A group of BS Electrical Engineering students of Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges is now in the limelight for their innovative and inclusive research.
A video presentation featuring the thesis titled “Filipino Sign Language to Voice Converter” went viral online after it was posted by Francis Anthony De Guzman, one of the proponents, on his Facebook account on Monday, June 28, 2021 – something he did not see coming.
“We never expected that our video would go viral,” De Guzman said.
Despite becoming an overnight sensation (literally) and receiving countless mixed sentiments from netizens, De Guzman is still “very thrilled with the attention” they are receiving and “very honored” that they are giving pride to the College.
As of writing, the said video has already amassed more than 389 thousand views, 72 thousand reactions, and 30 thousand shares.
De Guzman, together with his groupmates, Rency Dela Cruz, Klenn Arvin Alcibor, Joana Renz Jimenez, and Andrea Moran, previously planned on undertaking a study that aims to “give voice to speech-impaired people using a mechanism that combines Artificial Intelligence and microcontrollers.”
With that, they were able to create a trainable glove that can interpret Filipino sign language then converts it into speech.
“As CSPCeans, we really wanted to create projects that will be helpful to many people, and giving voice to the deaf community is one of the solutions we want to catalyze,” Alcibor said.
“Although we are in a pandemic and we only have limited resources, our will to come up with something that will benefit others drives us to continue our work,” he added.
But aside from being motivated to help others, the team was also inspired by the untimely demise of one of their members, Rei Mark Tandaan, who passed away last year.
“We are all very sad at his sudden passing. But this encouraged us all further to put more effort into our work,” Dela Cruz said.
Amidst their loss, they persevered in their research because they wanted to carry Tandaan’s name with them and bring honor to his family.
Now on their final year as BSEE students, the group wishes to leave the now-iconic thesis to the College as their legacy and be innovated by future researchers.
Their advice to fellow CSPCeans who aspire to be engineers?
“Be passionate about everything you do because passion allows you to see the values on the things that other people don’t see.”