The Curtin Croc Challenge is an annual competition designed to promote critical thinking among secondary school students and members of the public through exposure to electronics and basic programming, and the application of constructivism learning in addressing a real-life problem.

Revolving around the real-life issue of crocodile attacks in Sarawak, the objective of the competition is to design simple electronic signaling systems that can be further developed into effective alarm or early warning systems to alert rural villagers whenever crocodiles are detected in nearby rivers.

During the inaugural Curtin Croc Challenge in 2016, in which teams from 14 secondary schools participated, many innovative concepts for crocodile detection and alarm systems were brought forward by the participants and demonstrated in conceptual drawings and scale models. It was concluded from their presentations that an electronic imaging system could be a feasible method of detecting crocodiles in rivers.

Figure 1: Artist’s impression of crocodile detection through simple imaging system

Therefore, in this second edition of the Curtin Croc Challenge, the challenge is based on the assumption that a camera or imaging system has been set up to capture an image either whenever movement in the water is detected or at set intervals. A computer then processes the image to determine whether a crocodile has indeed been detected. If it is proven to be a crocodile, the computer processor will then send an analogue signal to an alarm or early warning system.A short video on the event can be viewed here

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