Hong Kong’s R&D Receives International Recognition HKPC’s “InspecSpider” Wins Prestigious “Edison Award” in Innovation Field

Hong Kong’s First High-mast Lighting Inspection and Maintenance Robot Enables Intelligent Transformation in the Infrastructure Industry

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach Newswire – 19 April 2024 – The Edison Awards, known as the “Oscars of Innovation”, have announced the results for 2024. “InspecSpider”, jointly developed by HKPC and Green Light Multiplex Co. Ltd., has been awarded the Silver Award in the category of “Innovative Robotics Solution”. This achievement solidifies HKPC’s position as a world-class R&D endeavor, following the success of winning one Silver and two Bronze Awards at the 2023 Edison Awards. “InspecSpider” uses advanced technologies such as robotics, wireless communication, and testing technology to promote the intelligence and digitisation of inspection and maintenance in traditional infrastructure industries, greatly improving the accuracy, efficiency and safety of inspection while reducing the costs associated with aloft work. This innovative R&D stood out from nearly 400 competing technologies and products vying for recognition at the Edison Awards this year. Its impact has resonated internationally, alongside the likes of Abbott, Adobe, Dow, Dupont, Lenovo, LG Innotek, and other research institutions and enterprises. It serves as a testament to the unwavering commitment to excellence and globally recognised research standards upheld by the HKPC team.

“InspecSpider”, jointly developed by HKPC and Green Light Multiplex Co. Ltd., wins the Silver Award of the 2024 Edison Awards in the category of “Innovative Robotics Solution”. “InspecSpider” uses core technologies such as robotics, wireless communication, artificial intelligence image analysis and testing technology to promote the intelligence and digitisation of inspection and maintenance in traditional infrastructure industries, greatly improving the accuracy, efficiency and safety of inspection.

“InspecSpider” is the first innovative robotic solution in Hong Kong for the detection and maintenance of rust in high
mast lightings. It can be applied in various infrastructure scenarios such as airports, bridges, stadiums, highways, and tunnels. If the rust on high-mast lighting is not promptly addressed, it can lead to significant threats to the safety of vehicles and pedestrians, such as metal surface peeling and even collapse of the light poles. The robot’s flexible operating mode eliminates the need for workers to work aloft, replaces manual inspection work, and simplifies the road closure application process required for traditional manual inspection, minimised the economic impact and inconvenience caused by road closure. The “InspecSpider” has been field-tested at the Hong Kong International Airport, and overseas airport is also interested in introducing the technology and commencing technology docking. The core technologies used in the R&D project are expected to be used in other scenarios in the future, including water canals, bridges, nuclear power plants, etc., replacing manual inspection and enabling the upgrading and transformation of more facility-related traditional industries. The “InspecSpider” will also be exhibited for the first time in HKPC’s upcoming “AI Applications Hall” to strengthen exchanges with industry, academia, and research sectors and accelerate the commercialisation of more R&D achievements.

Hon Sunny TAN, Chairman of HKPC, said, “We are honoured that HKPC’s groundbreaking R&D ‘InspecSpider’ has been awarded the Silver Award of the 2024 Edison Awards. This marks the second consecutive year that HKPC has been acknowledged by this esteemed global scientific research award. HKPC’s young and energetic R&D team, who dare to think and experiment, work closely with industry partners to continuously improve, and optimise, and have successfully developed this ‘InspecSpider’, which is a successful example of HKPC as a leading market-oriented R&D institution, supporting the upgrading and transformation of traditional industries. It stands as a shining example of HKPC’s commitment to fostering a conducive environment for young R&D talents from Hong Kong, the Mainland, and overseas. By providing an excellent platform for these talents to unleash their creativity and technical expertise, and by encouraging cross-technology and cross-team collaboration, HKPC addresses industry pain points and delivers impactful solutions. Moving forward, HKPC remains dedicated to deepening collaboration with the country and the HKSAR Government to accelerate the development of new productive forces, promote new industrialisation, and achieve high-quality development. Based on the four key elements of innovation, high quality, green and talent, HKPC will leverage advanced technology, future talent training, and Government funding schemes to help more industries move towards high-end, intelligent, and green. It will deepen cooperation and exchanges with top scientific research institutions at home and abroad, nurture more I&T talents, and fully support Hong Kong in becoming an international innovation and technology centre and a smart city.”

The “InspecSpider” can climb vertically on hexagonal-shaped high mast with height up to 35 metres above the ground and use a 360-degree camera to inspect and record the rust condition of the high mast. Engineers can inspect on the ground by wire and wireless control and the results of the analysis will be displayed in a central monitoring system. In addition, the “InspecSpider” has taken a belt and braces approach, if the wireless network connection is not strong enough in the air and the robot cannot receive the engineer’s command from the ground, the robot has a backup transmission system to return to the ground smoothly. At present, HKPC is actively developing “InspecSpider 2.0” and developing an artificial intelligence (AI) system based on the first generation of “InspecSpider” to determine the rust condition of high mast and automatically score them. The photographs and videos will be processed and produced a panorama revealing the complete rust condition of the high mast, and the analysis will include the specific size of the corrosion and the percentage of the corrosion area, so that the industry can take corresponding maintenance measures according to the level of rust.

The Edison Awards is first held in 1987. It is one of the world’s most prestigious science and technology awards to recognise outstanding scientific research achievements and products with originality, creativity and advanced technology. The awards are judged by Edison Universe, a non-profit organization, dedicated to promoting innovative thinking. Past award winners include Genentech, General Electric, General Motors, GoPro, IBM, NVIDIA and others.

For more information about the 2024 Edison Awards, please visit: https://edisonawards.com/

1. During the R&D process of producing the “InspecSpider”, the HKPC team has continuously improved and perfected the technology from design to production. After countless attempts and reliability tests, the “InspecSpider” has been successfully developed, turning ideas into actual scientific research applications, demonstrating HKPC’s spirit as a core driver and promoter of Hong Kong’s development of new productivity forces and new industrialisation.

Hashtag: #HongKongProductivityCouncil

The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

About Hong Kong Productivity Council

The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) is a multi-disciplinary organisation established by statute in 1967, to promote productivity excellence through relentless drive of world-class advanced technologies and innovative service offerings to support Hong Kong enterprises. As a market-driven applied research and development organisation, HKPC promotes new industrialisation in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area and facilitates the development of new productive forces, leveraging innovation and technology (I&T), as well as bolstering Hong Kong to be an international innovation and technology centre and a smart city. The Council offers comprehensive innovative solutions for Hong Kong industries and enterprises, enabling them to achieve resources and productivity utilisation, effectiveness and cost reduction, and enhance competitiveness in both local and overseas marketplace. The Council partners and collaborates with local industries and enterprises and world-class R&D institutes to develop applied technology solutions for value creation. It also benefits a variety of sectors through product innovation, technology transfer, and commercialisation, bringing enormous business opportunities ahead. HKPC’s world-class R&D achievements have been widely recognised over the years, winning an array of local and overseas accolades.

In addition, HKPC offers SMEs and startups immediate and timely assistance in coping with the ever-changing business environment, and strengthens talent nurturing and Hong Kong’s competitiveness with FutureSkills training for enterprises and academia to enhance digital capabilities and STEM competencies.

For more information, please visit HKPC’s website: www.hkpc.org/en.