Tropical forests are the largest terrestrial component of the global carbon cycle, storing about 250 Giga tons (Gt) biomass carbon in their woody vegetation and absorbing ~70 Gt CO2 per year through photosynthesis. Loss of forests could be devastating because not only the stored carbon stocks in biomass and soil are losing but also the function of sequestering atmospheric carbon.
IIIs for VIPs is an SIG collaborating with our supervisor Dr. Joseph Chan. It aims to provide a space where students can create inventions which help improve the daily lives of visually impaired persons (VIPs). We welcome students from engineering, medicine and interested students from other faculties.
Our SIG will support our members in finishing their projects until it becomes available for public use. Any project with the purpose of improving the activities of daily living for VIPs are welcome.
It may not be an overstatement that most of us using the internet has heard of metaverse. The term ‘metaverse’ has seen to stir up global hype for business opportunities and fantasy for mankind, if not became the Oxford Word of the Year 2022 – a word reflecting the ethos, mood, or preoccupations, one that has potential of lasting cultural significance. Metaverse describes a virtual reality environment in which users interact with one another’s avatars and their surroundings in an immersive way. We are going to explore what metaverse meant for us, its fantasy and reality, and the development in the current hype. Experience of exploration and creation of the metaverse is shared and lesson learnt, and takeaway is discussed.
Micro/nanostructured materials offer significantly new opportunities for high-efficiency devices and systems for energy harvesting, conversion and storage. There is, however, a tremendous gap between the proof-of-principle demonstrations at the small scale and the intrinsically large-scale real-world energy systems and sustainable applications. In this talk, Professor Yin will give an overview of our research and, more specifically, present our recent development on how structured photonic materials address the challenge of the tremendous power hungry for space cooling and promote photosynthesis and crop yield in greenhouses.
This year MRI celebrates the 50th anniversary of P. Lauterbur’s seminal discovery paper on MR imaging published on March 16, 1973. The first human sized scanners producing ‘proof of principle’-images were based on homemade magnets with a typical field strength of ~ 0.05 Tesla. First commercial MRI machines appeared in the early 80s with field strength approaching 0.5 Tesla. Sounds familiar ? Today MRI at 0.05 and at 0.5 Tesla are back as ‘hot topics’ in the current developments. The presentation will present the ‘then and now’ of MRI and discuss opportunities from ongoing technological developments to demonstrate that these trends are not just a revival of previous work, but open up new ways into the future of MRI.
At 4:17 am (Turkey time), Feb. 6, 2023, a damaging Mw 7.8 (or 8.0) earthquake struck southern and central Turkey and western Syria and was followed by many aftershocks including an unusually powerful Mw 7.8 (or 7.5) that occurred at 13:24. The earthquakes caused widespread damage including collapsing of many buildings. So far over 11,000 deaths were reported. Figures were projected to rise dramatically by World Health Organization.
In this Teck Talk, Professor Yue will present his understanding of the causes of the earthquakes and the associated building collapses using his methane gas refined fault theory of tectonic earthquakes. Each earthquake involved a rapid release of highly compressed methane gas expansion energy that was previously stored in deep aperture of rock fault zone. The highly compressed gas mass can rapidly expand, rupture, penetrate, and flow from the deep fault zone to shallow ground at a speed of 3 to 1 km/s. The rapid gas flow and expansion in fault rock zone generate massive seismic waves and induce huge concentrated damage to localized grounds and buildings. The earthquake is a cooling process since the gas expansion absorbs heat and cools the surrounding materials in the ground and sky, which can cause local weather changes including the occurrence of air temperature drop-down, rainfall and/or snow.
This talk introduces our Moonshot project which is a project in the National Research and Development (R&D) program in Japan. The Moonshot program promotes high-risk, high-impact R&D aiming to achieve ambitious Moonshot Goals and solve issues facing future society such as super-aging populations. Our project is accepted under the Moonshot Goal 3: Realization of AI robots that autonomously learn, adapt to their environment, evolve in intelligence, and act alongside human beings, by 2050. Our project aims to create adaptable AI-enabled robots available in a variety of places. We are now developing a variety of assistive robots called the Robotic Nimbus which can change their shape and form according to the user’s condition, environment, and the purpose of the task, and provide appropriate assistance to encourage the user to take independent action.
Disaster response is an important area where robotics has to be applied intensively. Residents are sometimes left in rubble piles in destroyed buildings and soils in many natural disasters like earthquakes and landslides. The search-and-rescue process is slow and inefficient because of high-risk and demanding situations. This talk will introduce the achievement of research and development of serpentine robots led by the speaker. Active Scope Camera (ASC) is a soft serpentine robot that adapts its configuration to the complex shape of debris and moves by ciliary vibration drive. It was used at some disaster sites in the world. The new version of the ASC levitates and moves by adding an air-jet drive. Its vision, auditory and tactile sensing capability supports the teleoperation of its long body. Its performance was tested at first responder’s training sites and actual disasters.