TechLauncher is an initiative run out of the Australian National University which enables students to develop research and professional skills.

Students work closely with industry professionals, technology experts and entrepreneurs across the ACT to complete projects addressing complex problems. These problems span through a variety of disciplines and industries, depending on the stakeholder/client and the project proposed.

Through the project, students learn communication and stakeholder management, critical thinking, design, teamwork (including multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural and distributed teamwork), time management and many other generic skills required by employers in industry and government as well as by the research community.

In the lead up to next week’s event we spoke to Jasmeen Kaur, a student in the ‘Assistive Tech’ team.

“For visually impaired people (VIP) to participate in sports such as skiing, paddling, or running, in most cases they need a one-on-one guide. These guides are usually volunteers, and as such they are spread thin,” Jasmeen explained.

“The aim of the Assistive Tech group is to create a technology solution to this problem. We strive to develop an application that lowers the need for guide input. This would allow for more VIPs to engage in sporting activities, as well as giving them independence, empowerment, and dignity.”

This project is being led by PwC who are trying to create a positive social impact for visually impaired people. With the help of Jasmeen and her peers Suowei Hu, Jiayi Li, Nick Gao, Ye He, Sharon Huang, Hubert He and Weihao Li, they are hoping that with the help of this assistive technology, visually impaired people can be more active outside.

“We prototyped different ideas by including client visions and possible code solutions. ‘Innovation is an art; creative thinkers innovate and are not afraid of failures, instead they learn and improve from failures.’ We tried to follow this ideology for our project and finally came up with a potential approach that could be implemented to develop the desired goal (thanks to our client – Ted Pettigrove (PwC) for guiding us at each stage),” said Jasmeen.

TechLauncher students will be showcasing their projects at the ANU Technology Showcase: Ideas that shape the future on Tuesday 25th of May.

Over 300 engineering and computer science students are working on 30+ projects – Come along and meet the teams who are helping to forge a future we want to live in.