2015.05.04PolyU wins top prizes in Geneva's Invention Expo

Ir Prof. Alex Wai (middle of the front row) and all Principal InvestigatorsISE designed an Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation SystemRehabilitation Sleeve speeds up the recovery of upper-limb functioningITC-designed Posture Correction Girdle for Adolescents with Early ScoliosisThe Adaptive Hydrotherapy Wetsuit innovated by ITC

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has brought glory to Hong Kong by winning a total of 15 prizes at the 43rd 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, two Special Gold Medals, four Special Merit Awards, three Gold Medals and four Silver Medals at the world-renowned event. The winning projects are described as follows:

(1) Grand Prize and Gold Medal with the Congratulations of Jury:
i.Dummy: Robotic Mannequin for Fashion Design and Fitting
Principal Investigator: Dr Allan Chee-kooi CHAN, Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC)

The apparel industry relies very much on the "mannequin" for many tasks involved in apparel design, fitting and alteration, and size gradation. However, traditional mannequins (only one size per mannequin) are costly and occupy a lot of storage space. Developed to solve the problem of having multiple sized mannequins, the "i.Dummy" can flexibly change to any shape and dimensions as required by the designer. It is a "multi-able" entity (adjustable, expandable, contractible, and variable) which can solve the many problems of designing and fitting of tailored clothing or ready-to-wear.

(2) Grand Prize and Gold Medal:
Catalyst for Green Biodiesel Production from Unrefined Feedstock
Principal Investigators: Dr Ka-fu YUNG, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology (ABCT)

Biodiesel is a sustainable liquid fuel originated from biomass. However, traditional liquid biodiesel catalyst generates a huge amount of waste water in the final purification procedure. A new class of solid catalyst is developed by precise surface chemistry engineering to catalyze the biodiesel production. With excellent adaptability to low grade unrefined feedstock like waste cooking oil, the catalyst can provide complete solution to the waste water problem. In addition, it operates at a significant lower temperature and pressure as compared with the existing solid biodiesel catalyst due to its high catalytic activity, which can reduce the energy and cost required for biodiesel production.

(3) Special Merit Award and Gold Medal with the Congratulations of Jury:
IoT-based Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation System
Principal Investigator: Dr Andrew W.H. IP, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE)

To meet the needs of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices, software modules and middleware. The platform integrates various emerging technologies, such as IoT-based cloud service, wireless sensor and actuator network (WSAN), WSAN middleware, Near Field Communication (NFC), etc. The platform aims to enhance the parking system efficiency by providing a system for vacant parking spaces monitoring and intelligent facility management. Besides, it also provides a novel automobile parking navigation services and gives drivers a new parking experience.

This project is jointly designed and developed by PolyU and Sino Parking Services Limited.

(4) Special Merit Award and Gold Medal:
Posture Correction Girdle for Adolescents with Early Scoliosis
Principal Investigator: Dr Joanne Yiu-wan YIP, Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC)

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis gradually leads to three dimensional deformity of the spine in youths. Patients with spinal curvatures of more than 41 degrees have to be treated with surgery, while those with curvatures of 25 to 40 degrees have to wear a brace to control curve progression. Since braces need to be worn for long periods of time and may cause skin irritations as well as discomfort, compliance is often low, affecting the success rate of the treatment. This girdle aims to help adolescences with early scoliosis monitor and correct their posture assisted by a mobile application on a daily basis. Its comfort also enhances patient compliance.

(5) Special Merit Award and Gold Medal:
Rehabilitation Sleeve - An FES-robot Hybrid System
Principal Investigator: Dr Xiaoling HU, Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering (BME)

A wearable FES-robot hybrid training system has been designed for multi-joint upper limb rehabilitation which can speed up the recovery of upper-limb functioning of stroke patients by 30-40%, combining electric stimulation and robotic system technologies. One patient who was attacked by stroke many years ago can now move his arms after the training assisted by the new device.

(6) Special Merit Award and Silver Medal:
O-blanket: Phototherapy Device for Neonatal Jaundice
Principal Investigator: Prof. Xiaoming TAO, Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC)

O-blanket is an innovative phototherapy device for neonatal jaundice, consisting of a light-emitting fabric covered by a wrapper made of top, reflective and back fabrics. The light-emitting fabric is woven from side-emitting polymer optical fibres and textile yarns. O-blanket provides an irradiance area of over 830 cm2 and an irradiance intensity of more than 30.0 μW/cm2/nm in 440-460 nm, meeting the requirements set by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It has passed the safety test IEC 60601-1, in-vitro cytotoxicity test ISO10993-5:2009, as well as irritation and skin sensitization test ISO 10993-10:2009. This light-emitting fabric can be disinfected with bleach for 140 hours without affecting the emitting efficiency.

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).

(7) Silver Medal:
Adaptive Hydrotherapy Wetsuit
Principal Investigator: Dr Kristina SHIN, Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC)

This user-operated adaptive hydrotherapy wetsuit is for people with limited mobility, in particular paraplegic patients and the elderly. This wetsuit is tailor made for hydrotherapy users, in particular paraplegic patients, and the elderly with limited mobility. With its self-operating feature, only half of the physiotherapists previously required are needed for hydrotherapy.

(8) Silver Medal:
Durable, Washable and High Performance Conductive Textiles
Principal Investigator: Dr Zijian ZHENG, Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC)

In this new method for preparing electrically conductive textiles, the textile surface is modified with a negatively-charged polyelectrolyte poly(methacrylic acid sodium salt) (PMANa) or poly(acrylic acid sodium salt) (PAANa) by in-situ free radical polymerization, and then treated with electroless metal deposition. The as-fabricated conductive textiles preserve robust mechanical and electrical stability under repeated cycles of rubbing, stretching and washing. They can be integrated into wearable electronics to replace the conventional rigid conductive electrodes and wires.

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

(9) Silver Medal:
Intelligent Condition-based Key Machinery Assets Maintenance Management Platform (ICKMAMMP)
Principal Investigator: Prof. Eric Wai-ting NGAI, Department of Management and Marketing (MM)

Effective machinery assets maintenance management is very important for textile enterprises because it: 1) improves product quality and production output; 2) optimizes manufacturing scheduling; and 3) reduces the probability of sudden asset breakdowns. Employing artificial intelligence and smart sensor techniques, the platform can be used to obtain data, such as real-time asset condition status from different types of sensor devices. Based on the captured and processed data, we can monitor the current and/or predict future states of an asset and provide recommendations for maintenance actions and operational decisions.

This project was jointly undertaken by the University's Department of Management and Marketing and HKRITA.

Under the patronage of the Swiss Federal Government, the State and the City of Geneva as well as the World Intellectual Property Organization, the 43rd International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva was held from 15 to 19 April 2015. For more details about the event, please refer to its official website at URL: www.inventions-geneva.ch.


Press Contacts

Ms Idy To

Assistant Director, Institute for Entrepreneurship

Email(852) 3400 2808