Biofilms, which can occur in various places in the human body, can cause a range of infections. Made of microbes encased in a matrix that makes them resistant to external threats, they are notoriously hard to shift, especially when they accumulate on the surface of medical implants. New devices called “magnetic hydrogel micromachines”, developed by a CUHK team, are formidable weapons to resist and overcome the biofilm menace. It can be controlled by magnets, to precisely target the biofilm for removal.
Wearable artificial muscles offer the hope of recovery for people with devastating injuries and medical conditions. With ExoMuscle, Professor Raymond Tong Kai-yu from CUHK has come up with the most effective artificial muscle yet developed: twice as strong as human muscles, it could potentially be used to create a wearable exoskeleton, like something worn by super villain Doctor Octopus. ExoMuscle interprets signals from the muscles and brain through a unique interface that connects them with the bionic muscle.
Can you imagine how hot you would feel when a heatwave comes if you lived in a tin-sheet house? It would be like living in a steam oven. Heatwaves are roasting the world, smashing records with unrelenting severity. A CUHK research team has developed a high-performance radiative cooling paint based on recycled glass, a forgotten resource in our communities. It can potentially provide buildings with supplemental cooling without consuming energy.
Take a quick look at the TJ-FlyingFish, and you might think it’s a typical quadcopter drone. Watch it in action, though, and you’ll discover it’s an amphibious drone, equally at home in the air and under the water, is capable of moving seamlessly between the two, and can operate entirely autonomously in both environments. The new drone, jointly invented by CUHK Professor Ben M. Chen and his research team, promises to revolutionise a range of tasks, from surveying to remote sensing to search and rescue.
Venom may be one of Spider-Man’s greatest nemeses, but the alien symbiote who can stretch and deform itself has inspired scientists to create soft robots that could transform numerous aspects of medical care, from targeted drug delivery to minimally invasive surgery. Professor Zhang Li from CUHK decided to channel Venom’s superpowers into building soft robots based on ferrofluids and a new silicone elastomer, which can be deformed in ever more complex ways, making them capable of a growing range of functions within the human body.
These little white cars might look like toys at first glance. In fact, they are smart cars built with artificial intelligence (AI) features that can track human faces and colours. Developed by a research team from the CUHK Jockey Club AI for the Future Project, the CUHK-JC iCar (iCar) gives students an opportunity to apply AI theory. The iCar is a simple, accessible device where students are in the “driver’s seat” via their ability to assemble with the attached mechanical tools and control the vehicle with simple programming, which gives students a unique way of combining study with play in the classroom.
What can you do with tape? Seal your package or to bind an injury? The uses of tape go much further than that in the hands of a CUHK Engineering professor who has devoted himself to medical robotics. By simply tattooing magnetised patterns onto tapes and using a magnetic field, a highly versatile “origami” soft robot is miraculously brought into being that can morph into a variety of 3D shapes - and behold, they have a future in medical and industrial applications.
In a flower garden, we have army of honeybees that swarm to defend enemies; in a tortuous human lumen, we have army of microrobots that swarm to carry drugs that attack maladies. CUHK engineering professors have devised an avant-garde AI system that lets these microrobots navigate like bees and change shape inside complex environments like human bodies.
Life in an extremely cold region without electricity for heating and lighting can be a miserable experience, especially as existing battery technologies cannot retain a reliable power supply in such cold weather. When winter storms sweep across cities, the power crisis they cause can leave millions of people without electricity. CUHK researchers are trying to fix that with a new technology that promises to bring stability to electrical storage, even at very low temperatures.
Is this Spiderman’s foe Venom in real life? Video of a slimy, mucus-like extraterrestrial creature has gone viral online. It could neither invade nor kill a human. It is in fact a soft miniature robot invented by CUHK Faculty of Engineering that performs medical tasks inside human body. This viscous robot behaves like an octopus to enclose and grasp small objects and moves through the narrows of the human digestive system under magnetic control. Now further tests are needed to ensure that the body will be absolutely protected, leading to human tests in five years.
When one has a mouth but cannot speak, it is a dreadful loss. But now AI can change that destiny. A CUHK Engineering professor has taken AI technology to another level to give a voice to those who are losing the power to communicate, by deploying text-to-speech technology and letting AI learn as much as possible about how one speaks, to preserve verbal identity after disease has taken the voice.
