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Blue-enriched White Light to Wake You Up in the Morning
(from left: Professor Hyun Jung Chung, Professor Hyeon-Jeong Suk, Taesu Kim and Professor Kyungah Choi) Here is a good news for those of who have difficulty with morning alertness. A KAIST research team proposed that a blue-enriched LED light can effectively help people overcome morning drowsiness. This study will provide the basis for major changes in future lighting strategies and thereby help create better indoor environments. Considerable research has been devoted to unmasking circadian rhythms. The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young for unveiling the molecular mechanisms that control circadian rhythms. In particular, the relationship between light and its physiological effects has been investigated since the discovery of a novel, third type of photoreceptor in the human retina in the early 2000s. Rods and cones regulate visual effects, while the third type, photosensitive retinal ganglion cells, regulate a large variety of biological and behavioral processes including melatonin and cortisol secretion, alertness, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Initial studies on light sources have shown that blue monochromatic, fully saturated lights are effective for stimulating physiological responses, but the relative effectiveness of commercially available white light sources is less well understood. Moreover, the research was more focused on the negative effects of blue light; for instance, when people are exposed to blue light at night, they have trouble achieving deep sleep because the light restrains melatonin secretion. However, Professor Hyeon-Jeong Suk and Professor Kyungah Choi from the Department of Industrial Design and their team argue that the effects of blue-enriched morning light on physiological responses are time dependent, and that it has positive effects on melatonin levels and the subjective perception of alertness, mood, and visual comfort compared with warm white light. The team conducted an experiment with 15 university students. They investigated whether an hour of morning light exposure with different chromaticity would affect their physiological and subjective responses differently. The decline of melatonin levels was significantly greater after the exposure to blue-enriched white light in comparison with warm white light. Professor Suk said, “Light takes a huge part of our lives since we spend most of our time indoors. Light is one of the most powerful tools to affect changes in how we perceive and experience the environment around us.” Professor Choi added, “When we investigate all of the psychological and physiological effects of light, we see there is much more to light than just efficient quantities. I believe that human-centric lighting strategies could be applied to a variety of environments, including residential areas, learning environments, and working spaces to improve our everyday lives.” This research was collaborated with Professor Hyun Jung Chung from the Graduate School of Nanoscience and Technology and was published in Scientific Reports (10.1038/s41598-018-36791-5) on January 23, 2019. Figure 1. Changes in melatonin secretion during day and night time
It's Time to 3D Sketch with Air Scaffolding
People often use their hands when describing an object, while pens are great tools for describing objects in detail. Taking this idea, a KAIST team introduced a new 3D sketching workflow, combining the strengths of hand and pen input. This technique will ease the way for ideation in three dimensions, leading to efficient product design in terms of time and cost. For a designer's drawing to become a product in reality, one has to transform a designer's 2D drawing into a 3D shape; however, it is difficult to infer accurate 3D shapes that match the original intention from an inaccurate 2D drawing made by hand. When creating a 3D shape from a planar 2D drawing, unobtainable information is required. On the other hand, loss of depth information occurs when a 3D shape is expressed as a 2D drawing using perspective drawing techniques. To fill in these “missing links” during the conversion, "3D sketching" techniques have been actively studied. Their main purpose is to help designers naturally provide missing 3D shape information in a 2D drawing. For example, if a designer draws two symmetric curves from a single point of view or draws the same curves from different points of view, the geometric clues that are left in this process are collected and mathematically interpreted to define the proper 3D curve. As a result, designers can use 3D sketching to directly draw a 3D shape as if using pen and paper. Among 3D sketching tools, sketching with hand motions, in VR environments in particular, has drawn attention because it is easy and quick. But the biggest limitation is that they cannot articulate the design solely using rough hand motions, hence they are difficult to be applied to product designs. Moreover, users may feel tired after raising their hands in the air during the entire drawing process. Using hand motions but to elaborate designs, Professor Seok-Hyung Bae and his team from the Department of Industrial Design integrated hand motions and pen-based sketching, allocating roles according to their strengths. This new technique is called Agile 3D Sketching with Air Scaffolding. Designers use their hand motions in the air to create rough 3D shapes which will be used as scaffolds, and then they can add details with