Mechanical Engineering

Fever screening using smartphones

Every day, millions of Hong Kongers use public transport to travel across the city. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, public transport has the potential to spread the novel Coronavirus. This can be avoided if strict preventive measures are in place.

The solution to this is a non-intrusive, real time application that automates fever screening in public transport vehicles. This is made possible thanks to a mobile application that we are developing at HKU. We use a portable thermal camera and a mobile device to detect faces in a stream of thermal images, and then measure forehead temperatures. This can be done in real-time, and requires little to no manual intervention.

Automatic Fabric Roll Edge Extractor

Automation technology has been highly adopted by different manufacturing industries in the past two decades. It shows an increasing investment in research and development throughout these two decades to replace labor in production lines. The leading dyeing and finishing machinery development company Fong’s National Engineering Co. Ltd. offered us a project in device designing to smooth their production line. The head of the raw fabric rolls is usually attached with an adhesive tape to prevent the head from falling out in the transportation process. This project aims to design and build a prototype of an Automatic fabric roll edge extractor with the concept of engineering design thinking. The function of the device is to automate the removal process of adhesive tape without any manpower involved.

Design, Build & Fly 2020 team 3

With the ever-growing demand for air cargo capacity comes the pursuit for cargo aircraft that combine a large payload with optimum efficiency. The Design, Build and Fly team set out to meet this challenge by creating a radio-controlled model airplane, to compete in the Payload Challenge organized by the British Model Flying Association (BMFA). The process involved careful research into aeronautical engineering theories and creative solutions. The effectiveness of the design was proved in test flights by two fully functional prototypes. Various issues were identified during the trials, carefully examined, and subsequently addressed in an iterative manner. The team has continuously implemented modifications to the design, in an effort to produce the model plane that would carry the target payload with the highest efficiency attainable, and the results will hopefully provide useful insights for future model builders and aircraft engineers alike.

Design, Build & Fly 2020 team 1

Design, Build, Fly is a project for students to design and manufacture an airplane. Our team aims at producing a radio-controlled fixed-wing aircraft that conveys a predefined liquid payload in a flight circuit. This is to demonstrate its payload carrying capability with the lightest airframe. Through this project, students could apply technical and interpersonal skills to building an airplane with unconventional configurations.

Automatic Chair Parking System

The Automatic Chair Parking System aims to provide a smart solution in classroom and
other similar environment by helping to move and arrange chairs, while reducing the risk of occupational injuries and potential dangers related to the repetitive works. This can also reduce the reliance on labor force and ultimately improve the efficiency. The system therefore is designed to autonomously transport chairs to the designated parking area with minimal human control.

Automatic Chair Stacking System

Automation is the technology about combination of hardware and software to complete designated tasks with minimal manual intervention. Automation was first applied to automobile industry in the 1970s and started to extend its use in daily life since then. Automatic system has its advantages over traditional manpower in doing repetitive tasks, e.g., it maintains a high-quality standard and safety standard.

This project, the Automatic Chair Stacking System, will be cooperating with the Automatic Chair Parking System to showcase the idea of automatic conference room, i.e., to automatically set up chairs in the area.

RoboFish (The VAYU project)

This project is the first endeavour of BREED HKU, HKU’s first bio-inspired robotics organisation. RoboFish is our very own robotic fish, controlled by a raspberry pi and powered by a battery, aimed at helping us learn more about underwater biomechanics. Not only does the fish have a high speed potential, but the project also involves the study of how fish movements are affected by different variables such as turbulence and drag. This targets the analysis of marine biology and ecosystems. Our model has many applications for research and development in the academic world, such as surveillance systems and sea exploration.

MECH4412 Automated storage and retrieval system design competition

Under the course MECH4412 (Design and manufacturing), the hands-on project is an important element which allows the students to develop hands-on skill and problem-solving technique. In the last academic year, the project title was “An automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS)”. ASRS consists of a variety of computer-controlled systems for automatically placing and retrieving loads from defined storage locations. The benefits of an AS/RS system include reduced labour for transporting items into and out of inventory, reduced inventory levels, more accurate tracking of inventory, and space savings. Items are often stored more densely than in systems where items are stored and retrieved manually.

British Model Fly Association (BMFA) 2019 University and Schools Flight Challenges

The Design, Build & Fly (DBF) is a regular capstone design project under the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Every year, many ME students show a very strong enthusiasm in this project and our department encourages them to participate in different international competitions. Many student competitions are based on solving “real” cases and problems. By participating in a competition, it helps students to build up links between thinking and doing so that they learn to apply theories into practice with a deeper understanding of the concepts.

IMechE The Greater China Design Competition

The Greater China Design Competition 2019 (GCDC) was held by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Participants are required to design an energy relay system consists of four cars with different sources of energy, e.g. electrical, elastic energy, solar power, … etc. Each car was required to complete a 4m (L) X 0.5m (W) width path and trigger another car, hence, to finish a total of 12 meters straight path.