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2020 IRS Open Sessions & Interviews

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Hey C1s! 👋

Have a passion for programming 💻? Or simply love technology 🖥? Then IRS is the right CCA for you!

Infocomm Robotics Society consists of 5 sections — Competitive Programming👨‍💻👩‍💻, Machine Learning🕹🖲, WebApp Development📱⌨, CyberSecurity 🙅‍♂🙅‍♀and Robotics 🤖 🤖 ! In IRS you get to learn more about your specialisations and participate in a myriad of competitions to test out your newly acquired skills!

Want to get a taste of our CCA session? Sign up for our tasters now!
Or perhaps you’re eager to join? Then why not sign up directly for an interview under the “Join Us!” page above!

If you have any queries our doubt, feel free to drop us a dm or a sayat at our CCA Instagram @hcirs!

See you soon!

Robotics

Sinapore VEX National Championships 2020

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Just last month, HCIRS took part in the annual Singapore VEX National Championships 2020. After several months of continuous hard work, we are proud to announce that HCIRS, both our high school and college teams, has achieved the following commendable results!

Tournament Champions 🎉 🏆
Team 8076B (Trinity) & Team 8076C (Cypher)

Quarterfinalists 🏅
Team 8076A (Link) & Team 8076Z (Morpheus)

Design Award
Team 8076B (Trinity)

Congratulations to all teams!

Robotics

National Junior Robotics Competition 2019

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In September 2019, HCIRS participated in NRC 2019, WRO Regular Tertiary Category. It has been a few months worth of hard work and all teams have achieved commendable results:

Team Milo Gao Kosong
2nd Best Programming Award
3rd Best Presentation Award
3rd Overall Award

Team Salad Juice
1st Best Content Award
Top 6 Presentation (Engineering Design)

Team Pure Water
Top 6 Presentation (Programming & Engineering Design)
Top 10 Robot Game

Congratulations to all teams! And a huge thank you to the seniors who have taken time off this week to come down and support us!

Robotics

RoboCup 2019

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RoboCup Junior (RCJ) is a highly prestigious international robotics competition that aims to introduce the larger goals of the RoboCup project (creating robots) to primary and secondary school aged children (technically up through age 19). Held in Sydney, Australia from 2-8 July in 2019, RCJ saw the participation of top robotics teams from all over the world. A team comprising Than Duc Huy, Amadeus Winarto Aristo, Sim Justin and Zhang Yijian as well as a team comprising Yong Jun Han Louis and Muhammad Saajid Shaik were selected to represent Singapore in the “OnStage Advanced” and the “Rescue Line” categories respectively, after attaining stellar results in the local qualifiers RoboCup Singapore Open. Despite facing fierce competition, the team of 4 taking part in the OnStage Advanced category managed to bag the title of Individual Team 1st Place, an unprecedented accomplishment for Team Singapore.

The OnStage Advanced category invites teams to develop a creative stage performance using autonomous robots that they have designed, built and programmed. The objective is to create a robotic performance between 1 to 2 minutes that uses technology to engage an audience. For their performance, the team of 4 built 3 robots to simulate a dance game, making use of modern technologies, such as Bluetooth, to ensure that the performance runs smoothly.

A humanoid robot named Eve was built for versatility, incorporating 20 degrees of freedom using servo motors, 5 on each limb, on a wheeled platform. It has a myriad of sensors, including ultrasonic sensors and a multi-axis orientation sensor, allowing for creative uses in different performances. Eve was programmed to communicate with a laptop which ran an image processing library to capture the performer’s pose through its webcam, thereby controlling Eve to emulate the actions of the human performer. This computer is also used as a central controller to provide cues to the other robots, through Bluetooth as well, to ensure that the performance would be in sync.

The team also constructed a guitar-playing robot, Geeta. Servo motors were used to simulate the movement of finger movements in order to press down on the frets and pick the strings of the guitar. Its was built using 3D printed parts and had a steel frame made from recycled IKEA furniture. Geeta could play music according to a photograph of a musical score through the implementation of traditional image processing algorithms to clean the picture. Machine learning algorithms were then used to translate the image, identifying notes and the tempo for which to play on the guitar.