pen-based 3D sketching on a tablet (Figure 1). Figure 1. In the agile 3D sketching workflow with air scaffolding, the user (a) makes unconstrained hand movements in the air to quickly generate rough shapes to be used as scaffolds, (b) uses the scaffolds as references and draws finer details with them, (c) produces a high-fidelity 3D concept sketch of a steering wheel in an iterative and progressive manner. The team came up with an algorithm to identify descriptive hand motions from transitory hand motions and extract only the intended shapes from unconstrained hand motions, based on air scaffolds from the identified motions. Through user tests, the team identified that this technique is easy to learn and use, and demonstrates good applicability. Most importantly, the users can reduce time, yet enhance the accuracy of defining the proportion and scale of products. Eventually, this tool will be able to be applied to various fields including the automobile industry, home appliances, animations and the movie making industry, and robotics. It also can be linked to smart production technology, such as 3D printing, to make manufacturing process faster and more flexible. PhD candidate Yongkwan Kim, who led the research project, said, “I believe the system will enhance product quality and work efficiency because designers can express their 3D ideas quickly yet accurately without using complex 3D CAD modeling software. I will make it into a product that every designer wants to use in various fields.” “There have been many attempts to encourage creative activities in various fields by using advanced computer technology. Based on in-depth understanding of designers, we will take the lead in innovating the design process by applying cutting-edge technology,” Professor Bae added. Professor Bae and his team from the Department of Industrial Design has been delving into developing better 3D sketching tools. They started with a 3D curve sketching system for professional designers called ILoveSketch and moved on to SketchingWithHands for designing a handheld product with first-person hand postures captured by a hand-tracking sensor. They then took their project to the next level and introduced Agile 3D Sketching with Air Scaffolding, a new 3D sketching workflow combining hand motion and pen drawing which was chosen as one of the CHI (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems) 2018 Best Papers by the Association for Computing Machinery. - Click the link to watch video clip of SketchingWithHands
IDKAIST Graduation Show, Interative and Innovative Works
Undergraduate students from the Department of Industrial Design at KAIST opened up their graduation show in the Industrial Design Building for eight days in KAIST from November 10 and another four days in Coex, Seoul from December 7. The students showcased their creative and novel works in the exhibition. Some designs successfully showed change concepts such as for mixing straws. There were also several projects designed to meet individual demand, such as a customized shoe-making application and personal makeup colorings. Since the establishment of its undergraduate program in 1983, the department has held a graduation show to demonstrate four years of the students’ academic work and research performance to KAIST members, externals specialists, and the public. Professor Daniel Saakes, who is in charge of the show, said, “Please come by the show and support the 28 students for their hard work. This year, students’ projects are more socially-oriented through applications and social media, making them easily approachable for consumers.”
Furniture That Learns to Move by Itself
A novel strategy for displacing large objects by attaching relatively small vibration sources. After learning how several random bursts of vibration affect an object's pose, an optimization algorithm discovers the optimal sequence of vibration patterns required to (slowly but surely) move the object to a specified position. Displacements of large objects induced by vibration are a common occurrence, but generally result in unpredictable motion. Think, for instance, of an unbalanced front-loading washing machine. For controlled movement, wheels or legs are usually preferred. Professor Daniel Saakes of the Department of Industrial Design and his team explored a strategy for moving everyday objects by harvesting external vibration rather than using a mechanical system with wheels. This principle may be useful for displacing large objects in situations where attaching wheels or complete lifting is impossible – assuming the speed of the process is not a concern. His team designed vibration modules that can be easily attached to furniture and objects, and this could be a welcomed creation for people with limited mobility, including the elderly. Embedding these vibration modules as part of mass-produced objects may provide a low-cost way to make almost any object mobile. Vibration as a principle for directed locomotion has been previously applied in micro-robots. For instance, the three-legged Kilobots move thanks to centrifugal forces alternatively generated by a pair of vibrations on two of its legs. The unbalanced weight transforms the robot into a ratchet and the resulting motion is deterministic with respect to the input vibration. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to add vibratory actuators to deterministically steer large objects regardless of their structural properties. The perturbation resulting from a particular pattern of vibration depends on a myriad of parameters, including but not limited to the microscopic properties of the contact surfaces. The key challenge is to empirically discover and select the sequence of vibration patterns to bring the object to the target pose. Their approach is as follows. In the first step we systematically explore the object’s response by manipulating the amplitudes of the motors. This generates a pool of available moves (translations and rotations). We then calculate from this pool the most efficient way (either in terms of length or number of moves) to go from pose A to pose B using optimization strategies, such as genetic algorithms. The learning process may be repeated from time to time to account for changes in the mechanical response, at least for the patterns of vibration that contribute more to the change. Prototype modules are made with eccentric rotating motors (type 345-002 Precision Microdrive) with a nominal force of 115g, which proved sufficient to shake (and eventually locomote) four-legged IKEA chairs and small furniture such as tables and stools. The motors are powered by NiMH batteries and communicate wirelessly with a low-cost ESP8266 WiFi module. The team designed modules that are externally attached using straps as well as motors embedded in furniture. To study the general method, the team employed an overhead camera to track the chair and generate the pool of available moves. The team demonstrated that the system discovered pivot-like gaits and others. However, as one can imagine, using a pre-computed sequence to move to a target pose does not end up providing perfect matches. This is because the contact properties vary with location. Although this can be considered a secondary disturbance, it may in certain cases be mandatory to recompute the matrix of moves every now and then. The chair could, for instance, move into a wet area, over plastic carpet, etc. The principle and application in furniture is called “ratchair” as a portmanteau combining “Ratchet” and “Chair”. Ratchair was demonstrated at the 2016 ACM Siggraph Emerging Technologies and won the DC-EXPO award jointly organized by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Digital Content Association of Japan (DCAJ). At the DCEXPO Exhibition, Fall 2016, the work was one of 20 Innovative Technologies and the only non-Japanese contribution. *This article is from the KAIST Breakthroughs, research newsletter from the College of Engineering. For more stories of the KAIST Breakthroughs, please visit http://breakthroughs.kaist.ac.kr http://mid.kaist.ac.kr/projects/ratchair/ http://s2016.siggraph.org/content/emerging-technologies https://www.dcexpo.jp/ko/15184 Figure 1. The vibration modules embedded and attached to furniture. Figure 2. A close-up of the vibration module. Figure 3. A close-up of the embedded modules. Figure 4. A close-up of the vibration motor.
KAIST Holds Its Fourth Public Art Exhibition
KAIST hosted an opening ceremony for the annual art exhibition on December 3, 2015 at the KAIST Institute building. The KAIST Art and Design Committee first organized the event in 2012 to promote the integration of art and technology. This year’s event entitled “Understanding the Purpose of an Object” will display 20 art pieces under six themes. Artist Keumhong Lee, Haeyool Roh, Joon Kim, Kyung Lee, and Juhae Yang participated in the exhibition. The names of some of the art pieces include “Feedback Field” by Joon Kim, “Self Action” by Haeyool Roh, and “Net of Time” by Juhae Yang. Juhae Yang believes that, in the digital age, an identity of an object is defined by the traces of light which we read in the information hidden in the barcodes. Based on this interpretation, she transforms the black bars and white spaces into a harmony of colors and sounds. The continuum of colors and sounds in her work arouses time-space synesthesia. Professor Sangmin Bae of the Industrial Design Department, the Director of the KAIST Art and Design Committee, hopes that the exhibition will inspire novel scientific ideas and artistic spirits. The exhibition will remain open to the public until December 20, 2015.
'Mirror or Mirror' Exhibition at Dongdaemun Design Plaza
An exhibition, called “Mirror or Mirror,” displaying the integration of fashion design and technology took place at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul from July 18-25, 2015. DDP is the center of Korea’s fashion hub. The exhibition was created by Professor Daniel Pieter Saakes of the Industrial Design Department at KAIST and introduced a new design system reinforced with an interactive technology that incorporates augmented reality into the design process. Users stand before the Mirror or Mirror system, and by using augmented reality, they can design their own fashion items including clothes based on their need and fashion preferences. The augmented reality allows users to draw their favorite patterns or new designs over their body, thereby enabling them to check the result immediately and try out a variety of different designs right away. Professor Saakes said, “Fashion has always been a way to express individual and personal style. With our system, people can easily fulfill such desires, customizing their own designs.” At the exhibition, visitors also had opportunities to produce their own shirts while using the Mirror or Mirror system. Picture 1: A user wears a newly designed virtual shirt over her body using augmented reality provided by the Mirror or Mirror system. Picture 2: The shirt was designed and produced through the Mirror or Mirror system.
