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Perigee-KAIST Rocket Research Center Launches Scientific Rocket
Undergraduate startup Perigree Aerospace develops suborbital rocket called Blue Whale 0.1 On December 29, Perigee Aerospace, an undergraduate startup, launched a test rocket with a length of 3.2 m, a diameter of 19 cm, and a weight of 51 kg, using ethanol and liquid oxygen as fuel. The launch took place off Jeju Island. It was aimed at building experience and checking the combustion of a liquid propulsion engine and the performance of pre-set flight and trajectory, communication, and navigation devices. It was also one of the projects marking the 50th anniversary of KAIST in 2021. However, after flying for several seconds, the rocket lost its track due to a gust of wind that activated the rocket’s automatic flight suspension system. "At the moment the rocket took off, there was a much stronger gust than expected," Dong-Yoon Shin, CEO of Perigee said. "The wind sent it flying off course and the automatic flight suspension system stopped its engine." However, Shin was not disappointed, saying the launch, which was conducted in collaboration with Perigee-KAIST Rocket Research Center provided a good experience. "Some people say that Blue Whale 0.1 is like a toy because of its small size. Of course, it's much smaller than the rockets I’ve dreamed of, but like other rockets, it has all the technology needed for launch," said Shin, who established his company in 2018 as a KAIST aerospace engineering student to develop small liquid-propellant orbital rockets. Perigee Aerospace aims to develop the world’s lightest launch vehicle using high-powered engines, with a goal of leading the global market for small launch vehicles in the new space generation. Perigee-KAIST Rocket Research Center was founded in 2019 for the research and development of rocket propellants and has been testing the combustion of rocket engines of various sizes in their liquid propellant rocket combustion lab located on the KAIST Munji Campus. The research center initiated the 50th anniversary rocket launch project in late April of last year, finished the examination of their preliminary design in late May, and secured a tentative launching site through the KAIST-Jejudo agreement in early July. The ethanol engine combustion was tested in late July, and an examination meeting regarding the detailed design that took place in late August was followed by two months of static firing tests of the assembled rocket in October and November. This was a very meaningful trial in which a domestic private enterprise founded by a college student collaborated with a university to successfully develop and launch a technically challenging liquid propellant rocket. Shin's near-term goal is to launch a two-stage orbital rocket that uses liquid methane as fuel and weighs 1.8 tons. To secure competitiveness in the small projectile market, KAIST and Perigee Aerospace have set up a joint research center to test various rocket engine sizes and develop the world's lightest projectile using a high-performance engine. Professor Jae-Hung Han, head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, said, “The scientific rocket system secured through the launch of the celebratory rocket will be utilized for design and system-oriented education, and for carrying out various scientific missions.” He added, “It is very rare both domestically and globally that a scientific rocket designed by the initiatives of a department should be incorporated as part of a regular aerospace system design curriculum. This will be an exemplary case we can boast about to the rest of the world.” Perigee Aerospace will improve the technology they have developed through the course of this project to develop subminiature vehicles they may use to launch small satellites into the low Earth orbit. Shin said, “I am happy just with the fact that we have participated in a rocket project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of KAIST, and I would like to thank the engineers at my company and members of the KAIST Department of Aerospace Engineering.” He added, “I’m looking forward to the day that we develop a space launch vehicle that can deliver satellites even higher.”
