In recent years, the Government actively promotes the concept of constructing smart cities. Many companies have successively implemented the retail mode of “unmanned stores”, which aims to reduce long queues and stimulate purchase desire. In view of the “unmanned store” concept and college students’ preferences of milk tea, alumnus Ouyang Mingcong (Class of 2019, BSc in Electromechanical Engineering) and his two classmates have successfully created the “Smart Milk Tea Vending Machine” as their graduation work.

Close cooperation with University to promote innovation and technology

“We used infrared sensors on the key points of the robotic arm to ensure that the robotic arm can be accurately docked in various spatial positions. In terms of smart control, we used temperature and volume sensors to remotely monitor multiple liquid containers on an IoT platform to control raw material preservation and inventory replenishment, as well as analyzing the retail strategies,” alumnus Ouyang mentioned. In addition to automatic brewing of milk tea, customers also have the option of adding tapioca pearls, coconut gel, brown sugar, and other ingredients according to their preferences. Furthermore, the smart vending machine also accepts a variety of electronic payment methods, providing a brand-new customer experience to consumers.

Alumnus Ouyang says that the smart vending machine received unanimous praise and recognition from professors, under the guidance of Associate Professor Yang Zhixin, they decided to join the 16th ‘Challenge Cup’ National College Students’ Science Project Competition and won the first prize, which was the only team from Macao to win the first prize at this competition. He believes that the research project cannot achieve such good results without the help from the alma mater, he appreciates the support from State Key Laboratory of Internet of Things for Smart City (SKL-IOTSC) and teachers in the Department of Electromechanical Engineering.

Unforgettable residential college living experience

Alumnus Ouyang has always had a fascination with science and technology since childhood and this has developed into his interest in studying science-related majors after graduating from high school. Talking about the reasons why he chose UM, he said that he was attracted by the university’s unique residential college system, “As our college Choi Kai Yau College (CKYC) often held various musical and sports activities, I started to get in touch with African drums and Kin-Ball. Later, I even set up a Kin-Ball club with other college students to promote this sport to the primary and secondary schools in Macau,” he believes that the fruitful college living experience in UM can provide students many opportunities to meet with people from different cultural background.

Passionate about student union and association works

Alumnus Ouyang served as the Director General of the University of Macau Students’ Union (UMSU) when he was studying in UM and this experience made him realize the importance of teamwork and time management, “As I have to cooperate with other team members to organize activities, it is essential for me to pay attention to others people’s opinions and get the tasks completed on time, these skills can be applied to my career success.” After graduated from UM, alumnus Ouyang continue to join the local associations with different positions. He believes that these work experiences can provide him more opportunities to meet people from different fields and broaden his social network, which are beneficial to his career.

Message from Alumnus Ouyang

Alumnus Ouyang believes that as UM has substantial experience in promoting innovation and technology development and taking cooperation among the industry, academic and research sectors to another level, students should make use of this technology transfer and entrepreneurial support platform to enhance their research project results through the incubation process. He also suggests that they should participate in more extracurricular activities, broaden their horizons and connections, develop positive values and maximize their full potential.