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Impact Projects 2019-20

Impact Projects 2019-20

Innovative Energy Efficient Building Technologies: Passive Radiative Cooler and Smart Window

Prof Christopher ChaoPrincipal Investigator: Professor Christopher Chao (Department of Mechanical Engineering)
Telephone: 3917-2800
Email: cyhchao@hku.hk
 

Project Objectives:

  • To promote two innovative energy efficient building technologies, passive radiative cooler and smart window, for management and engineers from the building industry through workshop; and
  • To educate general public about energy efficiency and conservation for buildings, and the latest development in this field through public exhibition.

Project Description:

A number of energy efficient building technologies have been developed through an ongoing RGC Collaborative Research Fund project led by the PC, Prof. Chao. Among them, two innovative and promising technologies are especially ripe for introducing to industry, passive radiative cooler and smart windows. Passive radiative cooler is a wall panel for building façade to provide cooling effect for indoor environments by radiative cooling. Radiative cooling is the process of heat removal from a sky-facing surface to the universe through radiation. It is a passive way requiring no additional energy input. The smart window blocks infrared solar radiation at high temperature, thus helping to reduce the indoor air temperature. Conversely, when the weather outside is cold, these windows will let in infrared radiation to help maintain a warm indoor environment. Therefore, it is a smart means to control solar radiation subject to temperature changes. Mounting the passive radiative coolers on the building façade and replacing normal windows by the smart windows can achieve the goals of reducing solar heat gain, indoor ambient air temperature and HVAC energy consumption. They require no electricity and are environmentally friendly

Target Deliverables in 2019/20:

  • A workshop will be held for the industry; and
  • A public exhibition will be held.

Imaging the Sky

Prof Francis Lau Principal Investigator: Professor Francis Lau  (Department of Computer Science)
 Telephone: 2859-2170
 Email: fcmlau@cs.hku.hk
 

Project Objectives:

  • To cultivate students’ and public interest in cloud and weather observations through cross-disciplinary learning activities;
  • To enhance students' abilities to integrate and apply knowledge and skills in meteorology and engineering to solve engineering tasks;
  • To raise public awareness and preparedness on weather and climate change; and
  • To enhance students’ appreciation of the nature through creating time-lapse sky videos.

Project Description:

Through organizing a “Total Sky Imager Design Competition”, the project aims at (1) strengthening students’ ability to integrate and apply knowledge and skills in engineering and meteorology; (2) nurturing their creativity, problem solving and communication skills, and sparking their interest in engineering; (3) increasing the public awareness and preparedness on weather and climate impact through visible sky monitoring and cloud and weather observations; and (4) enhance young generations’ appreciation of the nature through creating time-lapse total sky videos.

Target Deliverables in 2019/20:

  • An online platform for exchanging and sharing the knowledge of science and engineering about total sky imaging, cloud and weather observations;
  • Links of the online platform from HKU Engineering Knowledge Exchange Portal;
  • Links of the online platform from HKO and HKMetSoc;
  • Links of the online platform from CoWIN and HKEdCity;
  • Facebook page and group for communication with participants and general public;
  • Instagram page for sharing sky image photos and time-lapse video with participants and general public;
  • Lecture materials on cloud and weather observations and climate change;
  • Lecture materials and program codes on sky/cloud classification, and image/video analysis;
  • Lecture materials on total sky imaging;
  • Circuit schematics, component list, and program code, of a DIY total sky imager;
  • Learning resources and hints on small scale STEAM activities related to cloud observations;
  • Organization of Presentation Sessions / Exhibition of “Total Sky Imager” (To showcase participants’ submissions);
  • Organization of Total Sky Time-lapse Video Showcase Sessions (To showcase participants’ submissions); and
  • Media coverage of the competition and the Knowledge Exchange outcomes.

Drone Programming and AI

Dr Kenneth WongPrincipal Investigator: Dr Kenneth K.Y. Wong  (Department of Computer Science)
Telephone: 2857-8443
Email: kykwong@cs.hku.hk
  

Project Objectives:

  • To increase public awareness of drone applications and safety;
  • To foster students’ interest in STEM education;
  • To enhance students’ logical-reasoning and problem-solving skills; and
  • To allow students and the public get in touch with and appreciate recent developments in AI technology.

