LU wins three awards at Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions
30 Mar 2022
Three humanitarian innovations led by researchers and students from the Lingnan Entrepreneurship Initiative (LEI) of Lingnan University (LU) have received a Gold Medal and two Silver Medals at the 48th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva.
The three award-winning projects are:
Gold Medal: CREW Wheelchair
CREW is a power-assisted wheelchair control system designed for caregivers. Its force-sensing handles provide caregivers motorised assistance to keep the wheelchair moving smoothly, safely and comfortably.
The CREW wheelchair brings the benefits of powered wheelchairs to those who cannot control them independently, and their caregivers. As populations are ageing around the world, more elders are incapable of controlling motorised wheelchairs. At the same time, today’s caregivers are often elderly themselves, who may find pushing a traditional wheelchair difficult. The control and safety features of CREW are designed to boost the team’s confidence and sense of control, encouraging them to lead fuller lives and go farther.
The research team won the Gold award at the international MUSE Design Awards, and has already filed patent applications in Hong Kong and Mainland for this ground-breaking system.
Silver Medal: 12° Mask (transparent face mask)
Everyone has to wear a mask to curb the spread of COVID-19. However, most transparent face masks available fail to meet protection standards, and that semi-transparent face masks with anti-pathogen properties reflect and fog up. The 12° Mask is a transparent mask designed to safeguard health and offer a panoramic view of the wearer’s facial expressions and other visual cues. The mask exemplifies the humanitarian technology approach since the design principle prioritises the needs of neglected communities such as hearing-impaired students with special education needs.
The research team hopes that the mask could provide comfort and clarity for professionals who must wear a mask during long duty hours. Service providers, such as doctors, counsellors, police, and social workers, rely on verbal and facial expressions to ensure their messages are delivered as accurately as possible because miscommunications could have drastic impacts on service users. A licensing agreement is also established for international sales.
Silver Medal: FlashGreen
FlashGreen, founded by a Lingnan alumnus with two partners, is a social enterprise that helps recycle residual stocks of short-dated, best before date foods, and offers them for sale in vending machines with a companion mobile app. By combining technology and sustainability, FlashGreen provides a smart, sensible way to reduce unnecessary waste by challenging the concept of the best-before date, and encouraging responsible consumption. Features such as product reservation, automated price adjustment, and discount functions have been added to the traditional retail vending machine with IoT and real-time telemetry technologies.
The International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva is the most significant annual event in the world devoted exclusively to inventions. Prof Albert Ko, Director of the LEI, said, “We are most honoured to receive prestigious awards in recognition of LU’s outstanding performance in the International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva 2022. Our mission is to combine innovative ideas with mature technology to develop affordable tools to improve the well-being and life of people. We will continue to drive the development of humanitarian technology for the betterment of humankind in the future.”