Asia Hardware Battle, an annual competition run by TechNode with the goal to source the best uprising hardware stars in the region—South Korea, Japan, Israel, Singapore, Thailand, mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan—kicked off the preliminary round this year in three Chinese cities—Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. Makers solving problems in areas spanning K-12 education, entertainment, security, manufacture, transportation to developer tools pitch to a room of hardware experts and enthusiasts.

The regional winners will advance to the global final to be held during National Mass Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week in September. Mass innovation and entrepreneurship, or “Shuangchuang” as the two concepts are collectively known in Chinese, was made popular when Premier Li Keqiang drew out China’s national plan for economic transition and sustained growth through innovation by entrepreneurs and the mass. The winners will present in front of accredited industry leaders like Zhu Xiaohu (Managing Partner at GSR Ventures), Kuantai Yeh (Partner at Qiming Ventures), Grace Gu Minman (‎Principal at ZhenFund), and Markus Seidel (‎Vice President, Head of BMW Group Technology Office China).

Here’s a glimpse of the battle from Shenzhen yesterday:

Youibot—1st place

Youibot is an interactive service robot for a variety of industrial and domestic environments with smart mapping and navigation, voice recognition, face recognition and robotic arm control. The company has partnered up with China Southern Power Grid.

PinPress—2nd place

Regular industry molds only do one shape. Driven by electromagnetic processes, PinPress is a one-size-fits-all mold designed to save manufacturers time and money.

SONICAM—3rd place

SONICAM is a 3D 360° VR camera for sound and video equipped with 9 cameras and 64 microphones at an affordable price for professionals and hobbyists.

Other participating teams included:

Aici Technology: Patented cycloidal differential for automobiles.

Bolotree: 5D smart, interactive letters for early learning.

Fancy AR Globe: AR-powered interactive globe for children.

HoneyComb: Magnetic electronic blocks for makers of all ages and skill levels.

Lockbook: Writing notebook with a biometric fingerprint sensor.

M5STACK: Programmable 5×5 cm modules for IoT Developer kit.

Qilo: A home companion robot for early learning.

SECOPE: Connected breathalyzer with cloud calibration. Supported by Michelin.

TensorDim: Embeddable AI-driven face recognition sensor.

X-Bows: Ergonomic keyboard that lets you type with more comfort.

Zhong’an Smart Safety Sign: Self-moving traffic warning sign for drivers.