The final robot, Ather, was used for light effects. The robot was built on a base of 4 motors that were connected to omni-directional wheels to allow for holonomic movement. Its frame was made out of carbon fibre, and was designed by the team. Ather also had a robotic arm connected to an RGB LED ring, providing 3 degrees of freedom which allowed for the direction and colour of lights to be altered for the performance.

Than Duc Huy: The competition allows us to demonstrate our creativity and technicality in the field of robotics, albeit a foundational one. Since this is our first time participating in this category, we hope that this award will inspire our juniors to venture into new arenas and overcome unforeseeable challenges. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the school for the support in making all these possible.

Zhang Yijian: When I first heard that we had won the award, I was very surprised. Participating in an international competition of this scale for the first time, I was not expecting to be able to accomplish much. Furthermore, I had thought that other teams, with similarly technically complex robots and well-rounded aesthetics were more deserving of the title. At the same time, I was overjoyed, as this meant that the hard work which my team had put in for the past few months were finally rewarded. I am thankful to the school for providing us with such an opportunity to learn from competitors all over the world and the opportunity to represent the school in an area which I am passionate about.

Sim Justin: Going into the competition, I was definitely not expecting to attain the award, and only hoped to learn as much as I could from the other competitors from other countries. Receiving news of our achievement came as a pleasant surprise for us as the competition was a fierce one with many of the competitors with impressive performances, and it was hard to stand out amongst top competitors from around the world. I would like to thank the school for the opportunity to represent the school and Singapore in this competition, and for the chance to undergo this learning experience.

Amadeus Winarto Aristo: For me, this is the first time I was able to successfully marry artificial intelligence and robotics to create something beyond what each can achieve alone, so ecstatic is probably an understatement. Nevertheless, the competition showed us how much more there are for us to learn in this field of robotics/AI. I hope to further explore this field and one day make something great out of it.

The teams would like to express their greatest gratitude towards the school for their continued support, and for allowing the team to represent Singapore and take part in RCJ. The students are thankful for support from tutors and peers for their help and guidance during their preparation period. The teams have learned a lot from this experience, and hope that this achievement will inspire juniors to push their boundaries in future Infocomm and Robotics competitions.

Cyber Security

Cyberthon 2019

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Last weekend, HCIRS took part in Cyberthon and came back with stellar results:

Overall 2nd & Home Networking Category Award
Members: William Zhang, Teo Kai Xiang, Kim Minseo and Loh Zhi Qin.

Congratulations to the team! We will continue to strive for excellence in the next edition of Cyberthon

Cyber Security

Cyber Defenders Discovery Camp 2019

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Early in June this year, four teams from Hwa Chong Infocomm Robotics Society participated in the Cyber Defenders Discovery Camp (CDDC) 2019 Finals, organised by the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA). To many of them, this competition was a chance to test out the new skills they have learnt through months of hardwork and effort. Congratulations to all teams for achieving the following stellar results:

Valiant Effort 1st (Gold, Best Defender)
Leonard, Ying Yee, Hua Jun, Kai Jie

Team Desu 4th (Silver)
An Jun, Yu Peng, Saajid, Louis

Team Forest 12th (Bronze)
Kai Xiang, Cai Ting, Teong Seng, Bryan

thatteam 9th (Silver)
Sherman , Yu Er, Lee Kern, Zheng Jun

Through this gruelling journey, the teams have not only gained new knowledge, but also furthered their existing technical skills, such as operating systems, various tools, reverse engineering etc. The eye-opening experience has also enabled the teams to gain exposure to the real difficulties experienced by security engineers on the day-to-day basis first hand.

Naturally, it was not a smooth sailing journey as the teams faced many challenges along the way, be it at the competition itself, or doing practice. These include the lack of exposure to such competitions itself. This being the first competition to many of the J1s, they have discovered that they would be needing to work even harder to achieve the standards of their fellow seniors.

Nonetheless, despite the setbacks experienced by many, the teams are motivated than ever to improve themselves, striving to come back stronger than ever for the next year’s CDDC. They seek to experiment more, experience more, learn new tactics, and better strategies.

Updates

Open House Application 2019

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Hey!
Did you know that IRS has created an Open House App for HCI (College) Open House 2019? The app allows you to stay up to date with the latest schedules and tour routes, navigate our vast campus grounds with ease, as well as look up basic information on the CCAs that Hwa Chong has to offer!
What are you waiting for? Download the app now and be sure to drop by our booth at the Left Wing if you have any queries.

