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08 / 06 / 2017
Disney Donates HK$356,000 to HKUST Students to Support “Inventions for the Community”
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Building on the success of the first "Disney-HKUST Grant for Technology and Well-Being" in 2016, The Walt Disney Company (Hong Kong) ("Disney") once again joins forces with HKUST School of Engineering to encourage creative inventions designed to give back to the local community in Hong Kong. This year, Disney has committed a total grant of HK$356,000 to fund the development of the creative yet affordable projects that aim to enhance the daily lives of physically challenged individuals and improve the health and well-being of the general public.  

To help the project teams of final-year students draw inspiration for their "Inventions for the Community," Kelly Willis, Creative Development Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering from Hong Kong Disneyland and Belle Cheng, Creative Manager, Disney Consumer Products, shared with them how Disney builds on the company's legacy of storytelling to pioneer new forms of entertainment and new products. During the course of developing the prototypes, the project teams also received feedback and mentoring from a Walt Disney Imagineer via one-on-one coaching sessions.  

The three distinguished projects that embrace the spirit of "Star Wars" have been selected:

#1: A soft robotic hand that is inspired by Luke Skywalker's mechanical hand installed to replace the damaged organic arm after his duel with Darth Vader on Cloud City. This safe and cost-effective soft robotic hand could potentially replace conventional prosthetics and enhance human interaction. 

#2: The brain-computer interface (BCI) for wheelchair control is a system used to simulate the ubiquitous power in the Star Wars – the "force" – to control and manipulate objects. With the BCI system, users suffering from mobility impairments can control their wheelchair simply with the power of their mind.

#3: The gas sensor system is developed with an aim to help people improve their living in crowded cities in real world similar to the impoverished places in Star War such as Tatooine. This low-cost gas sensor system for H. pylori bacteria detection is designed to diagnose people infected with Helicobacter pylori in developing countries such as Cambodia.

Meet the grant recipients and learn more about their funded projects:

#1: Soft Robotic Hand (https://youtu.be/B4SkMHB5caw) [Transcript]

#2: Brain-Computer Interface for Wheelchair Control (https://youtu.be/T4LBag1NzhI) [Transcript]

#3: Gas Sensor for H. pylori Bacteria Detection (https://youtu.be/m94gJU2E4U4) [Transcript]

"Disney is committed to strengthening the community and inspiring others to think creatively," said Kerwin Lo, General Manager, The Walt Disney Company Hong Kong.  "By providing the HKUST students with tools and resources, we enable them to harness their creativity and come up with ideas that could potentially enhance the lives of people in the community and shape our collective future."

"We are very grateful for Disney's support. The grant offers a precious learning experience for our students, not only inspiring their innovative thinking for solutions, but also encouraging them to create value from knowledge for the betterment of society. The school will continue to fulfill the vision of providing holistic education to nurture global citizens and future leaders," said Professor Tim Kwang Ting Cheng, Dean of Engineering, HKUST.

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" will hit the theaters this December.

About Disney Corporate Citizenship

Disney believes that there are no limits to where creativity and imagination can take us. In our stories, we find examples of those inspired to envision a brighter tomorrow and the aspiration to make that dream come true. Our unique approach to citizenship is rooted in the entertainment that we create and the special relationship we have with kids and families around the world. Our assets and our reach provide us with an opportunity to inspire audiences everywhere to join us in taking action and caring for the world we share. This opportunity to inspire guides our work across citizenship. It is at the core of our citizenship mission to conduct our business and create products in an ethical manner and promote the happiness and well-being of kids and families everywhere.  Website: https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/citizenship 

About HKUST School of Engineering

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) (www.ust.hk) is a world-class research university excelling in science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. The School of Engineering (SENG) is the largest of the five schools within HKUST. SENG is committed to providing holistic education and nurturing well-rounded graduates with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. It has a strong international reputation and consistently ranks high among major engineering schools around the world. In the 2016-17 Times Higher Education World University Rankings in Engineering and Technology, HKUST was ranked No.19 globally. In the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017 – Engineering and Technology, HKUST was ranked No.15.


Disney Corporate Communications: Helen Leung, +852 2203-2197, helen.leung@disney.com

HKUST School of Engineering: Kate Tam, +852 2358-8446, egkate@ust.hk