Knowledge Transfer Office

Innovation to Realization Funding Scheme (I2RF)
- Successful Applications closed on 30 October 2010

Innovation to Realization Funding Scheme (I2RF) - Project Title Project Period Project Duration
1 Innovation Induction Water Heater 10/1/2011 - 9/1/2012 12 months
2 Stress Testing Simulator for Wireless Networks 1/3/2011 - 29/2/2012 12 months
3 ZigBee for Telemedicine 1/3/2011 - 29/2/2012 12 months
4 Development of a Novel Ozone Catalytic Oxidation-based Dyeing Wastewater Treatment Technology 1/4/2011 - 31/3/2012 12 months
5 ThumbVM: Mobile Phone Virtual Machines and Platform to Access Cloud Computing Services 1/4/2011 - 31/3/2012 12 months
6 Development of a New Construction Technology/Product for Structural Rehabilitation with FRP 1/4/2011 - 31/3/2012 12 months
7 Flexible Touch Recognition Sheet Based on a Piezoresistive Polymer 1/5/2011 - 31/1/2012 9 months
8 Design of Knee Support Using a Superelastic NiTi Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) 1/5/2011 - 30/4/2012 12 months
Enquiry Information:
Mr Tomson Lee, Senior Knowledge Transfer Officer
Address: Knowledge Transfer Office, City University of Hong Kong
Room 2220, 2/F, Cheng Yick-chi Building, Tat Chee Avenue
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3442 6441/3442 6821
Fax: (852) 3442 0883
Email: thmlee@cityu.edu.hk


Project Abstract


Project Title: Innovation Induction Water Heater

Abstract

As an electrical appliance, leakage of electricity is always the issue of most concern because it could be fatal. Getting shocked through direct contact of the surface of a heater is troublesome, but incidents of this nature are seldom covered in media because heaters are usually installed in "safe" corners far away from our daily activities. In fact, most lethal accidences are due to leakage through the running water.

An induction water heater will be developed in the proposal. Its edge of competition in the global market lies in triple protection from electrical shock, fast response, precision in temperature control, stable water flow at a sub-boiling temperature, energy efficiency, environmentally friendliness, versatility, compactness, robustness, durability, longevity, ease in installation, user friendliness, ease in production, and cost effectiveness.

Induction Water Heater as:
  • a standalone appliance or
  • a critical component in a large electrical appliance
Targeted Usage:
  1. Hand Washer
  2. Tea Maker
  3. Warm Water for Babies
  4. Coffee Maker
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Project Title: Stress Testing Simulator for Wireless Networks

Abstract

In this proof-of-concept project, we plan to develop a prototype of stress testing simulator for wireless networks, including wireless LAN, WiMAX and 3G cellular networks. The stress testing simulator will be used to evaluate the network performance when a tremendous number of users are trying to access the wireless infrastructure under extreme scenarios such as earthquakes, terrorism attacks, and major social events like soccer games. In these situations, the network traffic surges in a short time and leads to access congestion and extended delay. The failure of a single base station may also cause ripple effects in blocking that reverberates throughout of the entire network.

In public switched telephone networks (PSTN), stress testing with automatic call generator has been widely used. However, there is no similar instrument to test a base station in wireless networks, which is possibly due to the fact that a base station usually only covers several tens of users, while an end office in PSTN covers hundreds of users. With emerging technologies such as MIMO and OFDM, the capacity of wireless networks has increased significantly, and thus will be able to accommodate more and more users. Consequently, there is a need to develop a validation tool for stress testing in wireless networks, which is the goal of this project.

The simulator consists of three parts: a set of RF modules to generate radio signals, one high-end digital signal processor for control and management, and an Ethernet adapter for remote control through the Internet. As to the software part, a GUI will be developed for system configuration, testing, and data analysis. The proposed simulator can generate traffic from hundreds of users with different behaviors. Various channel models will be also incorporated into the system to simulate the path loss and fading effect in realistic scenario.