KAIST and KNUA to Collaborate on Culture Technology
Distinguished Visiting Scholar Soprano Sumi Jo Accompanied by AI pianist ‘VirtuosoNet’ during the Special Concert at KAIST KAIST will expand the convergence of arts education and culture technology research in collaboration with the Korea National University of Arts (KNUA), the nation’s top arts university. KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee signed an MOU with President Daejin Kim of the Korea National University of Art on January 6 at KAIST’s Daejeon campus for collaborations in arts education and research. KAIST and KNUA will expand educational programs such as student exchanges and co-credit programs. The two universities will team up for cooperation focusing on research centers and academic conferences for the creation of culture technology and convergence arts. Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Hee Hwang also attended the ceremony. Minister Hwang said that the Ministry will invest 132 billion KRW in R&D for developing metaverse and content technologies. He added that this collaboration will be a very meaningful turning point for creating a new culture combining high-level technologies. President Kim also expressed his expectations saying, “The collaboration of our two universities will generate a huge synergistic impact for nurturing talents and the creation of convergence arts. President Lee said that the collaboration with KNUA will take KAIST another step forward as it aims to foster well-rounded talents. “We look forward to proactive collaborative research that will expand the new chapter of convergence arts and future stage performances.” Right after the signing ceremony, world renowned soprano Sumi Jo, who was named a Distinguished Visiting Scholar, took the KAIST auditorium stage for a special concert. AI pianist ‘VirtuosoNet’, developed by Professor Juhan Nam at the Graduate School of Culture Technology, made its debut at the concert by playing Mozart’s Turkish March arranged by Arcardi Volrodos. VirtuosoNet also accompanied Soprano Jo on one of her songs. The concert by Sumi Jo and AI pianist VirtuosoNet heralds what KAIST is pursuing for education and research in culture technology. The Graduate School of Culture Technology plans to conduct research on future culture industries combined with technologies for the metaverse. The Sumi Jo Performing Arts Research Center will conduct research on performing technologies together with virtual artists. Head of the Graduate School of Culture Technology Woontack Woo said that KAIST will expand the sphere of the culture industry including tourism in collaboration with KNUA by incorporating technology into arts.
KPC4IR Publishes Global Standards Mapping Initiative 2.0
The report highlights South Korea as an early adopter of blockchain in policy and business The KAIST Policy Center for the 4IR (KPC4IR), one of the nine working groups of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), published the Global Standards Mapping Initiative (GSMI) 2.0, highlighting Korea as an early adopter of blockchain. The report also offers an overview of how blockchain was adopted through an analysis of policy and business cases of South Korea. In partnership with 131 institutions, GSMI 2.0 maps, catalogues, and analyzes data from 187 jurisdictions, 479 industry consortia, 38 technical standards, and 389 university courses and degree programs to provide a holistic view of the industry’s global activity. Among the nine working groups, KAIST is the sole investigator for researching South Korea’s adoption of blockchain for policy and business. It says that in terms of policy and regulations for blockchain as a virtual asset, South Korea amended the Act on Reporting and Using Specific Financial Transaction Information to comply with the Financial Action Task Force’s recommendations. The report also reviewed South Korea’s blockchain R&D. Seventeen ministries have funded 417 projects to cultivate blockchain inventions since 2015. Significantly, the Ministry of Science and ICT’s Blockchain Convergence Technology Development Program supported 50 projects between 2018 and 2021. Their R&D focused on virtual assets during the initial stage in 2015 and soon shifted its application to various domains, including identification and logistics. The report noted that the Korea Customs Service was one of the first agencies in the world to introduce blockchain into customs clearance. Through collaborations with the private sector, the Korean government has also created the world’s first blockchain-based vaccination certification services and extended it to a globally integrated decentralized identity system. Finally, the report states that these South Korean cases highlight three ambiguities in blockchain policies. First, blockchain involves both financial and industrial features. Thus, it needs a new regulatory framework that embraces the two features together. Second, integrating services on a blockchain platform will bring forth seamless automation of industries across the manufacturing, financial, and public sectors. South Korea, which already has well-proven manufacturing capabilities, is in need of a comprehensive strategy to encompass multiple services on one platform. Third, the two cases of the government’s adoption of blockchain suggest that innovations in blockchain can be facilitated through effective cooperation among government ministries and agencies regarding particular businesses in the private sector. Consequently, the government’s policy is not simply to invest in virtual assets but also to develop a virtual-physical world woven by blockchain. The new environment demands that South Korea transform its policy stances on blockchain, from specialization to comprehensiveness and cooperation. Professor So Young Kim who heads the center said, “This report shows the main lessons from South Korea for other countries adopting blockchain. We will continue to work closely with our partners including the World Economic Forum to investigate many other global issues.”
