Building Blocks with AI
Thanks to technologies developed by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the power of AI, a system that can automatically generate a mini-figure LEGO model from an image has been developed.
Building blocks like LEGO are one of the world’s most popular toys. Loved by kids and adults across generations, there’s no end to what you can create, from impressive cityscapes to intricate models. Now, thanks to technologies developed by CUHK and the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), you may soon be able to transform a picture of yourself into a ready-to-build LEGO figurine.
LEGO-building AI System Wins Competition
Hao Xu, a PhD student from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at CUHK, and his teammates recently won the AI-focused DeeCamp 2020 competition. Beating out 37 other entries from around the world, Xu’s team developed an AI system that can automatically generate a mini-figure LEGO model from an image. Users simply upload a photo of their face and the AI system will automatically generate a brick model according to the input photo, as well as the proper instruction for assembly.
The DeeCamp is a master class and competition that aims to inspire top AI talent from all over the world. Over 200 participants took part in the 2020 programme to learn from world-class AI experts, undertake lectures and project practice, and develop their skills and apply their knowledge to the challenges and opportunities arising from the development of AI. At the competition, participants were separated into 37 teams and tasked with developing projects that use AI to solve real-world problems in five different fields, including medicine, business, autonomous vehicles, education, and innovation.
PhD student, Hao Xu, wins a global AI student competition.
Classroom Learning Into Innovation
Impressed by their innovation, the panel of judges selected Hao Xu’s team as double prize winners. The panel noted how their entry created a strong desire to buy. Receiving 100,000 RMB prize money, the team has commercialised their automatic building block generation algorithm and started selling the products in the market.
Xu’s entry drew on his study of the computational design of assembly blocks at CUHK under the supervision of Professor Chi-wing Fu from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. They have together developed a sophisticated computational algorithm that can automatically compute and construct LEGO Technic designs, the first of its kind in the world.