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Project Title: ZigBee for Telemedicine

Abstract

Telemedicine has been emerging over the last few years leveraging the acceptance and growth of electronic health records (EHR). In Hong Kong, EHR has been used in various places (notably the Hong Kong Hospital Authority)

Vision of increased automation and data collection into EHR via telemonitoring is still at its infancy but is valued for: 1) benefits for elderly and critical care patients with cardio, diabetics and pulmonary diseases 2) use in clinical setting in admission, hospital rooms etc.

Creation of a Hong Kong version of a Telemonitoring IT solution, customized for the regional clinical process and patient preferences.

This project aims at the development of CitiCare, comprising the ZigBee module and the telemedicine sensor system, for application in homes and hospitals. CitiCare consists of a microprocessor based ZigBee communication module which establishes data transmission path between a medical device and an intelligent station (based on a notebook computer for the LAN gateway) and a basic server for trial testing to enable two-way communications of ZigBee medicine sensors. It also allows medical sensors, such as Heart Beat and Oximetry, to be recorded and analyzed by doctors and nurses. The transmitted data is presented at the server platform to patients, patients' family and medical professionals. Liaison with hospitals and private homes will be made for field testing purpose.

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Project Title: Development of a Novel Ozone Catalytic Oxidation-based Dyeing Wastewater Treatment Technology

Abstract

Considerable amount of dyeing wastewater was released from dyeing industries each year, which has caused serious environmental issues including hazardous gas emissions (VOCs, NOx, SOx) and disruption of biological balance in water bodies. Therefore, it is necessary to remove dyes from dyeing wastewater for sustainable environmental development. Presently various methods have been developed for dye removal, which can be classified into three categories: physical, chemical, and biological treating processes. Among them, adsorption and catalytic oxidation are the most commonly used technologies. However, their performances are unsatisfactory because of current adsorbents' small pore size, additional waste disposal and adsorbent regeneration problems for adsorption technology, as well as low activity of available catalysts for catalytic oxidation technology. Recently, it has been shown that ozone catalytic oxidation (OCO) is one of the ideal technologies for dye removal. The addition of ozone can boost dye oxidation rate and removal efficiency. Although promising, the performance of OCO technology still needs to be improved for widespread application. In this project, we propose a novel high efficient OCO dye removal technology with nanocatalyst/carbon aerogel composite (CAC) materials. Carbon aerogel possesses large mesopore volume and surface area, which benefits catalyst deposition and enhancement of dye transport and adsorption. All of these could greatly increase the oxidation rate of dyes and thereby the removal efficiency. To realize this technology, we will first develop a highly active and stable nanocatalyst/CAC material using the proposed cost effective method. By utilizing these materials, an OCO reactor will also be designed and fabricated, with which series of experiments is performed in order to optimize the operating conditions and reactor design, such that a cost effective OCO system with high removal efficiency is developed for the dying wastewater treatment.

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Project Title: ThumbVM: Mobile Phone Virtual Machines and Platform to Access Cloud Computing Services

Abstract

In today's world, two waves of technology are dramatically changing our daily lives: cloud computing services and mobile phones. New cloud computing services keep emerging. The typical services include webmail, content-rich data search, sharing, and storage etc. In order to use these cloud computing services, a mobile phone must have 1) the ability to install and run new applications/software; and 2) high data rate Internet connection. However, about 3.45 billion mobile phones worldwide are low-end phones. Their connectivity channels have low data rates; moreover, these phones' users cannot install and run new applications/software. Consequently, most mobile users are unable to enjoy cloud computing services due to such technology gaps.

In this project, we will design and implement a novel platform prototype, ThumbVM, to bridge these gaps. ThumbVM consists of two subsystems, Thumb-Machine and Thumb-Servers. Thumb-Machine is a virtual machine that is built into any low-end phone to enable it to install and run new applications/software. Thumb-Servers can tailor-make cloud computing services by reformatting and compressing the service contents to fit into the phone's profile and deliver the reformatted contents to phones with low data-rate channel connectivity.

