The bio-inspired anti-vibration exoskeleton (BIAVE) developed by Dr Xingjian Jing’s research team recently received the 1st Prize in the category of Construction Safety in the Hong Kong CIC (Construction Industry Council) Construction Innovation Award 2017. Among 17 Finalists assessed by an international selection panel, the BIAVE is a technical breakthrough effectively helping construction workers to avoid occupational diseases in operation of demolition tools.

Hand-held electric/hydraulic breakers are most commonly used portable tools in construction industry. Despite the advantages of diversified usage, hand-arm vibration hazard cannot be ignored. Prolonged exposure to the vibration may cause blood-circulation failures in the fingers, a serious condition known as white vibration finger. The damage can also include a predisposition for development of carpal tunnel syndrome. To alleviate this strain, Dr Xingjian JING of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and his team developed the Bio-Inspired Anti-Vibration Exoskeleton (BIAVE) to prevent hand-arm occupational diseases among construction workers, in a close collaboration with industrial companies inlcuding Gammon Construction and Hilti limited in the past years.

The novel BIAVE is a passive, nonlinear stiffness and damping system which can significantly suppress the vibration transmissibility from vibrating tools to operators without sacrificing demolition efficiency and increasing handling complexity. The innovative anti-vibration structure can be installed with different jackhammers or road breakers of different size and weight, and very easy to manipulate, on-site install and carry. The operation is the same as before without the anti-vibration structure, but the worker can obviously get easiness and comfort after using the BIAVE. On site validation of the performance of the exoskeleton was conducted in one of the Gammon Construction Limited’s project sites. A remarkable reduction of hand-arm vibration by 90% was demonstrated.

The enabling technology can be well applied to solve many critical engineering issues for vibration control with high performance but low cost, including vibration problems in various civil structures, railway systems, vehicle suspension, aerospace engineering, and robotic design etc. In the past one year, Dr Jing already received the US TechConnect Global Innovation Award for the innovative bio-inspired anti-vibration structure and was also awarded with the Senior Research Prize in the development of methodologies of structural dynamics for this important contribution in analysis and design of nonlinear systems, given by European Association of Structural Dynamics. The technical innovation of the BIAVE is exactly obtained by applying the nonlinear theory and methods developed by Dr XJ Jing and his team in the past 10 years. A special interview was conducted and broadcasted by Hong Kong TVB in Aug of this year.

The Construction Industry Council (CIC) encourages innovation in construction to cultivate new ideas. The CIC Innovation Award (the Award) aims to spearhead development of new concepts to enable continuous enhancements in the construction industry of Hong Kong. It also aims to recognize new technologies and scientific breakthroughs by academia and industry practitioners, as well as to arouse international awareness on achievements in research and innovation in the construction industry of Hong Kong SAR, the Mainland China and overseas.

The award ceremony was held on 15 Dec 2017, at JW Marriot Hong Kong, where Mr Matthew CHEUNG Kin-Chung, GBM, GBS, JP, Acting Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) delivered an inspiring speech.