By Murniati Abu Karim
Photo Dr Wee Hin Boo
Brest, France – A team of students and research officers from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Malaya (UM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has won the Grand Prize of Ocean Hackathon® 2022 competition for their jellyfish tracking mobile application, JellyGo.
The application is based on the team’s project, “Development of a prediction model for the distribution and appearance of jellyfish in Penang Island,” which was pitched to the jury.
The project was initially submitted by Sim Yee Kwang, a senior science officer from Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (CEMACS USM) who was also the team leader.
The team, comprised of individuals from various academic backgrounds, has been awarded a grant of 5000 euros (23 000 MYR) to further develop their promising project.
They are Yu Hai Ping, Nur Izatti Zaini, Teoh Hwai Leng, and Mai Izatul Nuraishah Mior Hazri from UKM, Sim Yee Kwang of USM, and Chong Yoong Sim, Wong E Chern, Kok Herng from UM.
According to one of their tutors from Institute of Climate Change UKM, Dr Wee Hin Boo, the project aims to predict jellyfish blooms in the coastal area of Penang and limit the impact these marine organisms have on Malaysia’s tourism industry.
“The app is intended to provide public information and warning systems on jellyfish-infested areas, as well as assistance in the event of stings.
“The project has full support from the Penang Government to continue monitoring the distribution of Jellyfish at the state,” he said.
He added that the application consists of three components which are: a continuously learning model that predicts jellyfish blooms based on available jellyfish abundance and environmental data; an SOS system that can help provide emergency medical assistance to victims of jellyfish stings; and an educational hub that provides relevant jellyfish information.
“The SOS system will also alert other nearby device with recent accidental sting, so to warn others to be careful.
“An AI trained imaging tool will be incorporated for victims to snap photos of either the scar or the jellyfish to be sent to nearest medical assistance.
“The application can link the victim’s device to the nearest medical aids to be sent over to the location with the appropriate medical tools,” he said.
He further explained that the Hackathon is instrumental in bringing together participants and tutors from all over Malaysia to solve real-life problems related to the ocean.
“The winning team consists of Marine Scientist, Environmental Scientist, Computer Scientist, and Programmers.
“This shows that a multidisciplinary approach is essential to tackle global challenges and that we do have the talent to develop industry ready tools and technology,” he concluded.
The team won the Ocean Hackathon® Kuala Lumpur, which was held for the first time in December 2022 and was organised by Dr. Valérie Barbosa, Scientific Officer at the Embassy of France to Malaysia. The Embassy also provided funding and coaching for all team members so that they could compete in the Grand Finale in the best possible conditions.