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Feel the Force with ElaStick
ElaStick, a handheld variable stiffness display, renders the dynamic haptic response of a flexible object Haptic controllers play an important role in providing rich and immersive virtual reality experiences. Professor Andrea Bianchi’s team in the Department of Industrial Design recreated the haptic response of flexible objects made of different materials and with different shapes by changing the stiffness of a custom-controller – ElaStick. ElaStick is a portable hand-held force-feedback controller that is capable of rendering the illusion of how flexible and deformable objects feel when held in the hand. This VR haptic controller can change its stiffness in two directions independently and continuously. Since providing haptic feedback enhances the VR experience, researchers have suggested numerous approaches for rendering the physical properties of virtual objects - such as weights, the movement of mass, impacts, and damped oscillations. The research team designed a new mechanism based on a quaternion joint and four variable-stiffness tendons. The quaternion joint is a two-DoF bending joint that enables ElaStick to bend and oscillate in any direction using a pair of tendons with varying stiffness. In fact, each tendon around the joint is made of a series of elastic rubber bands and inelastic fishing lines and can vary its stiffness by changing the proportion of the two materials. Thanks to these structures, each pair of tendons can behave independently, controlling the anisotropic characteristics of the entire device. “The main challenge was to implement the mechanism to control the stiffness while maintaining independence between deformations in two perpendicular directions,” said Professor Bianchi. The research team successfully measured the relative threshold of human perception on the stiffness of a handheld object. The results showed that the just-noticeable difference (JND) of human perception of stiffness is at most about 30% of the change from the initial value. It also found that appropriate haptic responses significantly enhance the quality of the VR experience. The research team surveyed the perceived realism, immersion, and enjoyment of participants after they played with various flexible objects in VR. “It is meaningful that the haptic feedback of a flexible object was mechanically reproduced and its effectiveness in VR was proven. ElaStick has succeeded in implementing a novel mechanism to recreate the dynamic response of flexible objects that mimic real ones, suggesting a new category of haptic feedback that can be provided in VR,” explained Professor Bianchi. The team plans to extend the ElaStick’s applications, from being used merely as a game controller to driving simulations, medical training, and many other digital contexts. This research, led by MS candidate Neung Ryu, won the Best Paper Award at the ACM UIST 2020 (the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology) last month. -ProfileProfessor Andrea BianchiMakinteract.kaist.ac.krDepartment of Industrial DesignKAIST
‘SoundWear’ a Heads-Up Sound Augmentation Gadget Helps Expand Children’s Play Experience
In this digital era, there has been growing concern that children spend most of their playtime watching TV, playing computer games, and staring at mobile phones with ‘head-down’ posture even outdoors. To counter such concerns, KAIST researchers designed a wearable bracelet using sound augmentation to leverage play benefits by employing digital technology. The research team also investigated how sound influences children’s play experiences according to their physical, social, and imaginative aspects. Playing is a large part of enjoyable and rewarding lives, especially for children. Previously, a large part of children’s playtime used to take place outdoors, and playing outdoors has long been praised for playing an essential role in providing opportunities to perform physical activity, improve social skills, and boost imaginative thinking. Motivated by these concerns, a KAIST research team led by Professor Woohun Lee and his researcher Jiwoo Hong from the Department of Industrial Design made use of sound augmentation, which is beneficial for motivating playful experiences by facilitating imagination and enhancing social awareness with its ambient and omnidirectional characteristics. Despite the beneficial characteristics of sound augmentation, only a few studies have explored sound interaction as a technology to augment outdoor play due to its abstractness when conveying information in an open space outdoors. There is also a lack of empirical evidence regarding its effect on children's play experiences. Professor Lee’s team designed and implemented an original bracelet-type wearable device called SoundWear. This device uses non-speech sound as a core digital feature for children to broaden their imaginations and improvise their outdoor games. Children equipped with SoundWear were allowed to explore multiple sounds (i.e., everyday and instrumental sounds) on SoundPalette, pick a desired sound, generate the sound with a swinging movement, and transfer the sound between multiple devices for their outdoor play. Both the