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Housing Bureau and HKCRC Partner for Smart Construction

Image Credits: HKCRC, Press Release
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The Housing Bureau (HB) and the Hong Kong Center for Construction Robotics (HKCRC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The primary objective of this MoU is to foster a strategic partnership aimed at revolutionising public housing construction and property management by leveraging innovative construction technologies.

Image Credits: HKCRC, Press Release

During the signing ceremony, Dr Shin Cheul Kim, the Associate Vice-President of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and the Board Chairman of HKCRC, underscored the institution’s commitment to integrating advanced technologies such as robotics, automation, and AI into the construction industry.

HKCRC, established by HKUST in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley, is dedicated to driving industry transformation through innovation. Dr Kim emphasised HKUST’s track record of fostering innovation, with numerous startup companies and unicorn companies emerging from its initiatives. HKCRC looks forward to collaborating with the Housing Bureau to apply technological research outcomes effectively in the construction field and anticipates the emergence of groundbreaking companies akin to DJI in intelligent construction.

Ms Winnie Ho, the Secretary for Housing, expressed her privilege in collaborating with HKCRC, led by Professor Li Zexiang of HKUST’s Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering. Leveraging HKCRC’s expertise in research and development, the Housing Bureau aims to inject innovation and technology into Hong Kong’s construction industry, using public housing sites as testing grounds.

Ms Lillian Cheong, the Acting Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry, highlighted the Hong Kong government’s commitment to advancing innovation and technology, particularly through initiatives like InnoHK. As one of the research and development centres under AIR@InnoHK, HKCRC focuses on AI and robotics technology, aiming to integrate research achievements into the construction industry. The collaboration between InnoHK and industries seeks to expedite the development and practical application of innovative products, thereby enhancing productivity.

Dr Liang Haobo, the Associate Director of HKCRC, outlined three key directions for collaboration: smart tower cranes, smart construction sites, and smart estates. In the realm of smart tower cranes, the partnership aims to develop a system incorporating IoT and AI technologies to enable remote control, three-dimensional information construction, automatic obstacle avoidance, and automatic planning of lifting paths. The long-term goal is to realise unmanned cranes, simplifying operations and enhancing efficiency.

For smart construction sites, various smart equipment and innovative technologies will be implemented to transform traditional sites into smart ones. Construction robots such as rebar tying robots and transportation robots will enhance working efficiency and reduce labour intensity. Coloured 3D scanners and wheeled-legged robots will facilitate quality inspection by collecting 3D information on construction sites.

In smart estates, the incorporation of robotic technology and IoT, AI, and mobile devices will facilitate daily estate management, enhancing the work efficiency of frontline staff. Cleaning robots and transportation robots are among the technologies envisioned for implementation.

The collaboration between HB and HKCRC signifies a concerted effort to revolutionise the construction industry in Hong Kong by integrating cutting-edge technologies and fostering innovation across various facets of construction and property management. Through strategic partnerships and concerted efforts, both parties aim to address challenges and seize opportunities for technological advancement in the construction sector.


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