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2018 GIX Innovation Competition winners unveiled in Beijing



Contestants, judges and guests of the final round of the 2018 GIX Innovation Competition pose in Tsinghua TusPark, Beijing, on Aug 26.

The final round of the 2018 Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) Innovation Competition, a partnership between Tsinghua University and the University of Washington (UW), took place in Beijing on August 26. 

The competition called on university students and young innovators to showcase their original "connected devices" projects, covering areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), wearable devices, intelligent hardware, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), ubiquitous computing, intelligent sensors, natural interactions and related applications in various fields.

Team Mooyee Technology won the first prize for its Air Faucet System. The second prizes went to three projects—DEXMO, Small Cluster Underwater Robot Design with Variable Pitch Propeller and FocuSTAR. Aegis AI, RoboDog and other five teams ranked in the third place.


Beijing's Mooyee Technology team at the Awards Ceremony on Aug 26

"First launched in 2016, GIX has been stimulating passion for technological innovation among young talents across the world and attracting ambitious innovators to join our team-based programs," said Yang Bin, vice-president of Tsinghua University, when addressing the final.

"Starting on March 28, students from more than 50 top universities around the world applied for the competition in future-forward fields with fintech added as a new track." Yang added.

Twenty teams from countries including the US, China, and South Korea entered the final competition following five semi-finals held online and offline in four cities—Beijing, Shenzhen, Xi'an, and Seattle. 


Yang Bin, vice-president of Tsinghua University, delivers a speech before the final round of the GIX Innovation Competition in TusPark, Beijing on Aug 26.

Many of the final contestants focused on both practical issues and industry trends. They designed and developed impactful solutions in rising sectors, including education, environmental protection, healthcare, transportation, fitness, entertainment, information accessibility and more.


Contestants have face-to-face discussions with judges and visitors during the competition road show on Aug 26

The winning Air Faucet System upends traditional methods of water utilization with an independently developed low-pressure high-efficiency atomization device. It can save water at a rate of up to 90 percent while still providing high-quality cleaning and a comfortable user experience.

One of the second-place teams, from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, created the FocuSTAR project—a positioning system used for autonomous driving on public roads. The system allows vehicles to dissolve and receive location information for themselves and other vehicles instantly, with unlimited system capacity.

Another second-place team introduced DEXMO, a light full hand force feedback exoskeleton, which captures all hand motions and provides virtual force feedback. It can be used in various scenarios, including virtual training situations for operating theaters, nuclear power plants, or space stations, as well as virtual assembly lines, medical rehabilitation, or social VR and gaming.


DEXMO, a light full hand force feedback exoskeleton, is displayed during the road show in TusPark on Aug 26.

Third-prize winner, the team from Chicago and Seattle also brought their project Aegis AI, which employs computer vision to automatically detects guns in existing security camera feeds, then notifies the police and provides early warnings to building occupants. With further development, the design could greatly reduce gun violence in many countries.

"You will see innovations are happening during the competition," said Deng Feng, founder of Northern Light Venture Capital as a judge of the competition. "I am very glad to see that innovators are pioneering in the right direction," he said.


A judge asks a question during the road show. 

The competition is held annually and organized by GIX at Tsinghua University. 

"In just its third year, this competition attracted entries from more than 400 teams across an amazing breadth of projects, including education, environmental protection, healthcare, transportation, fitness, and entertainment leveraging AI, AR/VR, robotics, facial recognition and computer vision among other emerging technologies. Seeing this range of ideas from very talented students from all over the world makes us excited about the future of the world," said Vikram Jandhyala, vice-president of the University of Washington.

"GIX is developing talent that will address future global challenges in technology disruption, workforce, environment, and health, etc. GIX will become a good model for global collaboration that we need more of," said Vikram.


Vikram Jandhyala, vice-president of the University of Washington, delivers a closing speech in TusPark, Beijing, on Aug 26.