Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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Diabetes is one the most pressing chronic diseases in Hong Kong. There are about 0.7 million people in Hong Kong are suffering from diabetes. Realizing efficient blood glucose management is highly demanded to improve the patients’ healthcare. Currently, the blood glucose is mostly measured with the finger-stick method. However, the finger-stick method is painful and cannot continuously monitor the glucose level. This project develops a minimally invasive glucose biosensor by using a microneedle as sensor carrier and use HKU-developed “PERfECT wearable” platform for wireless data transmission. We hope this project could improve the health technology in Hong Kong to better serve the patients with diabetes.

PERfECT Wearables: for Minimally-Invasive and Continuous Blood-Glucose Monitoring

Diabetes is one the most pressing chronic diseases in Hong Kong. There are about 0.7 million people in Hong Kong are suffering from diabetes. Realizing efficient blood glucose management is highly demanded to improve the patients’ healthcare. Currently, the blood glucose is mostly measured with the finger-stick method. However, the finger-stick method is painful and cannot continuously monitor the glucose level. This project develops a minimally invasive glucose biosensor by using a microneedle as sensor carrier and use HKU-developed “PERfECT wearable” platform for wireless data transmission. We hope this project could improve the health technology in Hong Kong to better serve the patients with diabetes.

Machine Vision for Urban Farming Applications

The flowers of strawberries are insect-pollinated flowers that require insects to pollinate in the nature environment. However, insects will not be found in indoor hydroponic farms. Strawberry flowers require insects for the pollination process. Therefore, manual pollination is required since insects cannot be found in the indoor hydroponic lab.

In order to reduce the manpower and enhance the automation of urban indoor hydroponic farming, an autonomous pollination system will be developed for Vegetable Marketing Organization (VMO). This application applies YOLOv4 for detecting the strawberry flowers and for classifying the color of anthers. Also, this system includes the flower growing tracker, which can record the growing situation of the flower for the research fields related to planting.

Smart Water Auditing using IoT and Machine Learning

The Smart Water Auditing using IoT, and Machine Learning project aims to provide insights on how water is being in the households of Hong Kong to reduce the consumption of water and raise the awareness of people’s water consumption habits. To help increase participants’ water consumption awareness, a dashboard was designed to provide a simple yet interactive way for users to review their water usage. To create a dashboard, a graphical user interface and a communications system must be designed. However, the initial design of the dashboard suffered from connection issues and graphical user interface performance issues, both of which are essential functions of the dashboard. Therefore, extensive testing and optimisation was necessary to mitigate these problems. However, the dashboard still suffers from minor stuttering due to the microcontroller’s limited performance. Despite this, the design of the dashboard was a success, and it serves as a crucial medium for participants to review their water statistics.

Automated FireFighting Vehicle

Under the project, a fire-fighting AGV is developed. The idea is to save and protect firefighters’ lives by substituting human firefighters with AI robots in hazardous firefighting environments (e.g., toxic, extreme heat, radioactive, etc.). The AGV prototype has utilized the image recognition technologies, as well as a handful of sensors, including a ALS module, infrared array sensor as ultrasonic sensor. Modifications on the stock powertrain system of the given chassis were also made to accommodate the need to traverse in the difficult terrain of a firefighting scenario. Water is chosen to be the fire distinguishing agent.

PET Plastics Degradation

Our team is developing a self-sustaining system that digests PET plastic using the symbiotic relationship between the bacteria Escherichia coli and the cyanobacteria Synechococcus elongatus. We engineer E. coli to express PETase and MHETase enzymes and to absorb sucrose secreted by S. elongatus, which E. coli uses as its energy source. The PETase and MHETase enzymes facilitate the degradation of PET into its monomers – terephthalic acid (TPA) and ethylene glycol (EG), which can then be repurposed in the creation of new bioplastics to maintain a circular and greener supply chain.

Quantum Demonstrator Kit

The Quantum Demonstration Kit (QDK) is a playful interactive and gamified version of a quantum physics experimental setup, designed to demonstrate key concepts of quantum mechanics to young beginner students to enhance their overall understanding of the subject. The key novelty of our product design, is that it is portable, cost-effective, and simple enough to be operated by young undergraduate/school students independently themselves. On the contrary, quantum physics setups routinely used in research labs are bulky, expensive and extremely complicated, making them unsuitable to be used for hands-on laboratory based education for beginners to this field.

PERfECT Wearables: A Coin-sized Platform for Health Innovation

Tiny, soft, imperceptible wearable biosensors that can continuously monitor our body condition have the potential to revolutionize healthcare technologies. They are in urgent demand to realize the goal of personalized healthcare and digital medicine. In this project, we developed a series of next-generation wearable biosensors for advanced healthcare. These futuristic devices are developed based on the PERfECT chip, which is the world’s smallest wearable biosensing platform developed in Innovation Wing. In the next several years, we expect these wearables biosensors will help PERfECT-enabled spin-off biotech companies to revolutionize our current technologies in managing cardiovascular diseases, mental health, and diabetes.

Drones for the purpose of Long Distance Wireless Communication based on LoRa

The main purpose of this project is to develop a cost-effective surveillance and rescue drone with a longer flying time and long-range data transmission through a careful selection of industrial quality low-cost components. Our target customers are disaster relief teams which can use the drone for assistance in rescue operations through surveillance and human detection.
The drone has the following functionality:
i) Human Detection Capabilities through PIR Sensing
ii) LoRa communication channel for transmitting human detection signals back to rescue teams
iii) Auto-Level Feature to ensure stability in turbulent weather conditions
A first prototype has been developed with all the necessary functionality and is 40% cheaper than available solutions.
Our goals for the next prototype are: i) Reduce weight to improve performance ii) Design a custom PCB to make design more compact.

Drawing Robot and Selfie Smart Phone App

For the current drawing robot products, the users use the various apps to do the image processing and Bluetooth transmission, the operation is inconvenient and complicated. For improving user experience, there is a mobile app called “Drawing Robot Controller” is developed. Users can use the mobile app to achieve a basic moving control function and image drawing function via clicking the buttons on the app. Unlike the “Printer”, the drawing robot should be “Painter” after integrating with the mobile app. The robot can draw what the user wants in different places with different styles via this app.