KAIST and Audi Korea Sign a Memorandum of Understanding to Establish a Startup Incubator
For the next five years, Audi Korea will provide USD 250,000 for the startup program. KAIST recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Audi Korea to establish a student-led startup program, the Audi-KAIST Innovation Lounge, to promote design and product development on May 19, 2015, at the KAIST Institute of Entrepreneurship on campus. Directed by Professor Sang-Min Bae of the Industrial Design Department (IDD), the Audi-KAIST Innovation Lounge will operate a global business incubator where IDD undergraduate and graduate students cultivate their entrepreneurship skills and explore business opportunities to develop commercially-applicable product designs. Audi Korea will invest USD 250,000 in the Innovation Lounge project for the next five years. Students will receive support from the Lounge to turn their ideas, class assignments, and graduation theses into business products through a full cycle of the product development process such as inquiry, prototype development, and commercialization. The Lounge will also provide students with mentoring services from industry professionals and experts who can assist the students in finding design solutions and building prototypes using 3D printers. The Dean of IDD, Kun-Pyo Lee, said, “Audi has been known for its initiatives which blend technological innovations into design. Likewise, our department offers students an integrative approach to design education and research which incorporates human factors and technology as important features in the design process. I believe that the Audi-KAIST Innovation Lounge will help us lead such efforts in the future.” Professor Bae added, “This MOU is quite significant because it shows an excellent collaboration between academia and industry. Ideas created in universities should not be left to languish as just an idea or research. Rather, they should be utilized as ways to serve the needs of our society, and to do so, it is important for the government and companies to pay more attention to these interactions taking place between academia and private sectors.” The Head of Marketing at Audi Korea, Jorg Dietzel, said, “As seen in our corporate slogan, "Advancement through Technology," Audi has grown through numerous technological innovations. I hope Audi Korea can contribute to the support of KAIST students from the Industrial Design Department to realize their dreams as future entrepreneurs and bring more innovative ideas to their field.” Picture: Jorg Dietzel (fifth from the left), the Head of Marketing at Audi Korea, and Kun-Pyo Lee (sixth from the left), the Dean of Industrial Design Department, KAIST, pose together right after signing an agreement to create the Audi-KAIST Innovation Lounge on May 19, 2015.
KAIST develops TransWall, a transparent touchable display wall
At a busy shopping mall, shoppers walk by store windows to find attractive items to purchase. Through the windows, shoppers can see the products displayed, but may have a hard time imagining doing something beyond just looking, such as touching the displayed items or communicating with sales assistants inside the store. With TransWall, however, window shopping could become more fun and real than ever before. Woohun Lee, a professor of Industrial Design at KAIST, and his research team have recently developed TransWall, a two-sided, touchable, and transparent display wall that greatly enhances users' interpersonal experiences. With an incorporated surface transducer, TransWall offers audio and vibrotactile feedback to the users. As a result, people can collaborate via a shared see-through display and communicate with one another by talking or even touching one another through the wall. A holographic screen film is inserted between the sheets of plexiglass, and beam projectors installed on each side of the wall project images that are reflected. TransWall is touch-sensitive on both sides. Two users standing face-to-face on each side of the wall can touch the same spot at the same time without any physical interference. When this happens, TransWall provides the users with specific visual, acoustic, and vibrotactile experiences, allowing them to feel as if they are touching one another. Professor Lee said, "TransWall concept enables people to see, hear, or even touch others through the wall while enjoying gaming and interpersonal communication. TransWall can be installed inside buildings, such as shopping centers, museums, and theme parks, for people to have an opportunity to collaborate even with strangers in a natural way." He further added that "TransWall will be useful in places that require physical isolation for high security and safety, germ-free rooms in hospitals, for example." TransWall will allow patients to interact with family and friends without compromising medical safety. TransWall was exhibited at the 2014 Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) held from April 26, 2014 to May 1, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QdYC_kOQ_w&list=PLXmuftxI6pTXuyjjrGFlcN5YFTKZinDhK
2013 Graduation Exhibition "Design Hundred" Held by Industrial Design Department
The Department of Industrial Design at KAIST is hosting a graduation exhibition for the Class of 2013 under the theme “Design for an Aging Society” from November 20 to December 6 in Seoul and Daejeon. The exhibition was created to acknowledge aging societies as a social issue and to suggest solutions through design. Two separate exhibitions will be held, one at Gong-Pyeong Gallery in Seoul from November 20 - 25 and the other in the lobby of the Department of Industrial Design at KAIST from November 28 to December 6.