Hope to see y’all during Open House on 15 Jan 2019 (Tuesday) from 12-4pm!

Click here to check out more!

Robotics

Robocup Montreal 2018

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Last year, Hwa Chong Infocomm and Robotics Society has achieved stellar results at the Robocup Singapore Open and we are honored to send 2 teams to represent Singapore at RoboCup Montreal in June. The JC team, Chicken McNuggets, participated in the RoboCup Junior Rescue Line category and emerged champions in Singapore. The win was unexpected as we had barely edged out National Junior College team for 1st place after the final round. Hence, it was a pleasant surprise. 

After Singapore Open, we felt that our EV3 controlled robot could not compete at an international level and thus, decided to switch to Arduino, which has much better capabilities and flexibility. It was an uphill task as none of us had any experience with Arduino and we only had less than 2 months to rebuild the robot from scratch, all while juggling heavy academics commitments.

This year, RoboCup was held in Montreal, Canada from 18 June to 22 June, with 4000 participants from 35 countries and over 5000 robots competing.

Day 1:

On first day of the competition, we had the opportunity to practice on the practice field after registration. For the first time, we saw the other teams’ robots and we were amazed at the huge variety of robots and how unique some robot designs were. Some teams even used different types of microcontrollers and programming language which we had never seen before.

Day 2:

The competition officially began. After our first run, we realised that our compass was not calibrated properly. As a result, the robot’s turning was very inaccurate. We tried re-calibrating but made no progress. Throughout the 4 runs, the compass did not work at all. This was partly due to the difference in magnetic field strength between Singapore and Canada as well as our limited understanding of the compass. In addition, the turns in the evacuation room were not properly calibrated and were not consolidated with the main line tracking program. Hence, there were delays and the program was not put together properly until the end of the day.

Day 3:

The playfields became more complicated and an an obstacle was even included in the middle. Additionally, sticks were scattered onto the playfields which intentionally covered up a significant portion of the intersections and thus, posed a challenge to us as the sticks got caught underneath the robot and affected the light array values. Thus, we decided that some of us would work on a backup robot after the 5th run, which is controlled by EV3 as the main robot could not function to its fullest potential. It gave us something which we were more comfortable with to fall back on given that we used EV3 during the SG Open.

Day 4:

On the final day of the team competition, the playfields were merged into 1 single playfield which had 2 robots running together on a single field at the same time. The difficulty level had significantly increased, given its extremely long course, and long ramp which was elevated.

Unfortunately, despite our valiant efforts to rectify the line tracking program, many problems occurred throughout the 10 runs for line tracking and the main robot did not have much success.

Later during the 4th day, the superteam challenge was announced. This challenge incorporated many components from soccer while collaborating with another team. With the field divided into 2, we had to work with a team from the United States to collect balls (victims), and deposit the dead and alive victims (black and silver balls respectively) into their corresponding goalposts without crossing over to the other side of the field. We quickly worked out a strategy which was simple yet innovative and finished with a respectable ranking of 6/7th.

As a whole, we were disappointed that our robot did not perform as well as we hoped on an international stage and only placed 29th out of 38 teams. However, it had been a very fruitful and meaningful experience for us all. We came a long way from when we first started working on the robot. We were also glad that we managed to learn Arduino from scratch within 2 months without much external guidance while juggling our studies at the same time.

Another takeaway from this experience was to not be too ambitious as we wasted valuable time and money trying to get an OpenMV camera to work for victim detection in the evacuation room, but ended up scrapping the project in favour of a more reliable and simple strategy of simply sweeping the room.

Through this international competition, we had the opportunity to interact with our fellow competitors and learnt from one another by watching their runs. We were able to pick out interesting mechanism designs to collect the victims and learnt different types of strategies which we never thought of before.

We enjoyed touring around the venue to see the other leagues in action like small size soccer league, humanoid soccer, industrial league and many more. It exposed us to how diverse the field of engineering and robotics could be. Certainly, it has been an eye opening and enriching experience for us.

In conclusion, we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to represent Singapore at RoboCup 2018. We fostered many meaningful friendships at RoboCup and learnt a lot from others. With the experience we gained, HC Robotics will definitely come back stronger and better next year, and we will definitely strive to represent Singapore again at RoboCup Sydney 2019 in all categories.

