HKUST Students Shines for Hong Kong with Two International Awards in ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest


The 'Fiery Dragon' team formed by engineering students from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) represented Hong Kong to compete in ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest, winning two design awards namely the Best Idea Award and Mabuchi Motor Award.

A total of 19 teams from 18 countries and a region competed in the 2011 ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest held in Thailand recently under the theme of Thailand's Loy Krathong (also known as Festival of Lights). Within the three minutes set, each team was required to operate the manual robot to complete the first task by picking up Joss Stick Pots and placing them at the common zone. Then, the automatic robot had to bring the completed Krathong and drop it on the 'floating river surface' swung by Krathong gravity. The last automatic robot brought and dropped the candle light flame on top of the candle in the completed Krathong.

HKUST's 'Fiery Dragon' was formed by 21 students from four departments namely Department of Computer Science & Engineering, Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering, Department of Industrial Engineering & Logistic Management and Department of Mechanical Engineering. This well-mixed team won the Championship in the Robocon 2011 Hong Kong Contest held in June competing against other local university opponents, earning the right to represent Hong Kong to compete in the ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest.

HKUST's three robots were well designed to feature the attributes of speed, flexibility and accuracy. The manual robot was triangular in shape to strategically reduce the chance of touching the floor and hence increase the speed. The automatic robot with sophisticated image processors could calculate precisely the gravity and focus the position which help drop the candle light flame on top of the candle in the completed Krathong with precision.

The 'Fiery Dragon' team was led by Professor Tim Woo of Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering. Prof Woo said, "HKUST is committed to promoting innovation. Our creative team has developed sophisticated image processors while our flexible manual robot and two high speed automatic robots performed very well. The winning of the two design awards is a result of all their tireless efforts."

The ABU Asia-Pacific Robot Contest is an annual Asian Oceanian College robot competition founded by Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. The contest aims to advance engineering and computing technologies in the region, strengthen exchanges and create friendship among young people with similar interests. Other participating teams are from Mainland China, Japan and Thailand etc.

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Mavis Wong
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 HKUST's 'Fiery Dragon' team winning two international awards.
HKUST's 'Fiery Dragon' team winning two international awards.
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