HKU Robocon 2020

Host department: Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Supervisor: Dr. H.H. Cheung (Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering), Dr. K.W. Kwok (Department of Mechanical Engineering)

Background of the project

The annual Robocon competition project allows HKU engineering students from different disciplines to design and fabricate innovative robots with an integration of various advanced technologies, including IoT sensors, AI, computer vision, and mobile computing. Besides, it provides hands-on experiences on product design, prototyping, CNC machining, design and fabrication of electric circuit and PCB, control program development, etc.

Furthermore, senior members mentor junior members in each year and hence valuable experiences, knowledge, and skills for design and fabrication of robots can be sustained for next year competition. In addition, it enables the HKU students to exchange their knowledge and skills with students from local and other countries’ universities. Therefore, it motivates the students to engage in experiential learning via exploring and integrating various advanced technologies. As a result, students’ innovation and teamwork abilities would be enhanced.

Project details and process

Our team was basically preparing four robots for the Robocon 2020 local context. Our robot development stage was basically divided into 3 stages.

     1. Prototyping (September & October 2019)

          Develop different approaches and proof-of-concept prototypes for passing, trying and kicking rugby    

     2. Design stage (November 2019 to March 2020)

          Mechanical design and programming

    3. Final Adjustment (April to August 2020)

        Fine-tuning and extensive testing of the four robots

Project result
  • Build two set of robots for two teams, respectively.
  • Complete the competition.
  • Nurture a group of well-trained new members.
Student learning and achievements

HKU students have been joining ABU Robocon competition since 2004. In recent years, more and more students join the competition, and the performances of our teams are sustainably improved.

Some students, who have accumulated rich experiences on design and fabrication of robots based on annual competition’s rules, mentor and train junior students. As a result, such junior students would be capable of developing robots and become core members for next year competition.

Therefore, this project is a good platform to allow students to gain hands-on and teamwork skills via design and fabrication of robots. Such skills are useful for their career development.

Lastly, through mini-Robocon for secondary school students, we can promote HKU Engineering to the future engineers. They may become part of the HKU Engineering Family and even a future member of the HKU Robocon Team. It makes HKU Engineering and our Team sustainable.

Future plan

Our future plan is to participate in the ABU Robocon 2021. Main goal is the win the local context and subsequently the Asia-Pacific context.

Sharing by supervisors

We appreciate it so much that HKU Robocon team spent efforts and time on design and manufacturing of robots and participation in the competition.

Sharing by students

“Hello. I am Alex, a team member of HKU Robocon. I have joined in since last year and have participated in designing some parts of the contest robot for Robocon 2019, as well as fine-tuning the performance of the said robot. I am a mechanical engineering student and have a great interest in robotics and control, and hence wish to pursue a future in those fields. Joining this team surely does help a lot, for example, I learned to use CAD software (SolidWorks), manufacturing processes like using the vertical milling machines to make parts for our robots (Aluminum tubes, even sometimes parts). Since I am also trying to pursue a future career in Robotics and Control, I can also have a chance to apply the knowledge learned in the control courses offered in this university to optimizing the performance of the robots. As of now, since the theme for Robocon 2020-21 is issued, I am working on the preliminary designs in hopes to speed up our R&D phase.

Alex, Department of Mechanical Engineering

“I am Peter, a year 4 student studying Computer Engineering. I have stayed in HKU Robocon studio for 3 years witnessing victories and failures of us. Meanwhile, I have learned and applied knowledge in MCU programming and PCB designing on the robots we made, which are part of the main components in forming a robot. These experiences are unique and cannot be acquired barely from the courses we study. I am grateful that I have engaged in the team which brings me a fruitful campus life. In Robocon 2020, I will focus more on programming and I will strive hard to contribute more on our robots.

Peter, Computer Engineering, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

“Here is Heidi. It is my third year in the university and HKU Robocon Studio. I study computer science and work as a programmer. In the M2 lab, people flourish with their passion and potential. Students from various backgrounds join and meet here, working and fighting for one common goal. The contest is a rare chance that an engineering student could found to consolidate their knowledge and try out the latest technology. As a programmer, I do the automation, computer vision and strive to figure out the best strategy in the program flow. There are still a lot to learn and unknowns to solve, but it is the time we spent together here allows us to overcome all of it. The topic for 2020 Robocon is out, I am looking forward to seeing how our design is going to evolve in this year.”

Heidi, Department of Computer Science


We would like to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation for all of the support we received from our donors, which include: