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Students showcased their talents at Robocon 2014 Hong Kong Contest

On 22nd June 2014, 18 students of the Faculty of Engineering participated in the Robocon 2014 Hong Kong Contest. Two teams - SAPIENTIA (格物) and VIRTUS (明德) were formed to enter the contest.

Members of these two teams showed HKU’s strength in gathering the best international talent. Among the two teams were students from China and Hong Kong studying Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Medical Engineering, Computer Science, and Science & Education in the Faculty of Education.

During the preparation period, team members worked well together and cultivated ideas from each other through extensive research. The teams enjoyed the benefits of members with different backgrounds. They spent many hard working days and nights with the help of their mentor, Dr. K.C. Cheung, who provided both guidance and support deemed very important by his students.

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Team VIRTUS and Team SAPIENTIA shared the joy of winning 3rd place in the Robocon 2014 Hong Kong Contest

Robocon 2014
Chim Lee Cheung (Studying EEE, Year2) and Fu Hing Choi (Studying Mechanical Engineering, Year 2) demonstrating how the “child” robot walks from pole to pole in the pole-walk task.

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All ready and set!

The theme of the contest this year – “A Salute to Parenthood” defined the match format and rules. Each team has to build a “mother” and “child” robot. The “child” robot is guided by the “mother” robot throughout the match to finish 4 tasks, namely the “see-saw”, “swing”, “pole walk” and “jungle gym”.

Team SAPIENTIA won 3rd place in the contest, and as our both HKU teams shared the joy, members insisted that they will join again next year, and will again gear up themselves beforehand with better preparation.

Robocon 2014
Lee Ka Tak (Studying Mechanical Engineering, Year 2) is the controller on the game field, directing the “mother” robot to place the “child” robot onto the see-saw

contest. None of the other teams used the same technology to power their robots.

The inspiration came from jet engines and rockets that use the same technology by blowing air at high speed in a direction opposite to the direction of motion. As a result, the moving body is propelled forward. According to the team, this requires precise control and a sensor fusion system.

The advantage of using this jet propulsion approach was particularly seen during the “swing” and “jungle gym” tasks, and gained the applause of all other teams on the court. At the end of the contest, our teams were invited by the judging panel on stage to demonstrate the “jungle gym” and “pole walk” tasks. It was a pleasure for the audience as no other teams on the court were able to complete these two tasks during the timed matches. HKU’s “child” robot did not fall short of everyone’s expectations. It literally “flew” its way up the ladder, and reached the top landing within 2 seconds.

Robocon 2014
Chim Lee Cheung (Studying EEE, Year 2) represented the HKU team, demonstrating how to use “jet propulsion” to power a robot up the ladder, and enjoyed the amazement of mouthopened audience.

Robocon 2014
A close up on the “child” robot, with its turbines attached at the back

Our teams described their participation in the contest a “glorious defeat”. They were pleased with their participation, as the contest provided platform for exchanging ideas and experiences with other students in Hong Kong.

The University of Hong Kong Faculty of Engineering