KAIST ISPI Releases Report on the Global AI Innovation Landscape
Providing key insights for building a successful AI ecosystem The KAIST Innovation Strategy and Policy Institute (ISPI) has launched a report on the global innovation landscape of artificial intelligence in collaboration with Clarivate Plc. The report shows that AI has become a key technology and that cross-industry learning is an important AI innovation. It also stresses that the quality of innovation, not volume, is a critical success factor in technological competitiveness. Key findings of the report include: • Neural networks and machine learning have been unrivaled in terms of scale and growth (more than 46%), and most other AI technologies show a growth rate of more than 20%. • Although Mainland China has shown the highest growth rate in terms of AI inventions, the influence of Chinese AI is relatively low. In contrast, the United States holds a leading position in AI-related inventions in terms of both quantity and influence. • The U.S. and Canada have built an industry-oriented AI technology development ecosystem through organic cooperation with both academia and the Government. Mainland China and South Korea, by contrast, have a government-driven AI technology development ecosystem with relatively low qualitative outputs from the sector. • The U.S., the U.K., and Canada have a relatively high proportion of inventions in robotics and autonomous control, whereas in Mainland China and South Korea, machine learning and neural networks are making progress. Each country/region produces high-quality inventions in their predominant AI fields, while the U.S. has produced high-impact inventions in almost all AI fields. “The driving forces in building a sustainable AI innovation ecosystem are important national strategies. A country’s future AI capabilities will be determined by how quickly and robustly it develops its own AI ecosystem and how well it transforms the existing industry with AI technologies. Countries that build a successful AI ecosystem have the potential to accelerate growth while absorbing the AI capabilities of other countries. AI talents are already moving to countries with excellent AI ecosystems,” said Director of the ISPI Wonjoon Kim. “AI, together with other high-tech IT technologies including big data and the Internet of Things are accelerating the digital transformation by leading an intelligent hyper-connected society and enabling the convergence of technology and business. With the rapid growth of AI innovation, AI applications are also expanding in various ways across industries and in our lives,” added Justin Kim, Special Advisor at the ISPI and a co-author of the report.
Team KAIST to Race at CES 2022 Autonomous Challenge
Five top university autonomous racing teams will compete in a head-to-head passing competition in Las Vegas A self-driving racing team from the KAIST Unmanned System Research Group (USRG) advised by Professor Hyunchul Shim will compete at the Autonomous Challenge at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) on January 7, 2022. The head-to-head, high speed autonomous racecar passing competition at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway will feature the finalists and semifinalists from the Indy Autonomous Challenge in October of this year. Team KAIST qualified as a semifinalist at the Indy Autonomous Challenge and will join four other university teams including the winner of the competition, Technische Universität München. Team KAIST’s AV-21 vehicle is capable of driving on its own at more than 200km/h will be expected to show a speed of more than 300 km/h at the race.The participating teams are:1. KAIST2. EuroRacing : University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy), University of Pisa (Italy), ETH Zürich (Switzerland), Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland) 3. MIT-PITT-RW, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Waterloo (Canada)4.PoliMOVE – Politecnico di Milano (Italy), University of Alabama 5.TUM Autonomous Motorsport – Technische Universität München (Germany) Professor Shim’s team is dedicated to the development and validation of cutting edge technologies for highly autonomous vehicles. In recognition of his pioneering research in unmanned system technologies, Professor Shim was honored with the Grand Prize of the Minister of Science and ICT on December 9. “We began autonomous vehicle research in 2009 when we signed up for Hyundai Motor Company’s Autonomous Driving Challenge. For this, we developed a complete set of in-house technologies such as low-level vehicle control, perception, localization, and decision making.” In 2019, the team came in third place in the Challenge and they finally won this year. For years, his team has participated in many unmanned systems challenges at home and abroad, gaining recognition around the world. The team won the inaugural 2016 IROS autonomous drone racing and placed second in the 2018 IROS Autonomous Drone Racing Competition. They also competed in 2017 MBZIRC, ranking fourth in Missions 2 and 3, and fifth in the Grand Challenge. Most recently, the team won the first round of Lockheed Martin’s Alpha Pilot AI Drone Innovation Challenge. The team is now participating in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge as a member of Team CoSTAR with NASA JPL, MIT, and Caltech. “We have accumulated plenty of first-hand experience developing autonomous vehicles with the support of domestic companies such as Hyundai Motor Company, Samsung, LG, and NAVER. In 2017, the autonomous vehicle platform “EureCar” that we developed in-house was authorized by the Korean government to lawfully conduct autonomous driving experiment on public roads,” said Professor Shim. The team has developed various key technologies and algorithms related to unmanned systems that can be categorized into three major components: perception, planning, and control. Considering the characteristics of the algorithms that make up each module, their technology operates using a distributed computing system. Since 2015, the team has been actively using deep learning algorithms in the form of perception subsystems. Contextual information extracted from multi-modal sensory data gathered via cameras, lidar, radar, GPS, IMU, etc. is forwarded to the planning subsystem. The planning module is responsible for the decision making and planning required for autonomous driving such as lane change determination and trajectory planning, emergency stops, and velocity command generation. The results from the planner are fed into the controller to follow the planned high-level command. The team has also developed and verified the possibility of an end-to-end deep learning based autonomous driving approach that replaces a complex system with one single AI network.