quantitative and qualitative results of a user study indicated that augmenting playtime with everyday sounds triggered children’s imagination and resulted in distinct play behaviors, whereas instrumental sounds were transparently integrated with existing outdoor games while fully preserving play benefits in physical, social, and imaginative ways. The team also found that the gestural interaction of SoundWear and the free sound choice on SoundPalette helped children to gain a sense of achievement and ownership toward sound. This led children to be physically and socially active while playing. PhD candidate Hong said, “Our work can encourage the discussion on using digital technology that entails sound augmentation and gestural interactions for understanding and cultivating creative improvisations, social pretenses, and ownership of digital materials in digitally augmented play experiences.” Professor Lee also envisioned that the findings being helpful to parents and educators saying, “I hope the verified effect of digital technology on children’s play informs parents and educators to help them make more informed decisions and incorporate the playful and creative usage of new media, such as mobile phones and smart toys, for young children.” This research titled “SoundWear: Effect of Non-speech Sound Augmentation on the Outdoor Play Experience of Children” was presented at DIS 2020 (the ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems) taking place virtually in Eindhoven, Netherlands, from July 6 to 20. This work received an Honorable Mention Award for being in the top 5% of all the submissions to the conference. Publication: Hong, J., et al. (2020) ‘SoundWear: Effect of Non-speech Sound Augmentation on the Outdoor Play Experience of Children’. Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS'20), Pages 2201-2213. Available online at https://doi.org/10.1145/3357236.3395541 Profile: Professor Woohun Leewoohun.email@example.com://wonderlab.kaist.ac.kr Department of Industrial Design (ID) KAIST
Professor Tek-jin Nam Elected to DSR Int’l Advisory Council
Professor Tek-jin Nam from the Department of Industrial Design was elected to serve on the first International Advisory Council (IAC) of the Design Research Society (DRS). The DRS, an academic society in the field of design research, was founded in the UK in 1966 with the mission of developing and promoting design research. The IAC is newly established under the new DRS governance structure, and its members are selected from distinguished design researchers recommended by DRS members around the globe. The new IAC members will carry out various activities offered by the DRS, which include innovating design research, strengthening the design researchers’ network and developing policies to nurture new researchers.
Jeju Inspired Packaging by ID+IM Design Lab Wins 2020 iF Design Award
A water bottle designed by researchers from the ID+IM Design Laboratory led by Professor Sangmin Bae from the Department of Industrial Design won the packaging section of the 2020 iF Design Award. The iF Design Award, hosted by the Hannover Exhibition Center in Germany, is one of the three major international design competitions. It receives more than 7,000 submissions from participants representing 60 countries. The Jeju Yong-Am-Soo (which means ‘volcanic mineral water’ in English) bottle design was a product of an academic-industrial cooperation project carried out by Professor Bae’s team and a Korean confectionery company, Orion Corporation, to create a design for a premium mineral water bottle. The motif of the awarded design was the beautiful nature of Jeju Island in Korea. The columnar joints and the horizon of Jeju Island were each represented by horizontal and vertical lines, completing a simple yet sensuous design. The mystical volcanic Mount Halla printed on the transparent front-label of the bottle represents the daytime of Jeju Island, while the rear-label design, which is reflected through the transparent front-label, symbolizes the nighttime of Jeju Island. By putting the Orion constellation, a symbol of tourist’s guide, right above the Orion Corporation’s brand logo, Professor Bae’s team ambiently promotes the company’s identity. Although the design uses a significantly smaller amount of materials than traditional water bottles, it can withstand about four times the pressure and weight. The efficient structure therefore shows excellence in both aesthetic and functional areas. Professor Bae said, “I am happy with the fact that the result of this academic-industrial cooperation project became mass-produced through commercialization and was recognized by an international design award.” He continued, “Even though it was difficult for my team to come up with the design that fits both manufacturing and the distribution processes, we worked hard to achieve the structural and functional aspects, while also expressing beauty through its appearance.” (END)
Kimchi Toolkit by Costa Rican Summa Cum Laude Helps Make the Best Flavor
(Maria Jose Reyes Castro with her kimchi toolkit application) Every graduate feels a special attachment to their school, but for Maria Jose Reyes Castro who graduated summa cum laude in the Department of Industrial Design this year, KAIST will be remembered for more than just academics. She appreciates KAIST for not only giving her great professional opportunities, but also helping her find the love of her life. During her master’s course, she completed an electronic kimchi toolkit, which optimizes kimchi’s flavor. Her kit uses a mobile application and smart sensor to find the fermentation level of kimchi by measuring its pH level, which is closely related to its fermentation. A user can set a desired fermentation level or salinity on the mobile application, and it provides the best date to serve it. Under the guidance of Professor Daniel Saakes, she conducted research on developing a kimchi toolkit for beginners (Qualified Kimchi: Improving the experience of inexperienced kimchi makers by developing a monitoring toolkit for kimchi). “I’ve seen many foreigners saying it’s quite difficult to make kimchi. So I chose to study kimchi to help people, especially those who are first-experienced making kimchi more easily,” she said. She got recipes from YouTube and studied fermentation through academic journals. She also asked kimchi experts to have a more profound understanding of it. Extending her studies, she now works for a startup specializing in smart farms after starting last month. She conducts research on biology and applies it to designs that can be used practically in daily life. Her tie with KAIST goes back to 2011 when she attended an international science camp in Germany. She met Sunghan Ro (’19 PhD in Nanoscience and Technology), a student from KAIST and now her husband. He recommended for her to enroll at KAIST because the school offers an outstanding education and research infrastructure along with support for foreign students. At that time, Castro had just begun her first semester in electrical engineering at the University of Costa Rica, but she decided to apply to KAIST and seek a better opportunity in a new environment. One year later, she began her fresh start at KAIST in the fall semester of 2012. Instead of choosing her original major, electrical engineering, she decided to pursue her studies in the Department of Industrial Design, because it is an interdisciplinary field where students get to study design while learning business models and making prototypes. She said, “I felt encouraged by my professors and colleagues in my department to be creative and follow my passion. I never regret entering this major.” When Castro was pursuing her master’s program in the same department, she became interested in interaction designs with food and biological designs by Professor Saakes, who is her advisor specializing in these areas. After years of following her passion in design, she now graduates with academic honors in her department. It is a bittersweet moment to close her journey at KAIST, but “I want to thank KAIST for the opportunity to change my life for the better. I also thank my parents for being supportive and encouraging me. I really appreciate the professors from the Department of Industrial Design who guided and shaped who I am,” she said. Figure 1. The concept of the kimchi toolkit Figure 2. The scenario of the kimchi toolkit
Humicotta Wins the Silver Prize at the 2017 IDEA
The 3D-printed ceramic humidifier made by the research team led by Professor Sang-Min Bae won the silver prize at the 2017 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). Professor Bae’s ID+IM team was also listed as winners of three more appropriate technology designs at the IDEA. The awards, sponsored by the Industrial Designers Society of America, are one of the three prestigious design awards including the Red Dot Design Award and the iF Design Award in Germany. The silver prize winner in the category of home and bath, Humicotta is an energy-efficient, bacteria free, and easy to clean humidifier. It includes a base module and filter. The base is a cylindrical pedestal with a built-in fan on which the filter is placed. The filter is a 3D-printed honeycomb structure made of diatomite. When water is added, the honeycomb structure and porous terracotta maximize natural humidification. It also offers an open platform service that customizes the filters or provides files that users can use their own 3D printer. Professor Bae’s team has worked on philanthropy design using appropriate technology as their main topic for years. Their designs have been recognized at prestigious global design awards events, winning more than 50 prizes with innovative designs made for addressing various global and social problems. The Light Funnel is a novel type of lighting device designed for off-grid areas of Africa. It helps to maximize the natural light effect in the daytime without any drastic home renovations. It consists of a transparent acrylic sphere and a reflective pathway. After filling the acrylic sphere with water and placing it on a rooftop, sunlight passes into the house through the water inside the sphere. It provides a lighted environment nine times brighter than without it. Also, once installed, it can be used almost permanently. The Maasai Smart Cane is made using wood sticks purchased through fair trade with the Maasai tribe. GPS is installed into the grip of the birch-tree cane, so that cane users can send a signal when in an emergency situation. All of the proceeds of this product go to the tribe. S.Cone is a first aid kit made in collaboration with Samsung Fire and Marine Insurance. The traffic cone-shaped kit is designed to help users handle an emergency situation intact and safe. The S.Cone has unique versions for fires, car accidents, and marine accidents. For example, the S.Cone for fires is equipped with a small fire extinguisher, smoke mask, and fire blanket. The cap of the S.Cone also functions as an IoT station connecting the fire and gas detector with smart phones. Professor Bae said of his team’s winning design products, “By making the data public, any person can design their own humidifier if they have access to a 3D-printer. We want it to be a very accessible product for the public. The Light Funnel and Maasai Smart Cane are designed for economically-marginalized populations and the elderly. We will continue to make the best designed products serving the marginalized 90% of the population around the world.”
Prof. Sang-Min Bae Receives 2017 iF Design Award
Prof. Sang-Min Bae and his research team from the Industrial Design Department of KAIST submitted a winning entry to the 2017 iF Design Award named ‘Culture BOXCHOOL’. The iF Design Award is an internationally renowned design contest that is recognized as one of the top three design awards in the world along with the Red Dot Design Award and the IDEA Design Award. It has been held annually by iF International Forum Design since 1953. A total of 5,575 entries from 59 countries entered the last competition. Culture BOXCHOOL is a modular container space platform designed for culture sharing in isolated areas. It is delivered as a standard shipping container along with its subsidiary modular parts and it transforms into a gallery, office, or classroom. These modular parts build the interior and exterior by attaching them to the corner castings, which are standard parts on all shipping containers. Two Cultural BOXCHOOL containers can be transformed into three different types of layouts. The containers can generate their own energy using solar panels that provide sustainable energy to equipment inside. Additionally, hot humid air can flow out through the attic vent, doors, and windows. “With Culture BOXCHOOL, you can easily and quickly create spaces such as offices and classrooms, or you can easily disassemble and move them to another location. Thus, it can provide everyone with equal educational opportunities and cultural enjoyment regardless of their geographical location. In addition, because it produces its own energy, it is expected to create a cultural space in a relatively harsh environment such as in developing countries. These social and economic values of Culture BOXCHOOL seem to be what led to us winning the contest. I will continue to strive to create the world’s best designs for needy people.” Professor Bae said. The ID+IM design laboratory, a research team led by Professor Bae, has been studying philanthropy design since 2005, working on solving various problems throughout society through innovative design. They have received more than 50 awards from the most prestigious design competitions in the world.
Professor Kyung-Won Chung Receives the 2015 Design Value Awards
The Design Management Institute (DMI) announced eleven winners of its 2015 Design Value Awards. Professor Kyung-Won Chung of the Industrial Design Department at KAIST took one of the four First Place Design Value Awards. The award ceremony was held on September 28, 2015, at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Boston. DMI is an international organization that has actively advocated for the strategic value of design, sponsoring research, publishing academic papers, connecting members across disciplines and the globe, and sharing best design practices. Commemorating its 40th anniversary, DMI created the inaugural Design Value Awards this year, which honors the contributions of design teams who have delivered significant value through design or design management practices. There were four categories of the awards: first, second, and third prize, and Honorable Mention. The first place had four winners; both the second and third took two winners each. The honorable mention included three awardees. The award noted Professor Chung's contributions to the development of design management theory and practices in Korea and his dedication to elevate KAIST’s industrial design department to one of the 30 leading design institutions in the world during his 30-year career at the university. DMI also appointed Professor Chung a Life Fellow. Professor Chung said, “I am greatly honored to receive such a significant award, the equivalent of the Academy Awards in the field of design. I hope this award will encourage the further development of the Korean design industry to lead the global design community.” He has served in various important positions in public and private organizations, including as the president of the Korea Institute of Design Promotion, Vice Mayor of Design for the City of Seoul, Advisor to the Design Division of Samsung Electronics, and a member of organizing committee of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.
