Industry Press Releases

Hong Kong's Robotics Industry Set for Accelerated Development after HKSTP's APAC Innovation Summit 2015 Series

Friday, Jul 03, 2015

Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation ("HKSTP") concluded the Robotics portion of its APAC Innovation Summit 2015 Series last week, an event that brought together over 600 robotics experts from 14 economies to map out the global future of robotics, and Hong Kong's role in helping to take the industry to the next level.

"The APAC Innovation Summit 2015 Series is part of HKSTP's Connect, Collaborate and Catalyse approach to continually drive innovation in Hong Kong," said Mr Allen Ma, CEO of HKSTP. "The Robotics session not only gave overseas and local talent and companies an exciting opportunity to showcase their creativity and prototypes; it also solidified Hong Kong's position as being an ideal location for developing the next generation of robotics."

"Hong Kong is set to become one of the key centres for robotics development in the Asia-Pacific Region. The city has well-developed infrastructure, from state-of-the-art research facilities that can be found at Hong Kong Science Park to having an abundance of investors or funds looking to support robotic start-ups, as well as having the right talents and strong research support from academia. The proximity to the Chinese Mainland market also makes Hong Kong an ideal launch pad for product commercialisation." Ma continued.

"To accelerate robotics development in Hong Kong hence the city's contribution to the global development in robotics, HKSTP is now working with local experts from different disciplines to form a robotics alliance to further drive the applications and development of robotics technology. We expect to see expedited progress in robotics technology in Hong Kong as the city endeavours to transform its industrial base into advanced manufacturing." Ma added.

Robotics Technology Highlights

According to the South Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the global robotics market will soar to US$100 billion by 2018. During the Summit, participants congregated to explore the technology development and market potentials of robotics in the Homecare, Edutainment, Industrial Automation and Medical fields.

Renowned academic experts taking centre stage sharing their vision during the Summit were Prof. Robert Riener from ETH Zurich, Prof. Dario Floreano from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Prof. Gordon Cheng from Technishe Universitat Munchen, Prof. Ning Xi from Michigan State University and Prof. Norman Tien from the University of Hong Kong. Industrial specialists unveiling their latest robotics applications included Mr Kay Matzner from Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (IFF), Mr Marc Papageorge from Spec Sensors and Mr Cristian Fanucci from Comau Robotics.

Phoenix, a modular robotic exoskeleton system designed for in-home use and created by Prof. Homayoon Kazerooni of University of California, Berkeley, was one of the most anticipated topics during the event. Complementing this assistive robotic system was a prosthesis created for the upcoming Cybathlon, a competition in which amputees will use cutting-edge powered devices to compete.

Hanson Robotics, a Hong Kong Science Park's partner company showcased its latest generation of AI technology during the two-day event. The company's humanoids, which feature state-of-the-art AI, from hardware to software, can interact with their environment and the people in it. The company's goal is to create AI that develops understanding and compassion towards mankind while the human race will in return gain deepened self-understanding through the data collected and analysed by humanoids.

Prototypes of drones were also featured at the Summit, including autonomous, pocket-size, bio-inspired drones with self-deploying arms and insect-inspired drones with compound eyes. The next generation solution for monitoring air pollutants using electro-chemical sensors attached to drones was also introduced at the Summit.

Explore the future of cities at 2015 AIS Series: Smart Cities

The 2015 AIS series has successfully promoted the exchange of knowledge among professionals. From the Summit survey more than 98% of the respondents said that they had established solid business contacts during the event. To enable overseas delegates and potential collaboration partners to cement their partnership, business networking meetings and company visits were arranged by HKSTP after the Summit. HKSTP will continue to steer such cross-border and cross-discipline collaborations. The next symposium under AIS 2015 Series will be on Smart Cities in late September. Stay tuned!