Will AI spark with Industry 4.0? The team built by the Department of Electrical Engineering under the College of Intelligent Science and Technology took first place in the industry-university collaboration (PR) category with “Weld Bead Defects Detection with AI” and won a prize of NT$40,000 by outshining 375 entries from more than 100 universities and colleges. The team also took second place and won a prize of NT$50,000 in the ASVDA category.

The awarding-winning project, “Weld Bead Defects Detection with AI,” was completed by Shang-Feng Lin, a graduate student of the Department of Electrical Engineering, under the supervision of Dr. Yuan-Wei Tseng of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Dr. Chih-Yung Chen of National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, who graduated from ISU. Welding is part of the traditional industries. When it comes to detecting welding defects, it takes a lot of time and costs money to employ professional detectors because of a lack of a standard detection procedure. In addition, it is not easy to detect and remedy defects on the spot during welding. To solve these problems, Lin integrated computer vision, AI, and neural networks with the system equipped with an industrial camera with a lighting controller and a weld bead defects detection computer. Now, the location and number of defects could be precisely identified and remedied immediately during welding, saving human power and time.

Lin met his mentor Dr. Tseng when pursuing a bachelor’s degree at ISU. Under the guidance of Dr. Tseng, Lin learned embedded systems and developed an interest in this field, thereby deciding to keep pursuing a master’s degree at ISU. Lin indicated little understanding of AI as a student majoring in image detection. He knew that, through this competition, he had opportunities to approach and communicate with relevant industries, compete with formidable peers from other universities, broaden his horizons, and put what he had learned into practice. He was willing to earn the honor for ISU for all resources and support he received at ISU. With instructions given by Dr. Tseng and professional teaching and research, he was able to apply his knowledge to the automation process and make Industry 4.0 more efficient.

Dr. Tseng said that the Department of Electrical Engineering not only provided a wide variety of professional courses which help tackle problems encountered by industries but also nurtured many cohesive alumni who often shared their experience in the workplace and groomed succeeding generations. In addition, diverse industry-university collaborative projects helped students build a connection with industries and secure employment after graduation. For example, prominent hi-tech companies started to march into the city with the s-shaped strip of semiconductors made by the Kaohsiung City Government. As a result, many job opportunities are offered to students of the Department of Electrical Engineering.

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