HKUST Hosts Underwater Robot Competition for Junior Students and Students with Special Education Needs


The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is committed to the research and construction of robots and autonomous systems, in order to provide primary and secondary school students a chance to participate in the making of robots, HKUST invited students from Primary 4 to Form 3, as well as those with special education needs (SEN), to join an underwater robot competition at HKUST. A team of female students and a team with SEN members won the champion and the first runner-up.

HKUST Center for Global and Community Engagement, which co-organized the competition with School of Engineering, School of Business and Management, School of Science, School of Humanities and Social Science and Interdisciplinary Programs Office, recruited 27 student mentors to lead a 2-day workshop for 18 participating teams, teaching them basic skills in robot making.

The winner of the competition was a team of six female Form 2 students from Our Lady of the Rosary College, whose leading teacher Kam-fung Yu said they encountered quite some obstacles during the initial round of their first robot making competition. “They were not strong enough to tighten the screws, and the robot was out of balance in the water,” Mr Yu recalled. However, the team eventually gained the full marks of 500 points after repeated trial and error and making careful observation.

The first runner-up – a six-member team from Hong Kong and Kowloon Chiu Chow Public Association Secondary School (CCPASS), including one with hearing impairment and another with learning disabilities, gained only 185 points in the first round. However, they were persistent and reacted by modifying their robot’s design as well as rethinking their strategies, and ended up with an excellent score of 495 points.

Prof Tim Woo, Director of The Center for Global and Community Engagement, said the two teams are truly remarkable, “Neither were leading players in the first round, but they were calm and determined and they played as a team, which eventually brought them success.”

“HKUST has been committed to the research and building of robots and autonomous systems, we wish to spark junior students’ interest in science and mathematics through interesting activities such as robot making competition. This event has not only offered the contestants a stimulating learning experience, but has also given our University’s students an opportunity to serve the community.” Other award winners include Ebenezer School, Pui Ching Middle School, Yan Oi Tong Tin Ka Ping Secondary School and G.T. (Ellen Yeung) College.

CCPASS Counselling Mistress Wing-yee Mok thanks HKUST’s student mentors for their diligent guidance, adding that the competition has helped boost their students’ confidence. “Some participating students were rather shy, but now they learnt the importance of coordination, the award is a big encouragement to them,” Ms Mok said.

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 (From left front) Mr Kam-fung Yu, Prof Tim Woo, Mr Mo-sze Lee; (back) student mentor and the two winning teams.
(From left front) Mr Kam-fung Yu, Prof Tim Woo, Mr Mo-sze Lee; (back) student mentor and the two winning teams.
 A student-made robot is scoring the goal.
A student-made robot is scoring the goal.