SSU launches Wearable Evasion Device
Catbalogan City – “The long wait is over. In the pursuit of the university to innovate, the team now introduces to the public a device that will improve the current navigation and daily activities of those people experiencing visual disability at a very affordable cost,” said Engr. Jon Alvin Macariola, the project leader of the Wearable Evasion Device (WED), during the product launching this morning, February 21, 2018, at the Audio-visual Center.
After the research, designing, implementation, testing and debugging, today’s event served as the final development stage which is the product launching.
The team, composed of five researchers namely Engr. Jon Alvin Macariola (Project Leader), Engr. Raven Tabiongan (Associate Researcher), Engr. Mirador G. Labrador (Technical Expert/Consultant), Mrs. Arlene Tizon, CPA (Accountant), Mrs. Ma. Rubi Parrocho (Science Research Specialist), exhibited what the device can do by letting a blindfolded student use it.
“It is so hard not to see, but when I used the Wearable Evasion Device, it became easier detecting obstructions through the sound it emits. When it beeps, it means that something is blocking my way, so I would stop and walk towards another direction. This device is very smart and light,” Fernando Macabare, a BSCpE 4th year student said.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) Program and the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International provided P1.3 million worth of fund and equipment to the Project WED.
“It is such a privilege to be given such a big amount of money so we are going to make sure that we could make the most out of it,” said Dr. Ronald Orale, Vice-President for Research, Planning and Extension.
According to Engr. Raven Tabiongan, the Associate Researcher, the project would have a higher chance for commercialization and public utilization.
He also said that the WED team will be organizing a series of convention-expo, and the device will be presented to several groups and communities in and out of the country, such as businessmen, entrepreneurs, local investors’ guilds, and public and private sectors for a possible collaboration.
As a start, Ariel Donceras from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry invited SSU to be part of their annual meeting to find potential consumers and collaborations.
Joining the event also as potential investors were Nida Aroza from the Local Government Unit (LGU) and Vicente Candido from the Department of Trade and Industry (Samar). The latter was proud of the University’s product.