KAIST Plans to Open a New York Campus
President Lee signs an MOU with New York-based Big Continent Inc. Chairman Hee-Nam Bae on funding the New York campus President Kwang Hyung Lee announced a plan to open a KAIST campus in New York with funding from New York-based entrepreneur Hee-Nam Bae. President Lee and Big Continent Inc. Chairman Hee-Nam Bae signed the MOU last week for the funding to open the campus in New York. President Lee said it will take years to open up a campus in New York in order to conform with both Korean and US legal procedures. However, during a news conference in New York following the signing of the MOU with Chairman Bae, President Lee said this is the first step toward realizing KAIST’s new vision of a ‘Global Twin Strategy’ by making New York KAIST’s newest stronghold to target both domestic and global markets. “New York is the center of the world’s commerce, culture, and new technologies. If we want to grow big, we should go to one of the biggest cities in the world and New York is the place. I highly encourage our students and faculty go into the world and never be satisfied enjoying the top position in Korea. The next place to investigate will be Silicon Valley,” said President Lee. “We still have many issues to resolve domestically. We need to discuss more details first with the Board of Trustees and the Korean government,” he added. The New York campus will aim to become an enterprise-type university to help KAIST create global value. Our goal is to make sure that Korean businesses gain competitiveness in the global market and can become listed on the NASDAQ. “We plan to open majors related to AI, financial engineering, and cultural technologies. We will recruit students from both the US and KAIST to study at our New York campus.” President Lee said. Chairman Bae, a self-made entrepreneur who immigrated to the US in 1981, also leads the Global Leadership Foundation in the US. “President Lee and I have already toured several candidate sites for the campus in the New York region and we will make a final decision on the best site to purchase,” said Chairman Bae. Chairman Bae added that he has always dreamed of fostering young global talents who will take on global challenges with pioneering minds. He believes KAIST shares this global vision. The New York campus will be the first KAIST campus for global students funded by someone from the private sector. This is also a major step forward for KAIST, which was founded by a six million dollar USAID loan in 1971. KAIST announced its plans to establish Kenya KAIST in 2018 with funding from the Korea Eximbank’s 95 million USD development cooperation fund loan to the Kenyan government. KAIST will provide turn-key-based education consultancy featuring curriculum design and the construction of facilities for Kenya’s first advanced science and technology institute. The campus will be located in the Konza Techno City near Nairobi and plans to open in 2023.
A Judicial Scrivener in His 90s Donates to AI Research
Dong-Myoung Kim donated 2 billion KRW to fund the Kim Jae-Chul AI Graduate School Dong-Myong Kim, a 90-year-old resident living in Seongnam City in Kyonggido made a gift of 300 million KRW in cash and property valued at 1.7 billion KRW to fund the Kim Jae-Chul AI Graduate School. KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee and a senior leadership team warmly received Kim during the donation ceremony on December 6 and delivered a plaque of appreciation. Kim, a certified judicial scrivener, sent a letter regarding his intention to donate to the KAIST Development Foundation Office in October. Development foundation officers contacted him for a meeting and presented the major achievements of KAIST and new vision for the future during the meeting. After meeting with KAIST officials, Kim completed all the legal procedures for donating such as handing over the title of his property. A Development Foundation official said that Kim was well aware of what KAIST has achieved and is doing now. “He had already searched KAIST’s website and scrutinized what we are doing now. He was clear about his intentions,” said the official. Kim said that media news reports on the recent series of huge donations to KAIST inspired him. “I thought there was something special behind the donors’ intention to make such a decision.” Kim said the studies on futurism he started in the 1980s led him to become interested in new technologies. “I firmly believe that KAIST will make huge contributions to the nation and our society through advances in science and technology. It is said that the joy of giving is much larger than that of receiving. I am now experiencing such immense joy. I will be even happier if KAIST can lead the nation through its AI research.” President Kwang Hyung Lee said Kim’s letter of intention touched him deeply. He thanked Kim, saying that the entire KAIST community will make every effort to respond to Kim’s donation wishes.