Project Description:

Through organizing a series of exhibitions, talks, workshops and competition, this project aims to increase public awareness of drone applications and safety, and disseminate knowledge on drones, computer programming and artificial intelligence to local primary and secondary school students and teachers.

Target Deliverables in 2019/20:

  • Organization of exhibitions and talks on drone development, applications and safety;
  • Organization of workshops on drone building, drone operation, computer programming and artificial intelligence;
  • Organization of drone fun day and AI drone competition; and
  • A website for promoting public awareness of drone applications and safety, and for hosting the teaching and learning materials for public access.

The Use of AI in Chiller Plant Optimization

Dr SC Fu Principal Investigator: Dr S.C. Fu  (Department of Mechanical Engineering)
 Telephone: 3910-2154
 Email: scfu@hku.hk
  

Project Objectives:

  • To introduce the use of artificial intelligence in chiller plant optimization. The potential energy consumption reduction and improved maintenance practice will be illustrated;
  • To raise the public awareness on the importance of energy saving and environmental protection, and the contribution of engineering society toward the target; and
  • To promote the research excellence of HKU in the field of HVAC and AI.

Project Description:

This project aims to promote the use of artificial intelligence in chiller plant optimization, and show the benefits of adopting AI in terms of energy consumption reduction and improved maintenance practice to the industrial and general public by producing a video.

Target Deliverables in 2019/20:

A video will be produced and uploaded in social media, including YouTube, Facebook, and Weibo, to introduce

  • The energy consumption related to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system and its impact on the environment;
  • The potentials of using up-to-date chiller technologies and artificial intelligence in HVAC system to reduce energy consumption and protect the environment; 
  • The most updated performance record of chiller plants showing the actual savings achieved; and
  • The actions to be done as a building owner, facility management officer, engineer as well as the general public.

Application of Artificial Intelligence for human posture analysis

 Dr Wilton FokPrincipal Investigator: Dr Wilton Fok  (Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
 Telephone: 3917-8490
 Email: wtfok@eee.hku.hk
  

Project Objectives:

  • To disseminate the knowledge on artificial intelligence for human posture analysis in different applications: Sport, Swimming, Safety, Security and Silver market;
  • To help provide consultation to the government and public organizations on how to deploy this new technology in an innovative way; and
  • To create the awareness and demand and work with interested partners to bid for external funding (e.g. Innovation Technology Fund, IT Innovation Lab Funding by the Education Bureau) to support future development of this technology and earn some external funding income for HKU.

Project Description:

The e-Learning Development Lab been working on e-learning for almost a decade and was quite successful. To cope with the new challenges in high tech in HK and the Great Bay Area, our team is branching out on new direction about Artificial Intelligence – using AI and deep learning for image and video analysis of human posture. This KE project will educate school community, government organization and technology partners on the potential applications of this new technology through exhibition, seminar, KE video, web-site, leaflet and media interview. The potential beneficiaries could appreciate this new AI technology for a better, safer, more efficient operation of their business. As a result, more collaborations, technology transfer and contract researches with the beneficiaries could be generated.

Target Deliverables in 2019/20:

  • At least three public seminars to introduce the technology to potential users;
  • One project web-site;
  • Knowledge exchange video on at least two applications;
  • At least one major media interview;
  • Exhibit the technology in at least one of the major Expo; and
  • Publish 1000 copies of leaflets in the exhibitions and seminars

Empowering Students via Experiential Learning in Robotics

Dr Kwok Ka-wai Principal Investigator: Dr Kwok Ka-wai  (Department of Mechanical Engineering)
 Telephone: 3917-2636
 Email: kwokkw@hku.hk
 

Project Objectives:

In the hope of alleviating the barriers to underprivileged students’ access to high quality education and learning opportunities, HKU, which ranks the 25th in the world and the 2nd in Asia according to the 2019 QS Top Universities Ranking, stands an excellent position to exchange its knowledge to benefit the target group. With our team’s expertise in the field of robotics and our prior experience organizing robotics workshops in a local primary school, our team proposes to organize workshops to underprivileged primary and/ or secondary students. There is a Chinese saying “it is more blessed to give than to receive”, our team members will learn a valuable experience from this project.

