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iM4U Design Challenge

As a developing nation, Malaysia is still struggling to fix certain problems that are currently affecting our country. Some of the issues at hand are:
  1. Having running electricity supply in remote villages
  2. Prepping the residents to face the natural disaster in the flood prone areas 
Participants can choose one of the following design challenge topics.

Electricity Generation for Remote Villages

In the technology boom era where smart devices and electronic gadgets are owned by almost every individual in the city, it is taken for granted that there will be 24-hour electricity supply to power or charge these devices. However, in remote villages in various parts of Malaysia, people are still living in the dark. One third of Orang Asli villages in Peninsular Malaysia are still without electricity supply. Situation in East Malaysia is far worse. Using diesel powered generators are costly. One may suggest the electricity utility company should pull wires to connect the indigenous villages to the power grid. However, the cost to pull wires for long distances to supply to small number of population may not make financial sense to utility company.

The government tried to install solar panels in remote Orang Asli villages but most of these solar electrification projects failed due to poor maintenance. The panels and batteries require a lot of maintenance and the government did not teach the communities to maintain them.

The challenge is to design an isolated power generation device/system for use in remote areas, with the following criteria:

  • Power generation from natural energy
  • Able to power up basic electrical items at individual homes and general areas (walking paths, bathroom, gathering halls, etc.) with low power consumptions
  • Able to indicate capacity of electricity (stored and utilized)
  • Minimal maintenance required
  • Easy transport and installation in remote areas
  • It will be a bonus if the system can automatically alert external world in case of any system failure

Flood Forecasting and Warning System

Malaysia is free of most natural disasters, except flood. Especially during Monsoon seasons, downpours will cause flood, which would subsequently cause casualty and property loss. This is recurring problem every year, the differences are the intensity of flood and affected areas. In December 2014, 160,000 people evacuated their homes due to the worst flooding ever registered in Malaysia. Due to slow response to flood, more resources and aids have to be spent for rescue effort. Early warning is important to give timely response and minimize loss.

The challenge is to design a flood forecasting and warning system to detect risk of flood and alert the community and authority, with the following requirements.

  • Detection points can be permanently installed at the potential rising water level areas.
  • Detection points should be self-powered and waterproof.
  • System should be able to identify the intensity of the flood coming and the rising level of water level.
  • System should be able to alert the community closest to the area when flood is coming, allowing sufficient time for the community to evacuate.
  • System should still be able to function when electricity is cut off.


We believe that the youth are our future and we aim to inspire and empower them to make an impact and create strong sustainable communities via volunteerism and social activism.

iM4U’s mission is to help and nurture youth volunteerism plus social activism amongst Malaysian youth via the DRe1M (Dana Sukarelawan 1Malaysia) Fund creating a platform for Malaysian youth to carry out volunteer and nation building activities that can benefit communities and social groups.

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