Gold is anti-inflammatory and has applications in the fields of jewelry, aviation, chemistry, and electronic circuit boards. Now researchers from CUHK Engineering have struck gold for psoriasis sufferers by developing a self-therapeutic gold nanoparticle that does not contain steroids and vitamin D analogs but has a similar effect, as proven in mice models. It was demonstrated that the gold nanoparticle could enter skin epidermal cells without causing hair loss and skin wrinkling.
loT is the key to building a smart city, in which sensors act as eyes and ears of the system to collect and convert physical variables into electronic signals for analysis. A self-powered wireless sensing e-sticker, thin as two human hairs, developed by CUHK, converts the power of a finger touch into electromagnetic wave signals to advance the smart sensing technology. Another discovery is a TENG with high power output to better harvest mechanical and biomechanical motion.
Surgical robots are commonly used in minimally invasive surgery and their accuracy holds the key to a successful operation. CUHK researchers have developed a world-first AI system with a novel deep learning method to optimise the gesture recognition of robots. The intelligent cognitive assistance not only allows robots to operate with greater precision for a safer surgery, but also wins patients’ trust in robotic surgery.
It is a tough task for an able bodied person to learn the violin, let alone someone without an arm. A multi-functional prosthetic with convertible adaptor developed by CUHK researchers gave hope to Roy who had lost his left arm and took him onto the stage in a concert given by a thousand-player orchestra, where he demonstrated his dream playing wonderful pieces of music.
The ocean is the largest energy treasure house on earth, covering approximately 70% of its surface. Harvesting this is called “blue energy” and it’s a solution to energy crisis. However, given its complex technology and high cost, electricity generation from blue energy isn’t easy. A CUHK research team has recently developed a high-efficacy generator for harnessing ocean wave energy, which turns a new page.
Distinguished as safe, powerful and flexible but plagued by a short life, sulphur-based redox flow batteries have been given a boost to their duration by CUHK engineers, ending a long unsolved challenge. They have designed a novel membrane, keeping the battery’s two electrodes apart and reducing the loss of active materials, so ramping up its lifetime, stability, and its usefulness in grid-scale energy storage devices.
Architects always have an abundance of design ideas, yet in the real world, there are limitations such as workers’ techniques, time and building costs. A professor from CUHK shows how cable-driven robots transform non-standard and artistic designs into precise executions and eventually help realise the endless possibilities for design concepts.
Smart wearable technology is evolving into a new form. Powering a smartwatch through solar power could be one the ways but how could it be sustainable under a lengthy cloudy sunless day? Researchers in CUHK recently found that you can be in control of your watch’s energy and sustain its battery endurance through walking and the swinging of your arms.
T-rays radiation does but, far from annoying, it’s a new, safe and easy boon to diagnosing skin disease. With your arm on the imaging window of T-ray equipment, T-rays get under the skin to measure thickness and hydration. A novel method of analysis from CUHK and Warwick University, T-rays improve treatment of eczema, psoriasis and skin cancer.
We all know what LEGO is—it is a timeless, fun and educational toy for a kid, one he or she played with as a child, and now probably steps on when walking around the house as a parent. But the charm of LEGO knows no bounds. In fact, more and more adults nowadays show an increased interest in tinkering with these brightly hued bricks.
High energy batteries, in cell phones and laptops, can blow up in your face. Research around that problem surfaced with a solution from a surprisingly different field. It is a soluble polymer used in skin cream that can also stabilise battery output. Soon, putting a phone on your cheek will be as gentle on your skin as moisturizer.
You get lost on a mountain and your cell phone battery goes flat. How do you get help? You help yourself by walking, wearing a featherweight biomechanical device which harvests energy from the movement of your body. CUHK Professor Wei Hsin Liao explains how a moving knee can generate electricity.
There is a new way to deploy the right microrobotic swarm into a bodily fluid to fight illness. A research group of the Faculty of Engineering has categorised magnetic swarming microrobots and devised ways to select the one that navigates best in a bio-fluid, taking treatment into the vascular system and other confined regions of the body.