Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nurturing The New Thomas Edison

One of the compulsory subjects that the third year students in my Mechanical Engineering faculty have to take is デザイン工学, or literally "Engineering Design". Basically, we are divided into several teams comprising four to five team members in a team. Each team is assigned a theme that is closely related to the research of the lecturer who supervises each team. Generally, the themes are associated to the Mechanical Engineering field where each teams are supposed to plan, design and built something from that given theme. At the end of the whole thing, we have to present our results to everyone.

Though there is a lecturer who will supervise each teams throughout the duration of the project, their job is only limited to giving advices from time to time. Apart from that, everything else, from brain-storming for ideas, planning, designing, and presenting will be done by us.


The venue for the presentation.

After months of hard work, the day for us to present our project finally came on last Monday. The presentation was done on the third floor of the administration block of the Engineering Department. It was not the usual group-by-group presentation in front of the lecturers and other students. Instead, it the format used was the booth-format, where we will explain our project to anyone who drops by at our booth.

As there are four of us in our group, we took turns to man our booth.


お風呂の柱 (The Bathing Pillar), called "Mitsuji".


This is one of the most interesting invention. When a certain amount of hot water flows into the hole, the spring inside the pipe will pull the stopper and close the hole; hence water can accumulate in the bath tub.


This team utilities surface tension to design a device that moves on the water surface.


They created a model of water striders (アメンボ) that can move on water. The model weighs approximately 7.5 grams.


This team made a bird model. You might now wonder why are all the inventions all about animals lol!


A can compressor, that is used to compress empty cans.


The most high-tech invention of all - a tennis ball collector under Nonami Kenzo sensei.

There are four of us in our team - Sato Yuki, Nitagai Ryusuke, Miura Takuya (not Kimura Takuya hor) and Karuvin Ong haha! We are under Kato Hideo sensei guidance and our theme is 福祉と機械 (Welfare and Machines). Yea, I know our theme sound very antique and "old", but I thought it was quite an interesting theme. Besides, all of us are transfer students from kosen, so it would be much easier to work together as we have known each other quite well.

Kato sensei wanted us to use a motor on the device we was going to design. That was when I thought I had chosen the wrong team and theme (pun unintended) because to be honest, I have no interest in electric and electronics ever since ... my high school days, I think. Until today, I hardly understand much on this topic lol!


Introducing "DHK-48", an abbreviation for "Dansa Hojo Kiko 48mm".


Our poster, which I designed. How does it look? Not bad right? I think so too haha! A clearer version here.

So, what did we come out with? In the initial stage, we wanted to design a device that can be useful to the older generations to help them in their daily lives. Unfortunately, after several rounds of failed brain-storming sessions, we decided to change our target to small infants and babies. I shall give a brief introduction on this device. 

Nowadays, many devices have been developed with the ability to assist the elderly, infants, and people with disabilities. To these group of people, even a step of few centimeters between the walking pavement will cause obstruction, which can cause falls and fractures. Besides the steps, the gap between roadways, sidewalk, and train platforms are also a hindrance to them.

Hence, we came out with an idea to create a device to overcome this problem. This device can be attached to a baby car or stroller, to help it overcome these steps and gaps. Compared to the normal devices in the market currently, this device is applicable to a wider range of steps height and it can be fixed and removed whenever required.


That sensei in blue shirt, Nakamoto Takeshi sensei apparently will deduct 1,000 marks (yes, 1,000 marks, not 10 or 100 marks) everytime a student fails to submit their report on time. Luckily I didn't take his class haha!


Koyama Hideo sensei, who is my homeroom teacher. He is one of the very few sensei who is really nice and friendly, plus funny too most of the time.


Always talks halfway and laugh on his own lol! There he goes again, with one of his jokes haha!


Hirofumi Hidai sensei, listening attentively to the explanation by Nitagai.


Some unknown person at our booth, admiring our poster with Sato haha!


Finally, a group photo with our sensei, Kato Hideo sensei.

Later that night, all the transfer students in my course organised a year-end party, called "bōnenkai" (忘年会) to bid farewell to the year before the start of the winter break later this week. It is quite common to have this party at the end of the year among your classmates, colleagues, and friend in Japan. A month later, it will be the "shinnenkai" (新年会).

There are fourteen of us who transferred from kosen into the third year of the Mechanical Engineering faculty this year. This is the very first time that all fourteen of us gathered together to have a meal.


No "nomikai" starts without having "kanpai" first.


Yasu, the "kanji" (幹事) or coordinator of the night posing for the camera with his crazy face haha!


Forced them to have a photo just before Nitagai (third from right) leaves the place.

Unlike the usual "nomikai" (飲み会) party, we had our party at a Chinese restaurant, "Bankin" near Nishi Chiba station. It was a eat-as-you-can dinner. We need not have to order the food in the beginning because they already prepared some dishes for us in advance. The food quantity was so much that everyone was super full at the end of the party. Generally, I think the food was not bad.

There were a few of us who ordered Coca Cola and soft drinks after finishing their first glass of beer. That invited some cheeky teases from others who said they were so "kawaii" haha! Anyway, good thing that nobody got drunk in the end of the night.


There were rounds after rounds of drinking throughout the dinner.


Our ketua darjah (class monitor) a.k.a. the "kanji" has improved a lot. He drank quite a lot that night haha!


Looked relieved to finished off his glass of beer lol!


Payment time. Stacks of 1,000 yen notes on the table. The bill of the night adds up to 42,000 yen!


Giving a short closing speech. He kept apologising for making us waited for him earlier that night, as he was the last one to reach.


A group photo with everyone.

"Yoi otoshi wo" (良いお年を) to everyone!


Kae Vin said...

the only gaijin there? Look like you have already blended in! ;)

mg said...

lol ur ketua darjah not bad wat. LOLOL. the takuya wanabe is the one standing on ur left rite? LOL

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
yes, i'm the only gaijin student among the fourteen transfer students in my course. blended in? hmmm...

calvin said...

@ mg:
have interest for my ketua darjah?
his name is yasu and he comes from ibaraki.
do you want his phone number? =P

nope, the one on my left is sato.
takuya is the right one :P

DT said...

hmmm.. no girls in ur engineering class or is it girls are not invited for the bonenkai session? so sad... :P

Anonymous said...

hey calv why is there no picture of u drinking beer? you afraid your mom will see it ar? xD

calvin said...

@ dt:
there are a few girls in my class but it is just that there aren't any girls among the transfer students in my batch. that is why you see no girls in the bonenkai party xD

calvin said...

@ anonymous:
haha, no lar. i didn't pass my camera to anyone to take my picture, that is why there isn't any picture of me drinking beer =P