A team of three engineering students from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) won the championship in the 2012 Intel Cup Undergraduate Electronic Design Contest - Embedded System Design Invitational Contest held in Shanghai, defeating 159 teams from 71 universities from 11 countries/cities, including Peking, Tsinghua, Fudan and NUS with their innovative design 'Chinese Sign Language Recognition and Translation System' for deaf mutes. CUHK won the Intel Cup in 2006 and was the first university in Hong Kong to receive the award; it is also the first university to have won the contest twice.

Under the supervision of Prof. Xu Qiang, Chan Chun Kit, Liu Rui Feng and Shu Jianfei from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering developed the 'Chinese Sign Language Recognition and Translation System' with Microsoft Kinect. It records the 3D positions of hand gestures in sign language, recognizes them with learning-based techniques, and then translates them into recognized forms such as words and sound. Over 90% of both recognized and translated words and phrases in sign language are proven accurate after many careful reviews. With the system, a barrier-free environment can be provided to people with disabilities to communicate naturally with others. The additional hand sign learning game installed in the system adds a lot of fun and ease for sign language learners and more importantly promotes the use of hand signs in the community.

Chan Chun Kit said, 'Sign language is a major means of communication for deaf mutes, but the current related interpretation service and training available in Hong Kong are not that inclusive. Our team is therefore working on their daily needs and adopting advanced technology to offer assistance particularly to deaf-mute children who may not have good education opportunities due to the lack of resources. We hope our project can facilitate their natural communication with all and enable them to reintegrate into society, and lead a happy and healthy life. We studied research papers about hand-sign communication for two months in preparation for the contest, and actively sought valuable advice from our supervisor and senior classmates who had taken part in the same contest.'

Prof. Xu Qiang, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, highly appreciated the outstanding performance of the CUHK team. 'The team members are in different years of study and only teamed up for the first time. But they demonstrated great potential for innovation, as well as team spirit. We are very proud of their achievement. This is also the second time our students have won the Intel Cup in the contest since 2006,' Professor Xu said.

About Intel Cup Undergraduate Electronic Design Contest - Embedded System Design Invitational Contest
Launched in 2002, the contest is a biennial international science and technology competition initiated by the Higher Education Department of Chinese Ministry of Education together with Personnel and Education Department of Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, hosted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and is solely sponsored by Intel Corporation. It aims at fostering innovative thinking and practical skills amongst undergraduate students. Participating teams this year are required to design a working system based on an assigned Intel embedded platform, and complete the production, testing and reporting.