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Tech Talk – Unravelling the transmission of vertical outbreaks: Each drainage stack is an aerosol factory

More than 10 vertical outbreaks of COVID-19 have been observed in high-rise housing in Hong Kong. Together with the 2003 SARS Amoy Garden outbreak, these outbreaks suggest the roles of building drainage pipes in the transmission of infection, probably not limited to SARS and SARS-CoV-2. In collaboration with the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), we conducted field measurements in some of the infection venues and explore the transmission mechanisms. In this Tech talk, Professor Yuguo Li, Chair Professor of Building Environment, shall demonstrate how his proposed chimney effect explains most of these infections, how the drainage pipe was poorly ventilated, what one can do to protect our family, and what society can do to provide healthy housing. 

Inaugural Tech Talk – DIGITIZATION

The Managing Directors of two Health@InnoHK and AIR@InnoHK projects at the Faculty of Engineering, Professor Anderson Shum and Professor Norman C. Tien gave the Inaugural Tech Talk with the theme “Digitization” and introduced insightful research projects and their future development plan.

Digitisation of Human Body Motion for Garment Production

Garment production is a laborious process that relies primarily on manual operations. Smart robots are set to play a vital role in future automations and assist human workers with repetitive and/or high-risk tasks. To achieve interactive human-robot collaborations, robots need to learn and understand how humans work and thus a cost-effective means of digitising manual operations is of the essence. In this project, we aim at developing an innovative approach to high-fidelity, real-time full-body motion capture for garment workers without using specialty cameras.

Detection and Diagnostics of Airborne Viruses

A lot of diseases can be transmitted via airborne agents, such as viruses spreading through droplets. The concentrations of these airborne agents are usually too low in the environment and it has created difficulties for the current detection instruments available in the market. We aim to fill this gap by developing new technologies to enhance detection and diagnostics of airborne viruses.

Intelligent Mobile Robots for UVC based Disinfection

Current surface disinfection methods include spraying chemicals or using UV light. However, it is difficult to directly spray liquid chemicals on surfaces due to the threat of negative environmental impacts and possible damage and contamination to various surfaces such as books and food packages. Currently, UV based disinfection lights are either wall mounted or operate on mobile bases. Moreover, they are often positioned metres away from surfaces that require disinfection.

Industry 4.0 Cases for Smart Manufacturing, Logistics, and Construction

The housing shortage is a well-recognized challenge in Hong Kong. To meet the huge and growing needs, productivity and on-time delivery facilitated by modern building technology and decision support platforms in housing projects are crucial. Besides, e-commerce has grown very fast recently. Professor Huang’s team developed cyber-physical systems including both hardware and software solutions for construction and e-commerce logistics industries.