the experience as leaders in the IEEE Curtin Malaysia Student Branch for their current success in the field of AI technology and analytics.

This also led them to jointly found AI3D PLT, a technological startup specialising in the automation of industrial processes using AI and 3D printing, Big Data analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. In addition, all three are currently part of the Computational Intelligence Group, a research group at Curtin Malaysia that supports computer vision (a field of computer science that enables computers to see, identify and process images in the same way that human vision does and provide appropriate output), AI used for data analytics, as well as future delivery of big data analytics and implementation of AI and computer vision.

Dr. Lease is a former president of the IEEE Curtin Malaysia Student Branch and graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronic and Communication Engineering in 2015. He subsequently pursued a PhD with Curtin, graduating in 2022 for his thesis titled ‘Weed/Plant Classification using Evolutionary Optimised Ensemble based on Local Binary Patterns’.

Dr. Phang was also in the IEEE Curtin Malaysia Student Branch as its technical head from 2015 to 2016. He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronic and Communication Engineering in 2018 and recently obtained his PhD for his thesis titled ‘3D Point Cloud Representation Learning and Reconstruction using Vector-based Neural Network’.

Meanwhile, Chiam was the treasurer of student branch in 2016. He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronic and Communication Engineering with honours in 2017 and is currently pursuing a PhD related to ‘Power Quality Disturbance Classification using Machine Learning’. He has won multiple awards in competitions during his undergraduate years, including in the  Innovate Malaysia 2017 Fusionex Track and the MotoInnocup 2017.

The hardware specialist in the team, Chiam said the team had always wanted to solve a real-life problem with a digital solution and they are glad to be able to do it through AI3D-CAMS x Archery.

“There is nothing more fulfilling than taking up the challenge innovate a product and apply it in the field,” he said.

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(L-R) Dr Basil Andy Lease, Dr Jonathan Phang Then Sien and Chiam Dar Hung