Professor Sang-Min Bae receives the 2015 IDEA Awards
Professor Sang-min Bae of the Industrial Design Department at KAIST garnered one silver and two bronze awards from the 2015 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). Along with iF Design Award and Red Dot Design Awards, the IDEA is regarded as one of the world’s most respected recognition in the field of design. Trash to Bin (T2B), a silver winner in the category of Social Impact Design, is a trash bin made of 1.87 lb (0.85 kg) of discarded papers. Using one-hundred percent recycled paper pulp, each T2B costs under $5 for production. The bin can be fully waterproofed for at least six hours. While satisfying with the industry safety standards, this environmentally-friendly bin can be produced on a large scale using litter energy, but offering the exact same benefit of a general garbage can. Roll-Di, one of the two bronze winners, is a direction indicator that tells which string of screen curtains should be pulled to make the curtain go up or down. As shown in the picture below, Roll-Di can be installed at the bottom of the string, and the “up and down” arrows show which side of the string needs to be pulled to achieve the desired position of the curtain. This simple, yet handy solution to the problem that people frequently make the mistake of pulling the wrong string provides users with greater convenience. The other bronze winner is Printing Solar-cell, an organic cartridge module that prints solar-cells using a domestic, ink-jet printer. With Printing Solar-cell, users can design their own cell patterns and charge their electronics anywhere holding the printed solar-cell on a copy paper. Professor Bae said, “I’ve always tried to design something that is useful for people in need. I consider the IDEA awards an encouragement to keep up with my work toward that goal.” Trash to Bin Roll-Di Printing Solar-cell
Professor Sang-Min Bae Receives the 2015 Red Dot Design Award
Professor Sang-Min Bae and his research team from the Industrial Design Department of KAIST have received three awards from the 2015 Red Dot Design Award: the Best of the Best Award and two Design Concept Awards. Being one of the most prestigious international design awards, the Red Dot Design Award serves to identify good design concept and innovation that will be the precursors of tomorrow’s great product. Its annual award ceremony will take place on September 25, 2015, at the Red Dot Design Museum in Singapore. This year, the Award received 4,680 entries from 61 countries, and only the top 5.7% of them was able to garner the awards. In addition to two Red Dot Design Concept Awards, Professor Bae’s team won the Best of the Best Award, coming through a four hundred to one competition. Awarded the Best of the Best Award, Boxchool is a modular classroom built on shipping containers whose aim is to give underprivileged children equal opportunities for learning. Jointly designed with an IT corporation in Korea, SK Telecom, the container is also a smart classroom. Boxchool received the Best of the Best Award in recognition of its contribution to giving an equal learning opportunity to needy children, as well as its environmental characteristics. The research team strengthened the mobility of the container and creatively addressed problems associated with using containers as classrooms such as insulation and inadequate space in environments which hamper teaching. The modular classroom can function in any setting since it can generate electricity from installed solar panels. The rainwater utilization system allows autonomous operation of the classroom. The team earned the Red Dot Design Concept Award for a self-generating interactive tent, which was jointly designed with Kolon Sport, a Korean outdoor products company, as an industry-university cooperation project. The interactive tent differs from conventional tents by adding features that allow users to engage with the environment. For example, the installed organic solar cells allowed users to have prolonged outdoor activities by supplying electricity generated therefrom. Users can also enjoy greater ventilation. This permits the tent to be utilized as a temporary residence in the third world. Another recipient of the Red Dot Design Concept Award, Snow Energy is a portable self-generating lamp and charger, which contains a thermo-element, generating electricity from temperature difference. Electricity is generated by pouring hot water inside a tank and cold water into a neighboring space. Snow Energy, which is sustainable and eco-friendly, will be especially helpful during outdoor activities