The project team will also extend their ThumbVM system to high-end smartphones. Users with these phones still face fundamental challenges such as lack of local storage, stable Internet connection, or private data protection. ThumbVM addresses these challenges by introducing Personal Thumb-Servers, which have stable Internet connections, to carry out personal cloud computing services on behalf of the associated devices with support for large local storage and better data security.

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Project Title: Development of a New Construction Technology/Product for Structural Rehabilitation with FRP

Abstract

The externally bonded fiber-reinforced polymer (EB-FRP) is currently one of the most popular methods for rehabilitation (strengthening/repairing/retrofitting) of concrete structures. However, the efficacy of this method is limited by the relatively weak adhesive interface, which often causes the premature debonding failure of the FRP materials from the concrete substrate. This problem can be effectively overcome by hybrid bonded FRP system (HB-FRP) - a new technology developed by the PI, in which small mechanical fasteners are used to augment the bond. Through five years of extensive investigations on the HB-FRP technology, its effectiveness in enhancing bond for EB-FRP has been substantiated.

Considering its high effectiveness and the lack of other solutions for intermediate crack induced debonding, the proposed Hong Kong Guideline for the Strengthening of Concrete Structures Using FRP Composites makes recommendation for the use of HB-FRP for structural rehabilitation. Furthermore, a US patent has been granted in September 2010 and a Chinese patent has been filed for the new technology.

However, the new technology has been developed in laboratory so far. This I2RF project aims at further developing the technology into a standard construction technology/product. The key element in the HB-FRP technology is a special mechanical fastener that is similar to a staple. A series of standardized fasteners will be developed through the proposed project. The deliverables will not only include the hardware (fasteners) but also include the software (the installation manual, design method, catalogue and computer program). Laboratory testing, numerical simulations and analytical studies will be undertaken to achieve the objectives.

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Project Title: Flexible Touch Recognition Sheet Based on a Piezoresistive Polymer

Abstract

Nowadays, the market for flexible electronics is increasing at a great speed because of their fascinating properties for wide applications, such as having a small volume, being stretchable, foldable and robust. A flexible touch recognition system which can sense pressure and locate the position is attractive to be used as a touch pad, a flexible display, the skin for a robotic and a delicate fingerprint recognition device.

In this project, flexible and piezoresistive polymeric sheets or composites with a sandwich-structure are proposed to realize touch recognition. An efficient and facile method for the fabrication of composite sheets such as layer-by-layer deposition will be investigated. Promising technologies such as ink-jet printing suitable for mass production will also be developed through fabricating the sheet by automatic machines. The composite sheet may be integrated on a touch screen, a wearable display system and an object detection surface. Successful completion of this innovative idea will definitely lead to a new generation of cost-effective, light weight and multifunctional nanocomposite for touch recognition applications in a wide range of fields.

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Project Title: Design of Knee Support Using a Superelastic NiTi Shape Memory Alloy (SMA)

Abstract

The use of knee support brace/sleeve in patients with patellofemoral pain has increased significantly. It was reported that taping the patella into a certain position to reduce friction may be helpful. However, the patellofemoral mechanism is not simple, for the patella moves in several planes. Also, the design or materials used in the knee supports, and the mechanism by which these knee supports behave are not well understood.

Superelastic nickel-titanium (NiTi) shape memory alloy (SMA) is now a common and well known smart material with greater flexibility than any other metallic materials. The elastic strain of the NiTi SMA is approximately of 10-20 times greater than that of stainless steel.

The aim of the present investigation is to improve the support mechanism of existing knee support brace/sleeve by embedding superelastic NiTi SMA wires. The successful design of this superelastic knee brace/sleeve is able to provide sufficient support and/or resistance against the flexure of the joint by adjusting the cross section and dimension of NiTi SMA wires/rods/bars.

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