ASTRI garners four awards at Hong Kong Awards for Industries for promoting re-industrialisation, safety of construction sites, 5G advancement and energy conservation

[Hong Kong, 4 March 2022] The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) garnered four awards at 2021-22 Hong Kong Awards for Industries (HKAI) for its highly efficient platform for quality control, camera system for enhancing safety of construction sites, world-leading 5G network solution, and energy-efficient direct current technology.

“The research and development team at ASTRI has been striving to solve problems for enterprises in various sectors and enhance their operating efficiency through applications of cutting-edge technology and advanced research,” said Dr Denis Yip, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI. “I appreciate very much the dedication and perseverance of my research and development (R&D) colleagues for constantly exploring the possibility of innovation. Let’s go forward for making Hong Kong and the Mainland smarter and contributing to the advancement of the Greater Bay Area as an international innovation hub.”

ASTRI won the Equipment and Machinery Design Award at HKAI for its “End-to-end AI-Powered Visual Inspection Platform for Quality Control”. Leveraging deep learning and machine vision technology, the platform can be used to train computers and applied to production lines to extensively raise the efficiency of quality inspection. It can thus save cost for the industrial sector and help promoting re-industrialisation for Hong Kong.

In addition to raising the efficiency of quality inspection, the platform can reduce manpower by 80%. Compared to manual inspection, it can increase the speed of inspection by more than 20 times and reduce the omission rate by 25%. The platform has been adopted by corporate partners of ASTRI for quality inspection of various products such as semiconductor wafers, surface mount devices, laser diodes, touch panel glass, mobile phone display glass, and optical isolators.

ASTRI has also earned the Technological Achievement Certificate of Merit at HKAI for its “Easy 5G Solution – Leading 5G Technology in the World”. It is Hong Kong’s first end-to-end 5G network solution with world-leading technologies of 5G base station, 5G MEC (Multi-access Edge Computing) and 5G Core. Its flexible design, easy deployment and relatively low cost can lower the entry barriers for small and medium enterprises to enter the 5G market and support 5G applications to roll out in Hong Kong.

ASTRI has allowed around 20 local and mainland corporations, including telecommunication service providers, to use its Easy 5G Solution via licensing. More corporations are now in discussion with ASTRI for technology transfer.

The AI-powered and intelligent vision-based monitoring system NEXCAM 360, jointly developed by ASTRI and its partner Nexplore Hong Kong Limited, was honoured with the Equipment and Machinery Design Certificate of Merit at HKAI for enhancing the safety of construction sites.

Equipped with advanced AI and optical technologies, the system is used for heavy mobile machineries in construction sites to monitor all situations in specific areas. Whenever it is inspected that collisions may occur between the machinery and nearby vehicles or passers-by, the system will automatically alert the machinery operator and passers-by to prevent accidents. NEXCAM 360 has been applied in many construction sites and in the process of further commercialization.

ASTRI received the Innovation and Creativity Certificate of Merit at HKAI for its “Energy-efficient Direct Current Power Supply Solution for Carbon Neutral Buildings”. While buildings in Hong Kong are currently powered by alternating current (AC), its research team utilised the third-generation semiconductor technologies to change the power supply to direct current (DC) instead. The system, consisting of a high-efficiency power converter and a digital DC circuit breaker, can allow electrical equipment (including household and commercial electrical appliances) to be powered by DC efficiently and safely. As a result, energy consumption can be reduced by 15% to 20%.

This system has been applied to a conference room in the premises of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department. A power equipment manufacturer in Mainland China has also adopted this technology for further commercialisation, allowing property developers in different cities to adopt it for their properties.

Supported by Hong Kong SAR Government, the HKAI aims to recognise the outstanding achievements of Hong Kong enterprises in pursuit of high technology and high value-added activities.

The “End-to-end AI-Powered Visual Inspection Platform for Quality Control” project is led by Dr Wong Ka Yiu, ASTRI’s Senior Lead Engineer of Intelligent Machine Vision, IoT and Sensors. Team members include Mr Liu Weizhi, Mr Wong Chi Shing, Dr Shu Jiayu and Mr Chui Wai Hun.

The “Easy 5G Solution – Leading 5G Technology in the World” project is led by Dr Justin Chuang, Vice President, Communications Technologies at ASTRI. Team members include Dr Eddy CHIU; Dr HAN Wei; Mr Walter Tsui; Mr Leo Wong; Dr Yuxian Zhang; Mr Ricky Liu; Ms Jia NI; Dr Yolanda Tsang; Mr Liang DONG; Dr Ying DONG; Mr Jianjun Zhang; Mr Liao Qifeng and Mr Wang Haiman.

The “NEXCAM 360” project is led by Mr Kenny Chan, Director of Emerging Sensing and Display System at ASTRI. Team members include Mr Calvin Chan, Ms Wendy Zhang, Mr Sultan Malik Saad, Mr Zhang Zhuanyun and Mr Zheng Linhan.

The “Energy-efficient Direct Current Power Supply Solution for Carbon Neutral Buildings” project is led by Dr River Li, ASTRI’s Deputy Director of Smart Power and Energy Systems, Integrated Circuits Systems. Team members include Dr Victor Cheung, Ms Li Qingchun, Mr Terence Lau, Mr Andy Yeung, Ms LI Xin and Ms Katrina Lam.

The interface of “End-to-end AI-Powered Visual Inspection Platform for Quality Control” shows that the system is inspecting the quality of a circuit board.

The Easy 5G Solution comprises 5G base station devices (upper portion of photo) and 5G Core device (lower portion of photo).

NEXCAM 360 system including AI-powered edge computing device and 360 degree monitoring camera (1st right and 1st left), Monitor (2nd left), alarm Siren (2nd right) and alerting wristband (front).

ASTRI’s DC power supply system is equipped with a high-efficiency power converter (on the left) and digital DC circuit breakers (on the top right) to allow electrical equipment to be powered by DC efficiently and safely.