Professor Bae Sang Min Wins Multiple Prestigious Design Awards
Summer is perfect for many outdoor activities, but it is also the season for mosquitoes, an annoying pest that makes outdoor experiences unpleasant and sometimes even dangerous. An easy-to-use and environmentally-friendly spray, “Sound Spray” (http://idsa.org/soundspray-self-generating-non-toxic-ultrasonic-anti-mosquito-spray), which repels mosquitoes by setting off ultrasonic waves, has been developed by a research team at KAIST. The spray produces sounds similar to those of mosquitoes’ natural predators. Sound Spray made the list of finalists in the category of "Social Impact Design" from the 2012 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). The IDEA is one of the most renowned design competitions in the world, which has been held annually by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). Inside Sound Spray is a battery that generates electricity when a user shakes the spray bottle. Electrical energy produced by the battery creates an ultrasonic sound that mosquitoes dislike, thereby discouraging their contact with human skin. Professor Sangmin Bae from the Department of Industrial Design at KAIST explains, “In regions such as Africa or Southeast Asia, mosquitoes are still posing a big threat to public health. Unlike Freon-based, disposable insect repellents on the market, Sound Spray is eco-friendly, easy to carry around, reusable, and affordable. I plan to commercialize and distribute it to nations in Africa or Southeast Asia to help them combat against malaria, an infectious disease that patients contract through mosquito bites.” Professor Bae also received another award from the 2012 IDEA in the area of Commercial and Industrial Products: a bronze medal for a milling machine, the Namsun Milling Machine (http://www.idsa.org/namsunnew-innovative-milling-machine-design). The machine has large windows on each side of its main body that display a transparent workflow so that users easily understand the machine’s operation status. Curved lines are actively used for the exterior design of the machine to create a more friendly work environment. In addition to the 2012 IDEA, Professor Bae has participated in other major international design awards, including the Red Dot Award, the If Design Award Japan, and the Good Design Award, from which his research team has received a total of 41 prizes. Professor Bae initiated a campaign in 2005 called “Philanthropy Design,” through which he has donated many of his designs to help people in need. For more on his research, please visit http://www.coroflot.com/frame29/Portfolio1.
New concept 'mole game' robot developed
A new game robot concept developed by KAIST researchers came in first place at a world-renowned virtual reality exhibition, despite being the first ever entry by a Korean team. Professor Lee Woohun’s team from the Department of Industrial Design at KAIST won the first-place award of ‘Gran Prix du Jury’ at the famous virtual reality exhibition, Laval Virtual 2012, which was held between March 28th and April 1st, with the mole game robot, ‘MoleBot’. MoleBot can be enjoyed in a completely physical environment unlike other virtual reality games and allows interaction between the virtual world and reality. Such imaginative interaction attracted numerous spectators during the exhibition. The MoleBot table consists of approximately 15,000 small cubes, and as the object inside the table moves, the cubes slide as if a mole is inside. By using a joystick, users can enjoy physical interaction with the table and a wide range of games. The MoleBot can also be operated with hand gestures using ‘Kinect’, a motion sensing input device developed by Microsoft, making it possible to enjoy games as if playing with a pet. Professor Lee’s team came up with the project from a simple idea: ‘What if moles lived inside the table?’ The team first created a table that would hold and allow the movement of the cubes, and then placed a plastic mold underneath it with a layer of spandex in between to lessen the friction, allowing smooth and lifelike movement. The mold contains magnets that allow the accurate delivery of mechanical movement. After two years of continued additional research, MoleBot was released to the world. In the acceptance speech, Professor Lee said, ‘It is rare for a design team to win first place in an engineering exhibition’ and that ‘to achieve such a feat, the MoleBot’s technological creativity and artistic completeness became one’. Professor Lee also said that ‘this concept of creating an interactive world on a table could potentially become a new game interface’ and that he would research on applying this MoleBot technology to different fields such as human-computer interaction, architecture, interior, and clothing. Laval Virtual is a world-renowned exhibition that displays cutting edge technologies in the field of virtual reality. This year was the 14th exhibit, and over 10,000 people participated in it. The exhibition gives out 12 awards, one per field, and Professor Lee’s team won the highest award.
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