Scientists Develop Wireless Networks that Allow Brain Circuits to Be Controlled Remotely through the Internet
Wireless implantable devices and IoT could manipulate the brains of animals from anywhere around the world due to their minimalistic hardware, low setup cost, ease of use, and customizable versatility A new study shows that researchers can remotely control the brain circuits of numerous animals simultaneously and independently through the internet. The scientists believe this newly developed technology can speed up brain research and various neuroscience studies to uncover basic brain functions as well as the underpinnings of various neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders. A multidisciplinary team of researchers at KAIST, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Colorado, Boulder, created a wireless ecosystem with its own wireless implantable devices and Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure to enable high-throughput neuroscience experiments over the internet. This innovative technology could enable scientists to manipulate the brains of animals from anywhere around the world. The study was published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering on November 25 “This novel technology is highly versatile and adaptive. It can remotely control numerous neural implants and laboratory tools in real-time or in a scheduled way without direct human interactions,” said Professor Jae-Woong Jeong of the School of Electrical Engineering at KAIST and a senior author of the study. “These wireless neural devices and equipment integrated with IoT technology have enormous potential for science and medicine.” The wireless ecosystem only requires a mini-computer that can be purchased for under $45, which connects to the internet and communicates with wireless multifunctional brain probes or other types of conventional laboratory equipment using IoT control modules. By optimally integrating the versatility and modular construction of both unique IoT hardware and software within a single ecosystem, this wireless technology offers new applications that have not been demonstrated before by a single standalone technology. This includes, but is not limited to minimalistic hardware, global remote access, selective and scheduled experiments, customizable automation, and high-throughput scalability. “As long as researchers have internet access, they are able to trigger, customize, stop, validate, and store the outcomes of large experiments at any time and from anywhere in the world. They can remotely perform large-scale neuroscience experiments in animals deployed in multiple countries,” said one of the lead authors, Dr. Raza Qazi, a researcher with KAIST and the University of Colorado, Boulder. “The low cost of this system allows it to be easily adopted and can further fuel innovation across many laboratories,” Dr. Qazi added. One of the significant advantages of this IoT neurotechnology is its ability to be mass deployed across the globe due to its minimalistic hardware, low setup cost, ease of use, and customizable versatility. Scientists across the world can quickly implement this technology within their existing laboratories with minimal budget concerns to achieve globally remote access, scalable experimental automation, or both, thus potentially reducing the time needed to unravel various neuroscientific challenges such as those associated with intractable neurological conditions. Another senior author on the study, Professor Jordan McCall from the Department of Anesthesiology and Center for Clinical Pharmacology at Washington University in St. Louis, said this technology has the potential to change how basic neuroscience studies are performed. “One of the biggest limitations when trying to understand how the mammalian brain works is that we have to study these functions in unnatural conditions. This technology brings us one step closer to performing important studies without direct human interaction with the study subjects.” The ability to remotely schedule experiments moves toward automating these types of experiments. Dr. Kyle Parker, an instructor at Washington University in St. Louis and another lead author on the study added, “This experimental automation can potentially help us reduce the number of animals used in biomedical research by reducing the variability introduced by various experimenters. This is especially important given our moral imperative to seek research designs that enable this reduction.” The researchers believe this wireless technology may open new opportunities for many applications including brain research, pharmaceuticals, and telemedicine to treat diseases in the brain and other organs remotely. This remote automation technology could become even more valuable when many labs need to shut down, such as during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This work was supported by grants from the KAIST Global Singularity Research Program, the National Research Foundation of Korea, the United States National Institute of Health, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities. -PublicationRaza Qazi, Kyle Parker, Choong Yeon Kim, Jordan McCall, Jae-Woong Jeong et al. “Scalable and modular wireless-network infrastructure for large-scale behavioral neuroscience,” Nature Biomedical Engineering, November 25 2021 (doi.org/10.1038/s41551-021-00814-w) -ProfileProfessor Jae-Woong JeongBio-Integrated Electronics and Systems LabSchool of Electrical EngineeringKAIST