Reflections by members

Deng Jun: I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to be able to participate in RoboCup Montreal. It was a fruitful experience for me as I got the opportunity to be exposed to a different side of robotics which is a rare for most people in Singapore. However, I feel that I could have contributed more towards the technical aspects of the robot given that I was in-charge of integrating a camera into our robot, which we eventually scrapped in favour of a simpler, less complicated method.

Ho Chi: This entire robocup journey was enjoyable and I learned a lot from it. I was mainly responsible for the circuitry and partially for the programming, and although I felt that there could be alot to improve on, I think that this was a good first try for me.

Huy: Robocup has been a deeply rewarding experience for me, and has opened my eyes to the majesty and wonder of the robotics world. It has shown me that I am capable of doing anything and everything that I set my mind to, and that I should never be afraid to dream big.

Ian: My participation in Robocup has given me incredibly valuable, once-in-a-lifetime experience to bond with my fellow CCA mates, and build closer ties with our friends from overseas. I have also been able to improve myself, both in terms of my knowledge and skill set. Robocup has been a truly unforgettable experience that will stick with me for a lifetime.

Hackathon

Hack & Roll 2018

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On 27 to 28 January, HCIRS participated in NUS Hack & Roll 2018. Within 24 hours, members have to create a “hack” to present to the judges and other participants. This year HCIRS had a hacking good time producing 4 projects:

BW – Optical Localisation Plus Robotics

Cheap and Simple Indoor Localisation for Collaborative Robotics

Instead of having bots in a play field to act autonomously, a central server with a god view of the play field controls them by dispatching commands to each of the bots. This greatly reduces the cost and complexity of the set up, as each bot no longer needs to be fitted with a wide array of expensive sensors, and the server only requires a camera.

The god view is attained by having unique AR markers indicating landmarks in the play field, such as the corners of the play field, the bots, and objects for the bots to interact with. By normalizing the images detected due to the markers and doing some math, the server can calculate exact movements required by the bots, and dispatch them to the bots.

Processed image

Read more at: https://devpost.com/software/bw-optical-localisation-plus-robotics

BX – The Scarlet Record

Embark on an emotional adventure through the wastelands as Aoi, an android in a future post-apocalyptic world

The Visual Novel teaches basic to intermediate computer science concepts within its immersive and engaging storyline. Its broad focus on subject areas including Linux, Operating Systems, Networking, Web, and Cyber Security also helps expose players to different aspects of computer science.

BX - The Scarlet Record – screenshot 6

Read more at: https://devpost.com/software/the-scarlet-record

BY – Data Transmission using Whatsapp

Out with biased Internet, in with Web in Whatsapp Web

Unhappy with the lack of Net Neutrality in the 21st Century and wanted to change this, this project provide a means of data transmission over a high data traffic network – in the case of this project, Whatsapp. This project shows that even through the whitelisting of specific applications do not effectively restrict one’s Internet access, as one can, just as in our project, make use of high data traffic applications and websites in order to improve their Internet access to lower data traffic ones.

Read more at: https://devpost.com/software/by-data-transmission-using-whatsapp

BZ – Secure Online Sharing

Securely save and share files through distributed secret sharing

The project provide a platform for people to securely store their files. Files are encrypted (with the original file discarded), and the secret decryption key (which is also later discarded) is split into shares which are essentially “keys” that, when enough are put together, allow for the original key to be recovered. Gaining access to the files requires an adjustable number of shares that are combined together to form the final secret. For example, if the number of shares is set to 5 and the threshold is 3, there will be a total of 5 shares to be distributed, and 3 or more are required for the original key to be recovered and hence decrypt the file. This can be used in a variety of ways, such as to ensure credibility and also to make sure that files can be retrieved still even if some of the shares are lost. To further add security, whenever the file is decrypted, the decrypted file is promptly deleted after the user downloads the file.

Read more at: https://devpost.com/software/secure-online-sharing

Out of the 4 projects, 2 won an award at the event. The Scarlet Road won the People’s Choice Award while Data Transmission using Whatsapp won the Platinum Sponsor Sea-pecial Prize.
See you at Hack & Roll 2019!