The Vocational Training Council (VTC) is showcasing various applied research projects undertaken by students and teachers of its member institutions at InnoCarnival 2017, organised by the Innovation and Technology Commission, which opened on 21 October 2017. The participating institutions include the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi), Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) and Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI), which together have developed projects like an “Interactive Virtual Aquarium”, “Air Hockey Go!” and “How to culture marine plant (sea grape) at home?”.
Marrying creativity, advanced technologies and contemporary design, the projects underline the theme of the organiser: “Live Smart‧Be Innovative” and the commitment of VTC students to give back to society with their professional knowledge. The officiating guest of the opening ceremony, the HKSAR Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas YANG, toured the VTC booth today to experience the students’ and teachers’ innovative projects.
"The Interactive Virtual Aquarium" developed by students and teachers of the Higher Diploma in Creative Media deploys multimedia technologies such as high resolution image processing and the popular High Dynamic Range Imaging to present the looks of local fish species and showcase an undersea aquarium by means of digital animation. When visitors touch the fish images projected on screen, information on more than 40 fish species and their size, farming methods, sustainability, and growing season can be seen. The interactive edutainment provided by the aquarium enables the public to learn about sustainable seafood in a light-hearted manner.
"Air Hockey Go!", developed by graduates of IVE’s Higher Diploma in Electrical Engineering, is a computer-controlled robot that can play an air hockey match with a human being. Similar automation technologies have already been applied to electrical engineering works like the supply of electricity to commercial and residential buildings, lighting design and lifts. The project team hopes to apply these technologies to other robotic devices in the future, in order to make daily life more convenient.
Meanwhile THEi students and teachers of the Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Food Science and Safety are demonstrating their research on cultivating “sea grapes” (a type of seaweed) in a controlled environment with the use of sophisticated water filtering and temperature control systems, thus alleviating the problem of scarcity. Meeting the need of Hongkongers for healthy eating, biodiversity and sustainability, the project team hopes to promote this simple man-made cultivation method to average households so that the public will no longer have to go to Okinawa to get a taste of the anitioxidant sea grapes.
Other joint teacher-student technological research projects featured include “A Tailor-made Training Tool for Elderly with Dementia”, using simulation games and daily-life scenarios to help them improve their cognitive ability; and "Ballabora", an interactive treat toy for dogs that helps ensure they get the play, exercise, and attention they need, meeting the need of pet owners when they are away or go out to work.
During the Carnival, VTC representatives and guests will give two talks sharing their research findings with academics and the public, namely “How Can HealthTech Improve Our Daily Life?” and “Solar Car Development in Hong Kong: Past, Present and Future”. Concurrently visitors can try their hands at crafting and testing a solar-powered car under the instruction of VTC students and teachers to gain a better understanding of renewable energy.