Innovation Challenges

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Universal Design Of Autonomous Personal Mobility Device (closed)

National Heritage Board (NHB) Singapore
This challenge has closed.
Partners: GovTech Singapore, SG:D Open Innovation Platform
Tags: accessibility, personal mobility device, design, engineering, personal transport, mechanical engineering, wheelchairs, industrial design
Audience: Businesses, Researchers, Start-Ups
Anticipated Funding: SGD $30000
Applications close: February 14, 2020
Applications open: November 12, 2019
Last Updated: February 16, 2020 10:00 PM
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The Challenge

The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) aims to improve accessibility and inclusivity in the museum. In the last 5 months, ACM received 101 wheelchair users and 92 visitors on walking aid or supported by caregivers through tour bookings. When persons with limited mobility visit the museum, an equal number of volunteers or caregivers are needed to help them get around the museum. Most would prefer to go on guided tours (if docents are available) to look at museum highlights without worrying too much about wayfinding within a limited time.

Joining a docent-led access tour is encouraged, however such tours are highly dependant on the availability of docents, timing, minimum number of participants required, and length of the tour. Each visitor has different needs and it may be challenging for some visitors to stay with the group all the time.

We foresee the demand for access tours to increase (responding to NHB key accessibility strategy to reach out to more community groups) in the next few years. Currently, there is a limited number of ACM docents who have undergone training (or wanted to be trained) to guide visitors with special needs. Training and recruitment of docents to lead access tours will take time.

NHB is looking to leverage technology to develop a universal design autonomous Personal Mobility Device (PMD) which communicates with museum content delivery system to guide user on a memorable and meaningful tour at the museum. NHB is currently developing a prototype for a content delivery system separately, that will be adapted for use with this prototype solution.


  • A prototype solution for a PMD with the following requirements:
    • It avoids collision with another person, walls, physical obstructions and showcases that are made of glass.
    • It communicates with the content delivery system. The device takes a user on a tour based on a list of objects featured in the system. Content (video or audio file) will automatically played when it has reached the object.
    • An option to return to base (front desk) any time during the tour.
    • An option to go to the nearest toilet.
    • The device returns to base for charging after the tour.
  • The prototype will be required to be demonstrated at:
    • A selected gallery at Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM)


Two target groups of users:

  1. Visitors with mobility issues.
  2. Visitors with vision impairment: ACM collaborated with Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) in June 2019 to test out large print guides in the gallery. Clients from SAVH faced challenges in exploring the museum, such as in navigating the galleries, showcases and reading object labels. Although ACM provided a large print guide, orientation is still not easy for them.

A typical journey of a PMD user begins where they summon the PMD from a mobile phone. Once properly seated, the user selects the tour where they are driven to objects listed in the tour equipped with audio, video and articles relating to the exhibit. User can choose to abort the tour mid-way and it will automatically return lobby before returning to its docking station to be recharged.


The Applicants shall be evaluated in accordance with the evaluation criteria set out below:

Solution Fit (30%)

  • To what extent does the proposed solution address the problem statement effectively?

Solution Readiness (30%)

  • How ready is the proposed solution to go to market?
  • Is there any evidence to suggest capacity to scale?

Solution Advantage (20%)

  • Is the solution truly innovative, does it make use of new technologies in the market, and can it potentially generate new IP?


  • To share estimated cost for pilot trial, deployment and software support.

Company Profile (20%)

  • Does the product have user and revenue traction?
  • Do the team members possess strong scientific/technical background?

The Partners

GovTech Singapore

SG:D Open Innovation Platform

Eligibility Criteria

There are no restrictions on the geographic location of the Problem Solvers who may choose to apply to this challenge. However, the prototype will be demonstrated in Singapore.

Terms and Conditions



1. We understand that Problem Solvers are keen to participate and share their ideas with the Problem Owners. As a rule, all submissions must not contain any confidential information. All submissions and information contained within will be treated as non-confidential. The Problem Owner in this case is the National Heritage Board (NHB).

2. If you, as a Problem Solver, feel that you are asked to disclose confidential information or feel that it is necessary to provide confidential information as part of your submission, please raise this to IMDA at, prior to disclosing any confidential information.

3. After the call has closed and if divulging of confidential information is jointly deemed necessary by you and NHB in order to properly evaluate your submission, then to protect mutual interests, you and NHB can together decide to enter into a separate non-disclosure agreement and/or conduct (part of) the evaluation in a closed environment.


4. Ideas in and of themselves are not protected, and you must be careful to ensure that you do not divulge any confidential information, proprietary information, know-how, or trade secrets.

5. For the avoidance of doubt, IMDA and NHB have the right to view, consider, and (where applicable) evaluate and assess the submission in detail, for the period of the Challenge.

For POC/Prototyping Challenges

6. NHB acknowledges that you at all times retain full ownership and all rights and interests in relation to intellectual property (“IP”) you already own prior to your participation in the Challenge (Pre-existing IP) or create from your work on the Challenge in respect of all submissions made. Therefore, save as specifically set out in this document or in a separate agreement entered into between you and NHB, no licence to use or assignment of any IP is granted or shall occur.

