Students’ inventions: How “burning” a passion can be!

From a great idea, a strong passion, and a small sum of money, many groups of students in University of Technical Education HCMC have created many remarkable inventions.

The automatic multi-paid vending machine correctly works when tested with a paper money

“Bravo, it works!” The loud voice woke the teacher and four other students up. They quickly ran towards the automatic multi-paid vending machine, put a paper money in, chose a drink and waited. It only takes less than one minute to get the soft drink can and the change. To make sure the machine worked well, they tried again with coins and credit cards. When the machine could perfectly respond to all the demands, they were all too interested in their success to go to bed.

The group of senior students major in Mechanics from Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Technical Education HCMC (UTE) still cannot forget their success. This is the first “made-in-Vietnam” automatic vending machine having the touch screen which is very useful for operation and providing more than 34 kinds of food and drink. It can also receive and give back the change when we pay in paper money or by credit cards, not only in coins like the present machines.

“Seeing the vending machines left like a heap of scrap-iron on the street because of its inconvenience, I and my friends came to the conclusion that they should support many kinds of payments to attract the customers,” said Nguyen Tan No, the team leader. The group discussed their idea with Dr. Nguyen Truong Thinh, the Head of Department of Mechanics and was given helps and instructions. They then bought iron and steel, designed, made a vending machine and studied the controlling principles.  

During five months, they had to work in the lab from 6-7a.m. to 10p.m. everyday and even sleep there on the days of test run. The most difficulty step in the manufacturing process was creating the compatibility between the controlling system and the action of the machine. When the machine was fitted up, the test run was employed. When the machine worked well, the aesthetic matter was raised. When the manufacturing process came to an end, they received an order from a company with a challenge of cheaper price and better capability than imported machines.

Dr. Truong Thinh shared that students themselves had many interesting and practical ideas, such as the washing machine with automatic coin payment, the robot with traffic controlling ability or the robot with communication ability. Among them, some were so excited about their ongoing projects that they chose not to go to their hometown for even a year.

So cheap are the inventions
As Dr. Vo Viet Cuong, Head of the UTE’s Science Management Room said, students are provided with a research environment from the third year so that they can apply what they learn to real life and pursue their “burning” passion. Scientific researches help them to actualize their ideas and create the machines and robots with highly applicable abilities and low price. Only with VND500.000 to VND1 million that students can create many effective machines, let’s say, a robot with the ability of observing and controlling the system put far from the ground.
 
When showing us around, Dr. Truong Thinh said, all the inventions do not only satisfy the practical needs but also fit the 3-in-1 criterion, cheap, nice and firm. They also need nice figures, real-creature simulation and high applicability.

By Tieu Ha - Translated by Huu Duy

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