Project Description:

The project endeavours to provide knowledge exchange and experiential learning exposure opportunities related to engineering and/or STEM education to impoverished primary and/ or secondary school students in Hong Kong. The team has prior experience of organizing a robotics workshop at a local primary school. Students benefited from learning satisfaction, this learning outcome is believed to offer huge encouragement to the students in their future learning. The project aims at organizing robotics workshops in local schools to explore mechanical principles. To establish students’ self-confidence, the team will arrange presentation sessions and guide students to present in front of their peers.

Target Deliverables in 2019/20:

  • Organize more than 4 robotics workshops. Each should involve 10-30 students selected by their teachers in Science and Maths;
  • Robot prototypes designed and fabricated by the primary/secondary students will be demonstrated to their peers and teachersPowerpoints for the workshops;
  • Organize one-day tour to HKU, e.g. to visit our laboratory space (accompanied by our team) and the campus of HKU; and
  • Award presentation.

Building a Smarter and Visionary Platform for the Visually Impaired People

Dr Vincent Tam Principal Investigator: Dr Vincent W.L. Tam  (Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
 Telephone: 3917-2697
 Email: vtam@eee.hku.hk
 

Project Objectives:

The objectives of this project is to develop a more accessible and harmonious society for the visually impaired with care and respect to enhance their quality of living and social life in Hong Kong as one of the smart cities in the world through artificial intelligence (AI) approaches and smart sensing technologies.

Project Description:

In response to the Government’s pledge to build a harmonious society together through care and respect, this project aims to develop a “smarter and visionary” social networking platform, namely the HKU Intelligent and VisionarY (HKU-IVY+) platform, for the visually impaired people in Hong Kong by combining the latest artificial intelligence, cloud computing, data analytics and sensing technologies. Essentially, the HKU-IVY+ platform consists of a more caring and smarter street navigation mobile application with precautious advice customized for the visually impaired. Besides, the HKU-IVY+ will use data analytics to give suggestions for each individual to join specific activity group(s) or not.

Target Deliverables in 2019/20:

An intelligent mobile application for street navigation together with a customised social networking platform, namely the HKU-IVY+, will be delivered in the funding year (i.e. 2019-2020) concerned.


iPark: Core Technologies of Intelligent Ecommerce Logistics Parks

Dr Ray ZhongPrincipal Investigator: Dr Ray Zhong  (Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering)
Telephone: 3917-7966
Email: zhongzry@hku.hk
  

Project Objectives:

Cross-border E-commerce has recently enjoyed rapid development worldwide and record breaking “Double Eleventh Day” trading put the Greater China region at the top. This project ultimately aims at innovating core technologies for upgrading traditional logistics operations to smart logistics connecting smart factories. The following objectives are concerned in this project:

  • To design and develop an iCoordinator for synchronization and execution control for the E-commerce logistics;
  • To develop a set of decision support services for Supply Synchronization, Operation Synchronization, and Order Synchronization; and
  • To set up a laboratory demonstration system for displaying the future E-commerce logistics for Great Bay Area

Project Description:

This project proposes to innovate a suite of core technologies called iPark which form the foundation for developing a total solution for managing logistics and industrial parks. This project will focus on several key innovations. First, cloud asset technology will be developed and incorporated including PI enabled base station, smart wearable devices and smart mobile gateway technology. Second, smart buffering, smart crossdocking and smart patrolling technologies will be developed based on cloud asset technology. Third, synchronization and coordination mechanisms (both theories and technologies) for multi-functional, multi-level and heterogeneous assets in a typical Ecommerce distribution center.

Target Deliverables in 2019/20:

  • iCoordinator for synchronization and execution control based on the data captured from the pilot companies;
  • Decision support services for Supply Synchronization, Operation Synchronization, and Order Synchronization;
  • A laboratory demonstration system based on the designed and developed core technologies; and
  • 3-4 international journal papers related to the research contents