7. For the avoidance of doubt, any IP that is created through any adaptation or modification of IP owned by NHB shall not be used for any purposes except for work on a prototype, pilot trial and development for NHB if NHB proceeds to any of these stages pursuant to the Challenge.

8. Insofar as your submission uses or refers to any Pre-existing IP, you must ensure that you have all the necessary rights and/or licences for the incorporation of such IP into your submission and for any subsequent use for work on a prototype, pilot trial and development for NHB if NHB proceeds to any of these stages pursuant to the Challenge. You must also use all efforts to ensure that your submission does not infringe the IP rights of any third party.


9. If your submission is selected as a finalist for the Challenge, an extended period of testing may be required to evaluate your submission and for the proof-of-concept or prototype of the solution to be developed. For the avoidance of doubt, NHB shall be permitted to test and evaluate your solution for a period of 6 months from the date your submission is selected as a finalist.


10. Incomplete entries will be deemed invalid and disqualified.

11. All submission materials and any presentations must be in the English language.


12. You agree:

(a) to abide by and accept as final and binding on you, NHB’s decision on the selection of the finalist, if at all. Note that NHB shall not be bound to select a winner of this challenge based on the participant with the highest evaluation scores if:

i) NHB, at its sole discretion, is of the view that there are no solutions that adequately meets its requirements; or

ii) if any proposed finalist cannot come to an agreement with NHB on the terms for prototype development prior to confirmation of selection. With regard to this, all Problem Solvers acknowledge that a selection of a proposed finalist is pointless if NHB and a proposed finalist cannot agree on the terms for further development.

(b) to be fully liable to NHB for any violation of confidentiality, patent, copyright or any other IP rights in the submission and shall defend, indemnify and hold NHB harmless from and against any actions, claims, loss or damages for infringement of such confidentiality, patent, copyright or any other IP rights; and

(c) that NHB shall not be responsible for any loss, damage, cost or expense howsoever arising or incurred by you in connection with this Challenge.

(d) that NHB reserves the right to shortlist Problem Solvers according to the evaluation criteria set out under the section “Evaluation Criteria” and to engage in discussions with all shortlisted Problem Solvers on their shortlisted proposals; and

(e) that nothing in this Challenge document is intended to be regarded as any intention or representation on the part of NHB to enter into any contractual arrangement or relationship with you.


13. This Challenge is part of a process that seeks to enable NHB to identify suitable proposal(s) with a view to selecting the most advantageous final proposal to provide the proposed solution. This process may extend beyond this Challenge at NHB’s sole discretion. Such extensions beyond this Challenge shall call for further contractual agreements to be executed between NHB and shortlisted Problem Solvers, as illustrated below.

14. As an illustrative guide to this process, Annexes A-D contain sample terms of the form of the written agreement which NHB may adapt and include as part of its revised requirements to be issued by NHB to shortlisted Problem Solvers under Clause (d) in the above section for “Other Conditions”. Any agreements are for the Problem Owner and Problems Solver to freely agree on. All Problem Owners and Problem Solvers should check with their respective legal advisors if any legal advice on the sample terms is required. The sample terms in Annexes A-D are for general information and must not be taken as recommendations or legal advice from IMDA.

Annex A CoC for Working Prototype

Annex B CoC for Pilot Trial

Annex C CoC for Deployment (Final Award)

Annex D CoC for Software Support

15. As a further illustrative guide, NHB may choose to contract Problem Solvers in stages as shown in the diagram below. For example, the project may commence with a proof-of-concept (Stage 1), followed by a pilot trial (Stage 2) and subsequently deployment or further roll-out (Stage 3). Depending on the nature of the problem statement and the maturity of the proposals, NHB will assess and make a recommendation whether the project could also commence in Stage 2 or Stage 3.

*Proof-of-concept: Involves development of working prototype

** Pilot Trial: Involves test-bedding of the proposed solution in Singapore, at sites designated by the NHB or as mutually agreed between the NHB and Problem Solver

16. Should NHB contract with you on any stage of the proposed solution, NHB is under no obligation to proceed to contract with you for any other stage(s) of the proposed solution. Any progression from one stage to the next will depend on your performance in discharging your obligations, including without limitation, actual results and outcomes achieved in that stage.

17. For the avoidance of doubt, you shall not commence work on any other stage of the proposed solution, and NHB shall not be liable to pay for such work, until and unless a further contract for that other stage is executed by NHB and you.

How to Apply

Submissions are to be lodged online.

All submissions must be made by 14 February 2020, 1600 hours (SGT/GMT +8). NHB and IMDA may extend the deadline of the submission at their discretion. Late submissions will not be considered. 

Any questions pertaining to the Challenge may be submitted to IMDA via email at with the subject header beginning with “Universal Design of Autonomous Personal Mobility Device”.

All correspondence throughout the Challenge must be in the English language.

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