CityU students tackle real-life problems with knowledge and creativity

Christina Wu

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Around 90 creative technology projects developed by students that can offer creative solutions to problems in our daily life are on display in an exhibition held by the College of Science and Engineering at City University of Hong Kong (CityU).

Among these projects, one minimises the time required to look for a taxi and the other improves the balance of a running vehicle to relieve the discomfort caused by the centripetal force, showcasing CityU students’ creativity and ability to apply their knowledge productively and meaningfully.

In the exhibition held on 30-31 May, a variety of projects closely related to our daily life will be displayed, including apps for mobile phones, architecture design, security system and electronic automobiles. The TaxiEverywhere is a mobile phone app developed by Yau Man-mo, a student from the Department of Computer Science, which is designed to help people find a taxi more quickly and conveniently.

As soon as taxi drivers in the nearby area receive a message sent by the app that somebody is looking for a cab, they can rush to the specified location to pick up the waiting passenger. Another function of the app is to show the distribution of taxis in different districts and the hottest spots for taxi services. In addition, when a taxi driver notices that many passengers are waiting at a certain spot, he/she can notify other drivers by sending a message through the app. It can thus reduce passengers’ waiting time and generate more business opportunities for taxi drivers.

“The app can also convert texts into voice messages which can help enhance road safety as drivers can stay focused on driving rather than reading a text message,” Man-mo said.

The Future Electric Automobile designed by Poon Hung-piu, a student from the Department of Electronic Engineering, is a comfortable and environment-friendly vehicle. The body and seats of the automobile are specially designed to offset the centripetal force so that passengers are not swayed when the vehicle makes a turn. As the distance between the front and the rear wheels can be automatically adjusted, the vehicle runs smoothly on the road, irrespective of whether it is moving straight or taking a turn. Also, batteries of the vehicle can be recharged by wireless technology.

Results of a test on a model of a 30cm long remote-controlled car made by Hung-piu were satisfactory. “The future electric automobiles will mostly be small cars, like taxis or cargo vans. However, there are still some technical problems that need to be solved for high voltage required for wireless recharging,” he said.

The exhibition will be held from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm on 30-31 May at the Multi-Purpose Room on the 4th floor of the Amenities Building at CityU. All exhibits are projects developed by students from different departments of the College of Science and Engineering, the Division of Building Science and Technology, and the Co-operative Education Centre. During the exhibition, project developers will explain their creative ideas and concepts to about 300 secondary school students and help them understand how technology can be used to improve our daily life.

Professor Lu Jian, Dean of the College of Science and Technology, said the wide range of topics covered by the projects showcase students’ success in applying the knowledge they have learnt. The exhibition not only provides an opportunity for CityU students to display their hard work, but also allow secondary school students to have a chance to know CityU’s education and research in person, get a deeper understanding of related disciplines, and become more interested in science and technology.

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