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Laurels in robotics for Hong Kong PolyU

A team of students from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) won the Gold Award for its ingenious robot design at the ASM Technology Award 2019, according to a recent press release.

The annual event has been organised since 2015 to recognise excellence in technology, showcasing outstanding final year projects of undergraduates from top faculties and schools of engineering in Hong Kong.

PolyU’s trio from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of PolyU, presented their final year project titled “ASME Competition Robot Development & Vision-Based Target Alignment” and was honoured with the Gold Award at the competition.

This is the fifth time that PolyU participated in the event and the second time that a PolyU team won the championship.

The project developed by the PolyU winning team was a semi-automated robot with a unique gripper design for garbage collection with the aid of vision-based alignment.

The robot featured a motorised platform for navigating a compact environment, a micro-controller system for wireless communication and control, and a vision-based system for object detection and robot positioning. It was developed in two stages with design inspiration from studying real-life tools such as robotic arms, forklift and dump cart.

Initially, the team planned to design a robot for the Student Design Competition organised by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), in which they were challenged to develop a fully functional prototype that can quickly and carefully pick up and return balls back to the starting area.

The students then showed how their device could be transformed into an Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) for garbage collection using advanced image processing techniques in the ASM Technology Award contest.

It was noted that the team are eager to learn new knowledge and technology, and able to integrate them into the project to enhance the robot performance and functionality. They have developed new modules for the robot to demonstrate the potential of transforming it for use in real life.

The other PolyU student project recognised this year was the “Motion Control and Positioning System for Holonomic Wheeled Mobile Robot” by a student from the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. He was presented with an Outstanding Award at the competition.

The entries by PolyU students were among the ten final year projects that had been nominated by five universities in Hong Kong. In addition to PolyU, they included The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The City University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and The University of Hong Kong.

Apart from the prizes and certificates of merit, winning teams of the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards and their project supervisors will also be invited to attend an ASM Technology Tour to Europe in recognition of their outstanding performance.

Hong Kong’s tech students have consistently won at awards and recognition at local and international competitions – a sign that the region is providing youth with the support and opportunities they need to succeed in an increasingly digital era.

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