Second Exhibition – Digitization

Exhibition started from 18th August 2022

Digitalization is the theme of the second exhibition. Thirteen cutting-edge engineering research projects led by Professors in the Faculty of Engineering are exhibited in the Tam Wing Fan Innovation Wing Two and online Metaverse. These projects address both local and global situations relevant to digitization. From the videos and displays, visitors will be equipped with knowledge of rationales underlying these projects and their methodologies to achieve the goal. Further through interactive prototypes and functional exhibits in Innovation Wing Two, visitors will get even more detailed knowledge about how these research ideas have been translated into reality.

Research Highlight

High-voltage Aqueous Mg-ion Battery Facilitated by Water-in-salt Electrolyte

Although widely used in our daily life, lithium (Li) -ion batteries fall short because the materials used are often scarce, toxic, and expensive. They also have safety issue in operation due to their organic based electrolytes. Beyond lithium-ion batteries, a low-cost magnesium (Mg) metal anode based aqueous Mg-ion battery has been developed first time by Professor Dennis Leung’s research team in the HKU Department of Mechanical Engineering. As Mg is the 5th most abundant metal element in the earth’s crust (three orders of magnitude more than Li), the advantages of low cost and non-toxicity make Mg a desirable alternative to Li as the anode material. The proposed battery shows a high discharge plateau of 2.4-2.0 V and an excellent rechargeability for over 700 stable cycles. This high operation voltage exceeds the counterpart of other multivalent-ion batteries, including zinc (Zn) metal and aluminum (Al) metal batteries. The mechanism behind was also revealed, where a conductive metallic oxide layer was facilitated by the chloride (Cl-) ions inside the water-in-salt electrolyte, providing ionic pathways for rechargeable battery operations. The team hopes that the chemical insights obtained in this work could inspire further optimization and bring attention to the overlooked development of rechargeable aqueous Mg metal batteries. This work uncovers the once dismissed possibility of aqueous Mg metal batteries and opens a new avenue in the field of post-lithium-ion batteries. Other project team members are Dr. Wending Pan (Research Assistant Professor) and Miss Sarah Leong (PhD student).

Digitization

A simulation platform for shared mobility services

This is a large-scale simulation platform for managing and controlling Hong Kong taxis. The simulator platform can be used to simulate the movements and trajectories of taxis for idle cruising, picking up passengers, and delivering passengers on a large-scale transportation network. The simulation platform is calibrated by a real dataset of Hong Kong taxis to ensure that the simulation well approximates the reality. This simulator is jointly developed by the teams of Dr. Jintao Ke at HKU and Prof. Hai Yang at HKUST. The simulation platform will be open for public use in the near future.

Augmented Reality based Robot Control System for Customized Garment Production

Garment industry needs to embrace flexible automation and robotics to lower cost and to enhance human productivity. As it is too complex to achieve full automation in garment production, collaborative works between robots and humans will be foreseen. The project demonstrates the feasibility of deploying multi-robots by combining computer vision and robotic technologies.

CHITCHAT: Clinical History Taking Chatbot Mobile App for Medical Students

Undergraduate medical education has been severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. While lectures can be easily conducted online via Zoom, clinical bedside teachings, including training of history taking skills from patients, cannot be easily replaced. A novel chatbot mobile app for training of undergraduate medical students’ clinical history taking skills was developed.

DPM Technique for Digitization of Drilling Process for Profiling Ground Strength

Hong Kong is a mega city and is developed on the mountains and hillside slopes and nearby the sea. Hence, slope engineering is very important to Hong Kong sustainability and development against landslide hazards in Hong Kong. The University of Hong Kong has developed a system called Drilling Process Monitoring (DPM) technique.

Dual-comb Optical Coherence Tomography

Optical Coherence Tomography is a spectrum-encoded, cross-sectional, and non-invasive imaging device. The future OCT would be able to image thicker samples more efficiently. Our novel and compact fiber laser has the potential to be used as a dual-comb source for more advanced imaging device.

From Hospital-centric to Human-centric: “PERfECT” Wearables for Digital Health

Compared to current wearable devices that can only measure vital signals, PERfECT is able to detect molecular indicators in the body fluid for disease screening and monitoring. “HKU PERfECT” is the first wearable platform that can simultaneously address three challenges: 1. highly sensitive, 2. smallest and lightest and 3. energy efficient.

Machine Comprehension of Legal Text

The Law and Technology Centre, co-directed by Professor Kao, aims to advance research and provide public service in the interdisciplinary area of information technology and law. The current research focuses on the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into legal research and practice.

MindPipe: High-performance and Carbon-efficient Four-dimensional Parallel Training System for Large AI Models

MindPipe, the first 4D parallel training system for large DNN models, has the following objectives:
1. Greatly reducing load imbalance in GPU pipeline parallel stages; 2. Effectively resolving contention of the 3D parallel communication tasks; 3. Deterministically scheduling multiple subnets to be trained in supernet parallelism, a novel parallel dimension proposed by MindPipe; and 4. Automatic near-optimal 4D configuration of GPUs considering both DNN converging efficiency and GPU utilization.

nD Blockchain for ESG Reporting

The introduction of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Reporting Guide (Guide) by HKEX in 2013, and the subsequent upgrade of the Guide’s reporting obligation to “comply or explain” in 2016, have significantly moved the dial for Hong Kong issuers’ ESG reporting. However, ESG reporting faces many bottlenecks, including data authenticity, consistency, and transparency. Professor Huang’s team developed an IoT- and blockchain-based platform to upgrade the ESG reporting industry.

Robotic LiDARs for fast 3D construction

The LiDAR Camera fusion captures 3D space in real-time, opening up the portal into the virtual world. The built model can be used in real scene games, virtual campus tour, metaverse, and more! However, existing products in the market are costly, and the working process is not only slow but also complicated.

Smart Water Auditing for Hong Kong

The project is an integral part of a flagship research initiative being carried out under the auspices of the HKU Center for Water Technology and Policy. The Water Centre was jointly established by the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Social Sciences to conduct cutting-edge research on water science, technology and policy issues that pertain to the broader urban sustainability agenda. We would like to acknowledge the contributions of the members of our inter-disciplinary project team. They come from the Department of Civil Engineering, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Politics and Public Administration and the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Wireless AI Perception: A New Sense for Machine Intelligence

Computer vision enables machines to “see”. The capability of machine vision based on cameras, however, is fundamentally limited to a certain field-of-view with good lighting conditions – they cannot see through any occlusions or in the dark.
Wireless sensing opens a new sense for machine perception to decipher the physical world, even in absolute darkness and through walls and obstacles.
It can capture human activities invisibly in a contactless and sensorless way.