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UM Team Wins the Champion of "IEEE Mega-Challenge 2017: Smart Cities" Competition

IEEE RFID Banner Picture May 2017 Conference

UM Team Wins the Champion of “IEEE Mega-Challenge 2017: Smart Cities” Competition

A team formed by University of Macau recently participated in the IEEE RFID 2017 Conference and “IEEE Mega-Challenge 2017: Smart Cities” Competition. The team competed with teams from over the world, and won the Champion with the project “UHF RFID Based Gesture Control System for Smart City Transportation”.

This competition is organized by the largest academic institutions on radio frequency identification (IEEE Council on Radio Frequency, IEEE CRFID), and was held at 10th May in Phoenix, USA. The competition recruited proposals and contestants from over the world, and selected the TOP 4 to join the final competition at Phoenix. The UM team was led by Prof. Kam-Weng Tam and Dr. Keng-Weng Lao from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of University of Macau Faculty of Science and Technology, and the contestants were postgraduate student Mr. Wenhai Zhang and Miss Wan-Ian Lou, from Sacred Heart Canossian College (English Section) and trained by ECE.

Recently, many countries are putting large effort to develop and implement the idea of smart city. This competition aims to find innovations and applications in smart city using radio frequency identification (RFID) techniques. UM team submitted a proposal using radio frequency identification to help visually impaired people communicate with the bus station using simple gesture control. The proposal helps to implement smart city and smart transportation, and to provide convenience. The proposal is the first one in the world that analyzes the relationship between the energy absorption of the antenna and the passive RFID tags, and proposes the nonlinear energy absorption phenomenon of the RFID tags in vertical and horizontal position. The proposal further extends this finding and complete the addition of it to cane of visually impaired people, and let visually impaired people operate using simple gesture (horizontal or vertical). Different from existing operation system which is completed or non-ergonomic, this proposal can effectively allow visually impaired people to gain and benefit from smart city. The proposal is presented by the student Miss Wan-Ian Lou. During competition, the contestant was only allowed to present within a limited time in front of experts, and to give response to their questions. After a series of competitions, the presentation and proposal made by the UM team is appraised and impressive to all judges, and was awarded the Champion.

Although this is a university level competition, the UM team is still composed of local high school student. This all begins from the talent program, which is developed together by the University of Macau Science Promotion Center and the Macao Science and Technology Development Fund. Talent program aims at providing a platform to local high school students for continuous learning and training, so as to enhance the interest of high school students with high potential at different scientific area. This helps to enhance their innovation thinking, leadership, and broaden their view. Miss Wan-Ian Lou learns relevant skills and knowledge about RFID, and further utilize it and wins the champion of innovation concept competition. Due to her excellent performance, with support from Macao Science and Technology Development Fund and Scared Heart Canossian College (English Section), and her parents, Miss Wan-Ian Lou is invited to join the UM team, join and finally win the competition.

In this competition, the representative teams from America, China and Australia were awarded first-runner up, second-runner up and third-runner up respectively. University of Macau was also invited to present at the poster section of the IEEE RFID 2017 conference, and is included in the conference proceedings.      

Winning Team from RFID Conference

The champion team of “IEEE Mega-Challenge 2017: Smart Cities” Competition: Academics advisors Prof. Kam-Weng Tam (left), Dr. Keng-Weng Lao (right), and the contestant Miss Wan-Ian Lou (middle).

contestants from RFID Conference Competition 2017

Group photo of the UM team and teachers: academic advisors Prof. Kam-Weng Tam(left two), Dr. Keng-Weng Lao (left one) from University of Macau Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Scared Heart Canossian College (English Section) Miss Angela Mok (right one); as well as the contestants postgraduate Mr. Wenhai Zhang from University of Macau Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (right two) and Miss Wan-Ian Lou, from Scared Heart Canossian College (English Section)

By Emily Sopensky and Johnny Tem Lao