when there is no electricity available. Professor Bae's research team, ID+IM, has endeavored to address inequality and philanthropy through two projects, the Nanum (a Korean word to mean “sharing”) and the Seed Projects. Since 2005, they have received internationally recognized awards more than 40 times. Picture 1: Recipient of the Best of the Best Award of the 2015 Red Dot Design Award, Boxchool is a modular classroom built on shipping containers Picture 2: Recipient of the 2015 Red Dot Design Concept Award, the self-generating interactive tent Picture 3: Recipient of the 2015 Red Dot Design Concept Award, Snow Energy is a portable self-generating lamp and charger which generates electricity from the temperature difference
KAIST's Patina Engraving System Awarded at ACM CHI
Professor Tek-Jin Nam’s research team of the Industrial Design Department of KAIST received the Best Paper Award in the 2015 Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) which was held from April 18 to 23, 2015. The team consisted of two KAIST students: Moon-Hwan Lee, a Ph.D. candidate, and Sejin Cha, a master's student. The team was the first in Asia to receive the award. The ACM CHI represents the premier conference in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). This year’s event, held in Seoul, South Korea, was the first conference that the ACM had held in Asia in its thirty-three year history. The KAIST team’s paper, entitled “Patina Engraver: Visualizing Activity Logs as Patina in Fashionable Trackers,” ranked in the top 1% of 2,000 submitted papers. The team developed Patina Engraver, an activity tracker, which monitors and tracks fitness-related metrics such as distances walked or run, calorie consumption, heartbeat, sleep quality, and blood pressure. The device wirelessly connects to a computer or smartphone so that it can store and utilize long-term tracking data. However, what makes Patina Engraver, a smart wristband, different from other health trackers is its ability to display different design patterns based on users’ activity on the surface of the wristband. The research team was inspired to build this system from the fact that wearable electronics including activity trackers can be used not only as health care devices, but also as fashion items to express emotions and personalities. Equipped with an engraving feature, the charging pad or holder for Patina Engraver draws individualized patterns to reflect the user’s activities, such as walking or running, while the device is being charged. The pattern display syncs with the frequency of usage, therefore, the more the tracker is used, the greater the number of patterns will show up. According to the team, since Patina Engraver provides users with a personalized illustration of their activity on the tracker, users are more motivated to put on the tracker and exercise. Professor Nam said, “This research can be applied in producing other wearable devices to enhance users’ emotional satisfaction. When wearable technology is combined with design and emotion, the industry market will quickly expand.” Figure 1: Patina engraving system developed by KAIST research team Figure 2: The process of engraving illustrations of the activity records onto the tracker Figure 3: Personalized activity trackers based on activity records
The Website of the KAIST Industrial Design Department Receives a Design Award
The 10th QS-Apple Higher Education Conference and Exhibition took place on November 11-13, 2014 in Taipei, Taiwan. The conference was hosted by Quacquarelli Symonds, a British company specializing in education, which publishes annually its world university rankings. Apple stands for Asia Pacific Professional Leaders in Education. The QS-Apple conference supports the internationalization of Asia Pacific universities by providing opportunities for networking, exchanging best practices, and discussing recent developments in higher education. During the conference, the organizers presented the Creative Awards for best international education promotional designs in four categories: Website Pages, Video, Print Advertisement, and International Student Recruitment Brochures. KAIST’s Industrial Design Department received the Best Website Pages Award for their website in recognition of high levels of user convenience and satisfaction as well as English language services. A total of 39 universities in the Asia and Pacific region competed in this category, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore came in second place, followed by Hong Kong Baptist University in third.
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