Mahidol University opens 'makerspace'

Mahidol University opens 'makerspace'

Mahidol University's Faculty of Engineering has opened a new on-campus "makerspace", or collaborative work space, for young innovators to facilitate the development and expansion of emerging tech startups.

Jackrit Suthakorn, the faculty's dean, said the Innogineer Studio will provide a dynamic environment for university students, alumni, and members of the public to develop and launch new products into the market.

"Located in the heart of the engineering faculty, the 20-million-baht studio will serve as a new site that could help transform inventors into entrepreneurs," Mr Jackrit.

"The facility has fully equipped laboratories, co-working spaces, and other spaces that can be used by inventors to showcase their latest products."

"Most importantly, this "incubator" was designed to help inventors turn their ideas into reality," Mr Jackrit said.

Among the inventions that will be developed at Innogineer Studio are feukfon and derndee gadgets -- devices that will help paralysed patients regain their mobility, said the Zeng Lertmanorat, a lecturer at the Department of Electrical Engineering.

"A feukfon is a device that is being developed to improve a patient's motor coordination skills," he said.

"Initial trials have shown that with daily use, some patients are now able to move their hands to follow moving objects displayed on the device's screen."

Meanwhile, a derndee is a walking aid designed to help with foot drop -- a gait abnormality commonly found among senior citizens that often makes walking painfully difficult, if not impossible.

Deputy Education Minister Udom Kachinton said that the establishment of the Innogineer Studio is a sign that Thailand's education sector is finally moving forward.

"Thailand is too slow off the mark. We have been stuck in the middle-income trap for more than 20 years because we don't produce any innovations," he said.

He urged education institutions to equip students with the appropriate skills to become innovators, instead of providing them with just enough knowledge to join the "conventional" workforce.

"Universities will become a thing of the past because the new generations are changing their learning style," he said.

"Education institutions must adapt quickly."


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