Message from the director

Prof. Yunhui LIU

Welcome to the Hong Kong Centre for Logistics Robotics (the Centre), an InnoCentre jointly established in May 2020 by The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and University of California, Berkeley (UCB) . Our Research and Development (R&D) is focused on robotics and AI technologies with direct applications in logistics industry, one of the most important economic pillars in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is one of the world’s major logistics hubs but is now facing great challenges to maintain its leading position.

The challenges faced include worsening manpower shortage, soaring manpower costs, growing demands for operational efficiency and safety, etc. These problems cannot be solved by traditional approaches, but innovative technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation. The automation of (i) delivery tasks being carried out by logistics vehicles and (ii) manipulation tasks in warehouses such as load/unloading, packaging, and sorting are in an urgent demand in the industry. At the Centre, we are running four research programs: robust sensing and perception, human-robot collaboration, unmanned logistics vehicles, and smart manipulation robots to address different technological aspects of logistics robots. The target applications include cargo transportation at airports and container terminals, automation inside and outside warehouses. We aim to develop cutting-edge technologies for “future of work” as well as innovative solutions to “pressing problems” in the logistics industry.

Close collaboration with industrial stakeholders is essential to the development of translational technologies. In establishing the Centre, we really appreciate the staunch support of the industrial collaborators including Alibaba, HACTL, Lenovo, DHL, Cathay Pacific Airways, COSCO Shipping, etc. We will closely work together with the industrial partners in identifying the needs, technology development, on-site testing and trial uses, etc. We are certainly happy to form more new collaborations with companies interested in our research and technologies.

The research outputs will be commercialized for the advancement of technology level in the industry, the contribution to economic development, and the creation of societal impacts. We strongly encourage our research teams to build start-ups for technology commercialization. A number of venture capitals are closely collaborating with the Centre in angel investment and incubation, during which a large pool of talents for technology commercialization and industrialization will be nurtured, which is vital for Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area, and China. We look forward to collaborating with more venture capitals.

I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as the Director of the Centre and I look forward to working with talented colleagues in pursuing continued excellence in the R&D of novel technologies.