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Rogiel Zedrix Valdez of the Manila Central University College of Optometry bagged 1st runner-up in the Sibol Award – Outstanding Student Creative Research category for the college level in the Department of Science and Technology-NCR celebration of the 2015 Regional Invention Contests and Exhibits (RICE) last September 28 to 30, 2015.

Valdez, a Senior Clinician, did a study entitled “Improvised Assistive Electronic Haptic Device for Functional Mobility of Visually Impaired Individuals”.
The Optometry student thought of a tool that is unique and useful to the community. He came up with an electronic device that can assist visually impaired patients in detecting elevated and low terrain.
“I wanted to develop a device that will innovate the use of a cane,” Valdez said. “I planned and executed even the little details. A tool for the visually impaired that they can use effectively and conveniently. Innovating a cane is a battle that I went through. I executed my plans without any hesitation.”

Valdez discussed the motivation of his study. He said that the concept of this gadget is to create a low cost portable electronic device that will help patients through haptic feedback via vibration that may someday replace the use of a cane.
MCU he added, provided an effective environment of learning to him. The College and his advisers encouraged and gave him the great trust to develop the device and present this to other aspiring student inventors.

“Do not limit yourself only to those ideas being presented to you. Take research seriously and as among the most important subjects,” he said.
Valdez’s research qualifies for the 2016 National Invention Contest and Exhibit for Presidential Awards for Inventions in the National Capital Region. About 300 entries from 81 academic and private institutions participated in the annual event.