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May 17, 2003

Pre-teens invent pillow for deaf

From: Star, Malaysia - May 16, 2003


KUALA LUMPUR: The shrill of the alarm clock fails to rouse us from our sleep sometimes. Imagine then the problem faced by those who are deaf.

With this in mind, three schoolchildren with the help of their teacher have invented the Wakie-Wakie Pillow ,which is activated by electric signals.

"It will move left to right upon getting signals from the alarm clock, the doorbell or the fire alarm," said Asfarina Fathin Redzuan, 11, who is one of the young inventors.

She said the speed of the rocking motion depended on the source of the signal. There is a gentle sway for the alarm clock, a jerk for the doorbell and "urgent rocking" for fire alarm.

Asfarina explained in an interview yesterday that the idea was to help the handicapped lead an independent life.

"I feel good knowing that someone will benefit from this," she said, adding that it was safe because it worked through remote control and had no wires.

However, the pillow weighs 5kg because it is implanted with doorbell circuits, wipers and batteries.

Living Skills coach for primary schools in Selangor, Hay Quee Kee, said his students, namely Asfarina, Nurul Ameera Kamaruzaman, 12, and Mohd Ridzuan Hamdan, 12, were chosen for their creativity after they were asked on how they could help improve the quality of life for the handicapped.

The inventors are from SK Sementa, Rantau Panjang in Klang.

Hay said the pillow cost only RM3.99. However, only one was made because the school did not have funds for mass production.

The pillow is one of the inventions submitted for the Young Inventors Award at the 14th International Invention, Innovation, Industrial Design and Technology Exhibition (ITEX 2003) at the Sunway Convention Centre.

The exhibition, organised by the Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS) and Crystal Edge Sdn Bhd, ends tomorrow. Admission is free.

Among the highlights are the use of silk in body armour by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, a satay-skewering machine for commercial use by Mardi and the use of milk fat as a cancer preventive agent by the Poland Industrial Chemistry Research Institute.

At the launch yesterday, MINDS president Tan Sri Dr Augustine Ong said this year's exhibition showcased 162 inventions from industries like information and communication technology, biotechnology and manufacturing.

"ITEX serves as a platform for inventors and researchers to showcase their creations and findings," he said.

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