PolyU wins top prizes in Geneva’s Invention Expo

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The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has brought glory to Hong Kong by winning a total of 14 prizes at the 44th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva. Covering a wide range of application areas, these breakthroughs not only expanded the boundaries of knowledge, but also enhanced the well-being of our society on different fronts.

This year, PolyU researchers garnered two Grand Prizes, three Special Merit Awards, six Gold Medals and one Silver Medal and two Bronze Medals at the world-renowned event. The winning projects are described as follows:

(1) Grand Prize and Gold Medal:
Anti-heat Stress Clothing for Construction Workers in Hot-humid Weather
Principal Investigator: Prof. Albert P.C. CHAN, Department of Building and Real Estate

Local construction workers have to work outdoors for long hours under hot and humid weather conditions. To alleviate their strain, PolyU has developed a summer work uniform that meets specific industry requirements. With excellent one-way transferability and liquid moisture management capacity, the technology improves fabric breathability, speeds up sweat evaporation and helps construction workers to reduce heat stress. The Construction Industry Council has adopted and produced 20,000 sets of the newly designed uniform for their apprentices in 2015.

(2) Grand Prize and Gold Medal:
Compound Eye for Novel High Definition 3D Imaging
Principal Investigator: Prof. Wing-bun LEE, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

The Compound Eye imaging system uses novel microlens arrays to acquire realistic 3D positional information of objects at both near and far fields. It can solve the problem of image distortion caused by conditions such as insufficient light and inadequate resolution, and perform physical measurement from the images. The technology can be applied in imaging applications, high precision surface profile, displacement and velocity measurements.

(3) Special Merit Award and Gold Medal:
Highly Dispersed Nanocomposite paste for self-cleaning Solar Panels
Principal Investigator: Prof. Hongxing YANG, Department of Building Services Engineering

This low-cost, environmentally friendly and highly transparent paste can be coated on different kind of surfaces including solar panels which can protect them from organic and inorganic dirt under sunlight activation and rainwater brush. It can significantly reduce 70% cleansing cost as well as increase the average output power of solar panels. This highly transparent with robust multifunctional coating also protects the surfaces from corrosion of sandstorm and acid rain so as to extend the life span of solar panels.

(4) Special Merit Award and Gold Medal:
Novel Integrated 3D Mapping Model
Principal Investigator: Dr Bo WU, Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics

Traditional 3D mapping techniques are satellite/aerial imagery and laser scanning. However, the former offers better accuracy in the horizontal direction than in the vertical direction, and vice versa for the latter. These techniques may produce data errors of up to several hundred meters. Such limitations pave the way for PolyU’s development of a novel integrated 3D mapping model which successfully integrates multi-platform satellite/aerial imagery and laser scanning data. This integrated 3D mapping model, greatly improves its accuracy in both horizontal and vertical directions. This new invention has been deployed in the China’s lunar missions, and can be used in topographic mapping and 3D modeling of cities for smart city development. It is particularly useful in the ventilation and visibility analysis, as well as analyzing the sunlight distribution on buildings.

(5) Gold Medal:
Innovative Spinning System for Chitosan Yarn
Principal Investigator: Dr Li LI, Institute of Textiles and Clothing

The new spinning system can fabricate woven/knitted chitosan fabric with great elasticity, durability and comfort. This new technology solves the existing problems of chitosan fibre spinning and avoids the tremendous waste of raw materials. It maximizes the bio-functions of chitosan fibre, e.g. wound-healing, antibacterial and skin protection, thereby enhancing patient care

This project was jointly undertaken by the University’s Institute of Textiles and Clothing and The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA).

(6) Gold Medal:
Portable Multisensor Apparatus for In-situ HDR 3D Measurement
Principal Investigator: Prof. Benny Chi-fai CHEUNG, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

This novel system consists of a motion sensor and a laser scanner which can be integrated into various kinds of machine tools to perform in-situ and in-process High Dynamic Range (HDR) 3D surface measurement in manufacturing environments. This technology can be used in robotics arms and on lines inspection system for production automation.

(7) Special Merit Award and Silver Medal:
Smart Fetal Monitoring Belt
Principal Investigator: Prof. Jia YOU, Department of Computing

The Smart Fetal Monitoring Belt can detect fetal movement automatically in a non-intrusively manner. It can enhance fetal care by monitoring fetal health and screening abnormalities with quantitative measurements to minimize fetal loss, perinatal morbidity and maternal distress.

This project was jointly undertaken by the University’s Department of Computing and HKRITA.

(8) Bronze Medal:
Novel Development of Superfine Wool Products
Principal Investigator: Dr Songmin SHANG, Institute of Textiles and Clothing

PolyU has successfully invented a novel spinning and knitting process to develop a new animal fibre - the superfine wool fibre. The new process is faster and simpler than conventional production of common wool, while the garments made from the new fibre are expected to show better quality than cashmere products.

This project was jointly undertaken by the University’s Institute of Textiles and Clothing and HKRITA.

(9) Bronze Medal:
Tailor-made Integrated Compression Orthesis for Varicose Veins and Knee Pain
Principal Investigator: Dr Xia GUO, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

Designed to treat and prevent both varicose veins and knee pain, this novel orthesis is the first of its kind consisting of a compression hosiery and a knee brace and can be custom made to Asian clients. Made of medical-grade materials and applied the innovative seamless 3D knitting technology developed by PolyU, this invention can improve blood circulation in leg and support the controlled mobilization of knee joints with enhanced comfort.

Under the patronage of the Swiss Federal Government, the State and the City of Geneva as well as the World Intellectual Property Organization, the 44th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva was held from 13 to 17 April 2016. For more details about the event, please refer to its official website at URL: http://www.inventions-geneva.ch.

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