Jun 2019     Issue 10
CUHK Showcases Innovations at the 47th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva

Eleven CUHK Engineering  projects have received two Gold Medals with Congratulations of the Jury, one Gold Medal, seven Silver Medals and the Prize of the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation - Romania in the 47th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva.  Here is a summary of the Faculty of Engineering's award-winning projects:

Gold Medal (Gold Medal with Congratulations of the Jury)
Team members: Prof. YANG Shenghao and Prof. YEUNG Wai Ho Raymond, from the Institute of Network Coding
Project: BATS: Enabling the Nervous System of Smart Cities

BATS, a revolutionary network coding technology, has been adopted for the Hong Kong government's pilot deployment of smart lampposts that will commence in mid-2019.  BATS can provide multi-hop wireless network connections for smart lamp posts without the need to lay optical fibre to every lamp post.  Laying new optical fibre, even if feasible, would require much construction work and severely disturb traffic and pedestrians.  In contrast, BATS enjoys the advantages of a low operating cost and a higher level of network security and stability.  It provides a city-friendly and economical solution for the mass deployment of smart lamp posts, expediting the advent of smart cities and improving people's quality of life.

Team members: Prof. CHIU Wai Yan Philip, from the Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine; Prof. YAM Yeung and Dr. LAU Ka Chun, from the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
Project: Endoscopic Surgical Robot

This is a fully flexible endoscopic surgical robotic system for Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection, that removes deep tumours and early cancers in the stomach and colon.  The two flexible robotic arms can overcome limitations caused by the current tool's lack of manoeuvrability (such as the size and strength of its arms) and perform challenging procedures to increase the safety and efficiency of surgery.  The project enabled the performance of endoscopic surgery without incision and reduced pain and discomfort after surgery, leading to faster patient recovery.  Multiple pre-clinical trials showed that this invention reduces operation time by two-thirds, while the system did not cause any perforations in any trials.

Gold Medal
Team member: Nezha (by Dr. Gabriel FUNG, from the Department of Systems Engineering & Engineering Management, Faculty of Engineering, with technology licensed by CUHK)
Project: Nezha – an AI-driven 'checkbot' for proofreading Chinese

Nezha is an AI-driven Chinese language 'checkbot' to help people proofread Chinese.  It is built from a proprietary data algorithm using advanced natural language processing technology.  Its lexicon contains billions of Chinese vocabulary (more than 100GB worth).  The name is taken from the god 'Nezha' in the Chinese novel Creation of the Gods, reflecting its power to identify various mistakes and to make appropriate corrections.  Nezha conducts its work in the cloud.  It is the first tool of its kind in the market, with advantages that include high accuracy, fast analysis and ease of use.

Silver Medal and Prize of the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation – Romania
Team members: Prof. WONG Kam Fai, Dr. Gabriel FUNG, Mr. Bo LI and Mr. Felix LIU, from the Department of Systems Engineering & Engineering Management, Faculty of Engineering
Project: SAMUL – A Toolkit for Sentiment Analysis for Multilanguage Application

SAMUL is a multilingual sentiment analysis toolkit.  Given a specific topic, SAMUL will search, analyse, organise and report related information from designated social media platforms and websites using natural language processing and big data analytic technology.  As part of this analysis, SAMUL extracts the credibility, content and mood of the author of a message.  Currently, SAMUL can read Cantonese, Mandarin and English, but can be extended to other alphabetic languages. Between 2014 and 2016, the research team surveyed six of its major clients and found that the accumulated revenue boost delivered by SAMUL was USD$25 million.  SAMUL is protected by five patents (three accepted and two pending).

Silver Prize
Team member: Prof. CHENG Chun Hung, former Professor, from the Department of Systems Engineering & Engineering Management, Faculty of Engineering and Director of Research and Technology Development, Logistics and Supply Chain Multitech R&D Centre
Project: Smart Traffic Light System on Dam Section of Tai Tam Road

The smart traffic light system has solved the long-standing traffic deadlock and traffic jams at Tai Tam Road (Dam Section) in one go.  It can detect vehicle types and dimensions, analyse the traffic flow and traffic queue length data, and then calculate the most effective green signal time, according to real-time traffic conditions.

Team members: Prof. TONG Kai Yu Raymond, Mr. HEUNG Ho Lam and Mr. TANG Zhi Qiang, from the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering; and Prof. LI Zheng, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine
Project: 3D-printed soft robotic hand

Stroke, the leading cause of disability, has drawn more attention in recent years in view of Hong Kong's ageing population.  A personalised multi-functional soft robotic hand has been developed for daily recovery-training purposes, allowing patients to reintegrate into society after their training.  The key feature of the soft robotic hand is the patented design of its Soft-Elastic Composite Actuator, which assists stroke patients in performing effective finger flexion and extension.  Compared with a conventional metallic robotic hand, the soft robotic hand can assist patients in performing more hand-function tasks to aid their daily lives; for example, gripping a pen and wringing a towel.