Metaverse Factory Center to Improve SME’s Competitiveness
The center is expected to enhance the manufacturing competitiveness of SMEs and root industry KAIST opened the ‘Metaverse Factory Experience Center for Manufacturing AI’ on November 1 at the KAIST Bigdata Center for Manufacturing AI. The AI-powered manufacturing metaverse factory will provide real-life experiences for the analysis and application of manufacturing data. Funded by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, the center is a collaboration with Digiforet, which donated the software system to KAIST. The center allows users to experience the collection, analysis, and utilization process of manufacturing data equivalent to that of real manufacturing sites. Users can connect to the service from anywhere in the world using AR/VR/XR equipment and a metaverse solution, which allows small and middle-sized domestic manufacturing companies to overcome the challenges of entering and selling their production lines overseas in the post-COVID-19 era. The platform is an opportunity for such companies to introduce and export their excellent manufacturing techniques. With the same manufacturing and AI processes of real production sites, the injection molding metaverse factory for plastic screw production runs simulations of the products they will make. Based on the data collection parameters (temperature, pressure, speed, location, time, etc.) built into the Korea AI Manufacturing Platform, an AI-powered SME manufacturing platform, the metaverse factory can detect causes of defects, provide analysis, and guide improvements in productivity and product quality. Starting with the injection molding equipment metaverse factory, the platform aims to expand into plating, welding, molding, casting, forging, and annealing, and become a root industry to contribute greatly to enhancing the manufacturing competitiveness of Korea’s small and middle-sized root industries. Il-Joong Kim, head of the KAIST Manufacturing AI Bigdata Center where the metaverse factory is located, said, “To successfully incorporate manufacturing AI into production sites, it is indispensable that various AI algorithms are tested to optimize decisions. The platform allows users to collect manufacturing data and to experience and test AI analysis simultaneously without interrupting the production process, making it highly effective.” KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee said, “We will support the close academic-industrial cooperation with Digiforet such as this collaborative for improving SMEs’ competitiveness.” Digiforet CEO Sunghoon Park, who donated a whole HW/SW interface for the construction of the Metaverse Factory Experience Center for Manufacturing AI, said, “I will do my best to realize the best “Metaverse Factory for Manufacturing AI” in the world by combining the AI and bigdata accumulated at KAIST and Digiforet’s XR metaverse technology.”
Hubo Professor Jun-Ho Oh Donates Startup Shares Worth 5 Billion KRW
Rainbow Robotics stock used to endow the development fund Emeritus Professor Jun-Ho Oh, who developed the 2015 DARPA Challenge winning humanoid robot DRC-Hubo, donated 5 billion KRW on October 25 during a ceremony held at the KAIST campus in Daejeon. Professor Oh donated his 20% share (400 shares) of his startup Rainbow Robotics, which was established in 2011. Rainbow Robotics was listed on the KOSDAQ this February. The 400 shares were converted to 200,000 shares with a value of approximately 5 billion KRW when listed this year. KAIST sold the stocks and endowed the Jun-Ho Oh Fund, which will be used for the development of the university. He was the 39th faculty member who launched a startup with technology from his lab and became the biggest faculty entrepreneur donor. “I have received huge support and funding for my research. Fortunately, the research had a good result and led to the startup. Now I am very delighted to pay back the university. I feel that I have played a part in building the school’s startup ecosystem and creating a virtuous circle,” said Professor Oh during the ceremony. KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee declared, “Professor Oh has been a very impressive exemplary model for our aspiring faculty and student tech startups. We will spare no effort to support startups at KAIST.” Professor Oh, who retired from the Department of Mechanical Engineering last year, now serves as the CTO at Rainbow Robotics. The company is developing humanoid bipedal robots and collaborative robots, and advancing robot technology including parts for astronomical observations. Professor Hae-Won Park and Professor Je Min Hwangbo, who are now responsible for the Hubo Lab, also joined the ceremony along with employees of Rainbow Robotics.
