Prof. Albert Ko

Prof. Albert is an experienced engineer, accomplished entrepreneur, innovative educator and a well-respected humanitarian worker. His research interests include artificial intelligence, robot-assisted search and rescue systems, humanitarian technologies and rural water and sanitation systems.

Prof. Albert is a professional engineer specialized in artificial intelligence and robotic systems. His research interest includes robot-assisted search and rescue systems, emergency engineering, appropriate technologies for humanitarian relief, and emergency water and sanitation systems

In 2009, Albert co-founded INSIGHT Robotics with 2 partners to develop intelligent robots for urban search and rescue using control algorithms developed during his PhD years. Since starting, the company has grown from 3 founders to over 50 staff from 12 nationalities in 5 offices worldwide and raised over US$7 million in capital. In China alone, over 70 robots are currently operating in 7 provinces. The company had received numerous awards locally and globally, including ICT award in HK and Global Entrepreneur of the Year by IBM in 2014 for its cutting edge technology and environmental contributions.

Outside of the laboratory, Albert is an experienced humanitarian relief worker. He was the first Hong Kong engineer to join Medecins Sans Frontiers’ field missions since 2000. He volunteered in South Sudan during the civil war, Uzbekistan during 911, Indonesia during the South Asia Tsunami, Pakistan during the Kashmir earthquake, and Sichuan during the Wenchuan earthquake. Albert also served as board members and advisors for major international relief organizations, including MSF and Red Cross. Throughout his career, Albert travelled to over 100 cities in 25 countries.



PhD in Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation Engineering, The University of Hong Kong (2006)
MPhil in Artificial Intelligence, The University of Hong Kong (2003)
Short Course, Entrepreneurship for Faculty Growth Program, Bobson College (2019-Present)
Short Course, Physical Computing, University of the Arts London (2019-Present), Human-centered Design, Stanford University
Short Course, Design for a Better World, Massuchusetts Institute of Technology (2019-Present)



2021 MUSE Design Award, CREW Wheelchair Control System
2021 MUSE Gold Concept Design Award-12 Mask
2011 全球熱愛生命獎 – Chou, Tai-Kuan Foundation
2010 愛心獎 – HK & Macau Taiwanese Charity Fund
2010 Hong Kong Humanity Award香港人道年獎 – HK Red Cross
2008 Young Engineer of the Year Award Grand Prize傑出青年工程師 – HK Institution of Engineers
2008 HK Outstanding Volunteer Award傑出義工獎 – HK Agency for Volunteer Services
2007 Top Outstanding Young Persons Award十大傑出青年 – Junior Chamber of Commerce


Selected publications

CHUI, C. H., & KO, A. (2020). Converging humanitarian technology and social work in a public health crisis: a social innovation response to COVID-19 in Hong KongAsia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development

AROKIARAJ, A. W. R., SCHAPIRO, J., PACHUTA, J., NOURBAKHSH, I., HU, T., WONG, K. W. J., & KO, A. (2019). Participatory design innovation to solve challenges in rural Uganda: A model for the future. IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, Seattle, Washington, United States.

Ko, A., Lee, N. M. Y., Sham, R. P. S., So, C. M., & Kwok, S. C. F. (2012). Intelligent wireless sensor network for wildfire detection. In Modelling, Monitoring and Management of Forest Fires III (Vol. 158, pp. 137-148). WITPress.

Ko, A., Lau, H. Y. K., & Lee, N. M. Y. (2009). AIS based distributed wireless sensor network for mobile search and rescue robot trackingJournal of Mathematical Modelling and Algorithms8(2), 227-242.


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Picture of Prof.Albert Ko