SENG students shine in Robocon 2010 Hong Kong Contest
Two teams of undergraduate students from School of Engineering (SENG) won 1st and 2nd runners-up in Robocon 2010 Hong Kong Contest held on 27 June 2010. The students came from 3 Departments - Computer Science and Engineering, Electronic and Computer Engineering as well as Mechanical Engineering.
Robocon Hong Kong Contest has been running annually for 7 years and has now become a large-scale and important inter-university contest for engineering and IT students. This year, a total of 10 teams from 6 higher education institutions (HKU, HKUST, CUHK, Poly U, City U and IVE) participated, creating especially keen competition among the teams. Representing HKUST were team “Fiery Dragon”, which came second, and team “Eastern Dragon”, which came third.
The theme of this year is pyramids - the treasured ancient civilization structure of the organizing country, Egypt. Each team had to use the automatic and manual robots that they designed and made beforehand to build parts in 3 pyramids by correctly placing the blocks within a specified period of time.
Both teams of HKUST demonstrated outstanding performance during the contest. As described repeatedly by the contest commentators (who were members of the Technical Advisory Committee and the Judge Panel), the HKUST robots displayed remarkable speed in building the pyramids. This distinct advantage earned the teams 2 awards.
Apparently, success was not earned by luck, but by the unquestionable dedication and commitment of the students. Preparation for the contest started in as early as October 2009, right after the theme and rules of the 2010 contest were released. As an established practice among the students, old students (i.e. senior year students who participated in the contest before) help to provide training and coaching to new blood by conducting tutorial classes on mechanics, hardware and programming, the 3 main areas related to robot building. All the participating students were also enrolled in a credit-bearing course titled Engineering Special Project under the instruction of Prof Li Zexiang and Prof Cai Lilong to further refine their skills in robotics.
Leung Chun Yin Eric (Computer Science and Engineering, Year 2), who has been the group leader of Fiery Dragon for 2 years, said he enjoyed the whole experience of taking part in the contest a lot. “What I am happy to see is that we are really working as a team,” he said. Basically, each team can be categorized into 3 groups depending on the areas of work (mechanics, hardware and programming) the students are taking. “When a group face a problem and need to think of a solution, they do not just find a solution that is convenient only to them but one that is good for all groups.” Eric also got the opportunity to exchange ideas about engineering with teams and professors of other participating institutions, which gave him some fresh ideas and insight.
He added that the HKUST teams have good team spirits. “The HKUST group is always a large group at the contest venue. Graduates who took part in the contest before also came to support us. This is greatly encouraging to us.”
Yuen Ka Shing Sky (Electronic and Computer Engineering, Year 2), who is a new member of Eastern Dragon, said he had the chance to work with fellow students from different programs through the contest. “It’s such a big project which involves different areas of knowledge in engineering. It gives us a good chance to apply our knowledge into practice.” He said that he did not only have better understanding of other disciplines of engineering, but also further develop the skills on problem-solving and cooperating with others.
Both students were grateful for the valuable advice and support their teams received from SENG professors, Design and Manufacturing Services Facility, old students and others who helped.
The champion team will represent Hong Kong at the global final in ABU Robocon 2010 Cairo-Egypt on 21 September 2010 to compete with other teams from various Asia-Pacific countries and regions.
Organized by Radio Television Hong Kong and co-organized by Hong Kong Computer Society and The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, Robocon Hong Kong Contest aims to arouse the interest in and awareness of engineering and IT among the public. It also encourages the design and construction of robots, which provide real experience for future engineers, and sets a joint project target for various university departments, requiring cooperation between students studying mechanical engineering, electronics and computer programming.
Robocon 2010 Hong Kong Contest
About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) (https://hkust.edu.hk/) is a world-class research intensive university that focuses on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. Over 80% of our research work were rated “Internationally excellent” or “world leading” in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee. We were ranked 3rd in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2022, and our graduates were ranked 23rd worldwide and among the best from universities from Asia in Global Employability University Ranking and Survey 2021.