Two Researchers Designated as SUHF Fellows
Professor Taeyun Ku from the Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering and Professor Hanseul Yang from the Department of Biological Sciences were nominated as 2021 fellows of the Suh Kyungbae Foundation (SUHF). SUHF selected three young promising scientists from 53 researchers who are less than five years into their careers. A panel of judges comprised of scholars from home and abroad made the final selection based on the candidates’ innovativeness and power to influence. Professor You-Bong Hyun from Seoul National University also won the fellowship. Professor Ku’s main topic is opto-connectomics. He will study ways to visualize the complex brain network using innovative technology that transforms neurons into optical elements. Professor Yang will research the possibility of helping patients recover from skin diseases or injuries without scars by studying spiny mouse genes. SUHF was established by Amorepacific Group Chairman Suh Kyungbae in 2016 with 300 billion KRW of his private funds. Under the vision of ‘contributing to humanity by supporting innovative discoveries of bioscience researchers,’ the foundation supports promising Korean scientists who pioneer new fields of research in biological sciences. From 2017 to this year, SUHF has selected 20 promising scientists in the field of biological sciences. Selected scientists are provided with up to KRW 500 million each year for five years. The foundation has provided a total of KRW 48.5 billion in research funds to date.
MCM Utilized at Residential Treatment Center in Gyeonggi
The Mobile Clinic Module (MCM) developed by the KAIST Action for Respiratory Epidemics was installed at special residential treatment center in Gyeonggi Province on September 13. The MCM is an isolate negative pressure unit fitted with high-quality medical equipment, developed by Professor Taek-Jin Nam of the Department of Industrial Design under the KAIST New Deal R&D Initiative. This is also a part of the Korean Disease Control Package Development Project from last July. In January, a ward with four beds for critical care was installed at the Korea Institute for Radiological & Medical Sciences in Seoul for a trial operation, and two mild cases were treated there. It was also implemented as an isolated negative pressure unit in the Daejeon Konyang University Hospital emergency room in June, and has treated 138 cases since. The special residential treatment center installed in the Gyeonggi Provincial Academy gymnasium, which consists of 28 beds in 14 rooms (double occupancy) and a multipurpose room (for X-rays and treatment), is to remain open through October 10. Unlike existing treatment centers that have quarantined COVID-19 patients for two weeks, the Gyeonggi MCM will act as a self-treatment-associated short-term treatment center. While in self-treatment, patients showing symptoms requiring special attention will be moved to the MCM, followed by short-term hospitalization of 1-3 days for observation before further measures are taken. Patients can be treated using the MCM’s own treatment capacities, including in-person and oxygen treatment, X-rays, and IVs. There are individual bathrooms in each room, and the pressure, ventilation, and the automatic opening and closing of the entrance can be centrally monitored and controlled. Patients showing symptoms during treatment will be moved to a specially designated hospital for critical care, and will return to the self-treatment center if no further abnormalities are reported. The Gyeonggi Provincial Medical Center’s Ansung Hospital will take charge of operating the special treatment center. Each day, one or two doctors, three nurses, two nursing assistants, one administrative staff member, two or three disinfection specialists, and a medical imaging engineer will work in three shifts. There will also be about 20 additional specially designated staff members including KAIST researchers, firefighters, and police officers. The MCM was internationally recognized as an excellent medical facility not only for its functionality, economic feasibility, and utility, but also for its unique design and aesthetics. It received two Best of Best awards at the Red Dot Award in product design and Communication Design in user interface. By running this special treatment center, KAIST will conduct research on how to build an optimized model for efficient negative pressure medical units. This research is expected to lead to advances in waste water treatment systems, mobile bathrooms optimized for infectious cases, and MCM user interfaces for electronic devices, etc. Professor Taek-Jin Nam, the general director of the project and design, said “if there is a gymnasium available, we can convert it into a special treatment center fitted with a waste water treatment system, and pressure equipment in two weeks even without additional infrastructure.” The head of the KAIST New Deal R&D Initiative Choongsik Bae said, “our MCM research started in July of last year, and in just over a year, it has become a successful and innovative case that has undergone trials and become commercialized in a short period of time.” He added, “In response to COVID-19, KAIST is conducting research and empirical studies, not just in relation to the MCM, but in other areas of disease control as well.” Based on the excellent disease control technologies developed by KAIST research teams, the KAIST Action for Respiratory Epidemics is conducting technology transfers and industrialization, and is developing a Korean disease control package model
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