Team members: Prof. LIAO Wei Hsin, Mr. ZHONG Chunhao and Mr. ZHAO Xuan, from the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, Faculty of Engineering; Prof. QIN Ling and Dr. LAW Sheung Wai, from the Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Faculty of Medicine
Project: Robotic Exoskeleton for Motion Assistance

This project was developed to help paralysed patients stand up and walk again, by equipping hip and knee joints with powerful actuators.  .  A magneto-rheological (MR) series elastic actuator was designed for the exoskeleton, which can generate large, controllable braking torque while consuming little energy.  A lightweight 'cable-spring' mechanism was used to solve foot-drop problem, which can improve safety for the user.  The new MR actuators can improve energy efficiency by 53% and extend battery working time by up to 112%.  The exoskeleton and crutches system is equipped with multiple sensors, combined with an intelligent controller, to provide safe and effective motion assistance to the user.

Team members: Prof. Charlie C.L. WANG, Dr. Yunbo ZHANG, Dr. Tsz Ho KWOK and Mr. Mark Hoi SHEUNG, from the Department of Mechanical & Automation Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
Project: Shape-driven Design and Manufacturing Technology for Industry 4.0

The project leverages core shape-driven technology and optimised production design to provide advanced and intelligent consumer-to-manufacturer (C2M) manufacturing solutions and data to wearable product manufacturers seeking to achieve Industry 4.0.  The project helps reduce manufacturing time from two-three weeks to two-three days.  It is suitable for the ultra-personalised 3D wetsuit, tailored suits, shoes and functional underwear, offering improved fit and comfort.  The auto-intelligent design can be transferred to fit different individuals.  It also incorporates new, optimised, surface-flattening technology.

Team members: Prof. WU Ke Li, Dr. MENG Huan, Mr. WEI Dacheng and Mr. HUNG Winghung, from the Department of Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
Project: An Intelligent Robot System for the Adaptive Tuning of 5G Microwave Filters

With the fast pace of mobile communication systems development, the quantity of microwave filters is increasing at an unprecedented rate.  The slow and complicated manual tuning process and the shortage of experienced filter-tuning technicians are two major obstacles that lead to low production capacity.  This invention, which employs the analytic circuit model extraction theory originally developed at CUHK, as well as adaptive optimisers, can automatically tune filters at a speed that is multiple times faster than the manual tuning process.  Additionally, the system provides a one-stop solution for big data analytics and quality inspection in the filter-tuning process.  Its unique ability to compensate for the hysteresis effect by tightening filter-tuning screws allows the system to meet various challenging specifications.  Another unique feature is its ability to diagnose defects in the production assembly process and to provide instructions to remedy them.  The system has been used at scale in the production lines for 5G base stations. 

Team members: Prof. WONG Tien Tsin and Dr. SHEN Wuyao, from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
Project: Binocular Single Vision for Entertainment and Medical Applications

Human eyes are capable of fusing two displaced images—even those with differences in details, contrast and luminance—up to a certain limit.  This phenomenon is known as binocular single vision, based on which the team developed the world's first Binocular Video Tone Mapping (BVTM) framework.  Additionally, an AI-based self-learning mechanism has been invented and embedded within the framework, performing critical functions including automatic parameter adjustment and outcome optimisation.  In terms of applications, the BVTM framework can be adopted by the Hollywood 3D film-making industry for generating videos whose quality, vividness, realism and other attributes are beyond what is currently possible.  In ophthalmologic examinations, the technology can be applied to amblyopia (lazy eye) treatment.
Team members: Prof. CHENG Chun Hung, former Professor, from the Department of Systems Engineering & Engineering Management, Faculty of Engineering and Director of Research and Technology Development, Logistics and Supply Chain Multitech R&D Centre; Mr. Tim Chan and Dr. Dorbin Ng, from the Department of Systems Engineering & Engineering Management, Faculty of Engineering
Project: Smart Landslide Detection System

Mountainous terrain covers 60% of the land area of Hong Kong, and landslides may happen under conditions of continuous rainfall.  If early signs of debris flow are not detected, it might cause casualties and losses.  A smart landslide detection system has been developed to monitor real-time terrain conditions and transmit wireless data to the mobile devices of duty staff, using low-cost and low-energy sensing devices.

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