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PolyU Announces Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Lab

The Polytechnic University of Hong Kong (PolyU) has been at the forefront of promoting innovation and technology (I&T) and knowledge transfer in Hong Kong, fostering the growth of I&T talents and continuously improving its curriculum and research facilities to prepare students for the era of Industry 4.0.

Notably, PolyU has contributed to the emergence of a unicorn start-up that has successfully commercialized its cutting-edge autonomous case-handling robotic system based on PolyU’s scientific research and has expanded its global market presence.

PolyU has partnered with the start-up to unveil the state-of-the-art Smart Delivery System at its newly established Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Lab (AIR Lab) located in the University’s Industrial Centre. The Smart Delivery System is aimed at enhancing PolyU’s robotics education, fostering a culture of co-creation and innovation among students and researchers.

PolyU’s Executive Vice President emphasised the university’s focus on whole-person education, innovation, and entrepreneurship to cultivate talents that meet society’s needs. PolyU has been strengthening its PolyVentures start-up ecosystem, providing support to its academics, researchers, alumni, and students in their entrepreneurial endeavours. The university also extends comprehensive support to start-ups at various stages of development, facilitating the translation and commercialization of research outputs for societal benefit.

The collaboration, backed by the company’s warehouse automation solutions, will accelerate the university’s future R&D efforts and empower students with knowledge about the application of cutting-edge smart technologies.

The AIR Lab, spanning an impressive 1,800 square meters, serves as a cutting-edge teaching and research platform. It is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment including robotic arms, robots, automatic guided vehicles, drones, and machine learning kits specifically related to AI robotics and Industry 4.0.

Within the lab, educators, students, and researchers have the opportunity to delve into diverse areas of collaborative robotics, such as application development, component fabrication, control system design, autonomous system development, and intelligent and AI algorithm design for robots.

The Smart Delivery System is comprised of three integral components: the start-up’s Autonomous Case-handling Robot system, PolyU’s Autonomous Mobile Robots, and an enterprise resource planning software system. This comprehensive system will facilitate the development of collaborative robot application technologies by researchers, while also providing a communal logistics service for users of the AIR Lab. As a result, the AIR Lab will serve as a dynamic living laboratory where innovative ideas can be tested and applied in real-world scenarios.

Currently, the AIR Lab is home to 15 project teams from PolyU, each dedicated to leveraging AI and robotic technologies in various fields such as healthcare, rehabilitation, sports technology, engineering, energy, computing, and sustainability. These teams are actively engaged in cutting-edge research and development within the AIR Lab, exploring the diverse applications of AI and robotics to address critical challenges and advance innovation across multiple disciplines.

As per recent market analysis, the global Industry 4.0 market was valued at US$ 130.90 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow to US$ 377.30 billion by 2029, with a remarkable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.3% during the forecast period.

The growth opportunities in the Industry 4.0 market are being driven by increasing trends of digitization and internet penetration, as various industries prioritize efficiency and productivity. Recent advancements in digital technologies and industrial automation have expanded the possibilities for disrupting industrial value chains.

The advent of the fourth industrial revolution (i4.0) has brought about improvements in efficiencies, cost reduction benefits, increased production, personalized offerings, and most importantly, the development of new revenue and business models. These factors collectively highlight the transformative impact of Industry 4.0, bringing significant benefits to businesses across various sectors.


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