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Hubo Debuts as a News Anchor
HUBO, a humanoid robot developed by Professor Jun-Ho Oh’s team, made its debut as a co-anchor during the TJB prime time news 8 on May 14. “Un-contact" became the new normal after Covid-19 and many business solutions are being transformed using robotics. HUBO made two news reports on contactless services using robots in medical, manufacturing, and logistics industries. HUBO 2, the second generation of HUBO, appeared as a special anchor on the local broadcasting network’s special program in celebration of its 25th anniversary. HUBO is the champion of the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge held in the USA. Its FX-2 riding robot also participated in the Olympic torch relay during the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Click here to watch a full video of HUBO anchoring the news. (END)
Hubo Completes New Mission at the Winter Olympic Torch Relay
KAIST-born humanoid robot, Hubo, completed its special new mission: carrying the Olympic torch. The Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongChang for two weeks beginning February 9. On December 11, the final leg of the torch relay in Daejeon for the PyeongChang Olympics 2018 took place inside KAIST. A city known for science and technology hosted special torch relay runners over three days. Hubo arrived at the campus with Dr. Dennis Hong, a professor from the University of California at Los Angeles, in an autonomous vehicle. Then, Hubo received the flame from Professor Hong. Hubo, a robot developed by Professor Jun Ho Oh from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at KAIST, is best known for being the winner of the DARPA Robotics Challenge in 2015. Hubo successfully completed its Olympic mission. That is, it had to drill through a wall to deliver the torch to the next runner. After completing the mission successfully, the torch was passed to Professor Oh. He ran a few steps and handed it over to the last runner of the Daejeon leg. The last runner was Jung Jae Lee, who is a winning team member of the Samsung Junior Software Cup. Lee also had the honor of riding and controlling FX-2 which is another robot developed by Professor Oh for this peace torch relay. FX-2 took a few steps to finalize the relay. Lee said, “I would like to become an expert in security. As I was riding the robot, I felt every step I took was one step closer to achieving of making major developments in the field of security. Professor Oh said, “It is meaningful to see humans and robots cooperating with each other to carry out the torch relay.” The torch relay, participated in by both humans and robots in Daejeon, was successfully completed and the torch headed off to Boryeong, Chungcheongnam-do.
KAIST's Top 10 Contributions to Korea and the World
Established in 1971, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) started off as a relatively modest graduate school in a few disciplines in science and technology, but has gradually expanded into a full-fledged research university over the years. From the beginning, KAIST was intended to offer an elite science education, setting it apart from other universities in Korea. A majority of its graduates have contributed to the development of, what the world now praises, Korean industry and economy, and have led the Korean scientific community for several decades. The university has also advanced the frontiers of knowledge, conducting the lion’s share of the nation’s private research and development in basic and applied science, leading to innovations and technologies essential to the growth of today’s Korea. As it establishes international benchmarks of success, KAIST has acquired a global reputation for delivering the highest level of science and engineering education, while performing cutting-edge research and serving as a crucial driver to generate new knowledge and innovation beneficial not only to Korea but also to the world. The university has consistently ranked in the top 100 research universities for over more than a decade, according to the world university rankings published by international ranking institutions for higher education, among others, Quacquarelli Symonds and the Times Higher Education. KAIST will mark its 45th anniversary next year. It plans to celebrate the anniversary, and here are some of the reasons why: KAIST’s Win at the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) 2015 Team KAIST, consisted of 29 members (students and researchers) led by Professors Jun-Ho Oh of the Mechanical Engineering Department and In-So Kweon of the Electrical Engineering Department, won the international humanoid robotics competition hosted by the United States (US) Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Upon completion of the first and second competitions, the finals were held on June 5-6, 2015, at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. DARPA hosted the event to spur the development of humanoid robots to assist rescue and relief efforts in dangerous environments such as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear incident in 2011. With 24 international teams participating in the finals from the US, Japan, Germany, China, Italy, and Korea, Team KAIST’s humanoid robot, DRC-HUBO, completed all eight tasks in 44 minutes and 28 seconds, six minutes earlier than the runner-up, and almost eleven minutes earlier than the third-place team, walking away with the grand prize of USD 2 million. Hitting a Grand Slam to Win Major International Design Awards Professor Sang-Min Bae of the Industrial Design Department achieved a grand slam in international design awards with his work HEARTea, an interactive tumbler, winning four major design competitions in the world: the iF Design Award, the International Design Excellence Awards, the Red Dot Design Award, and the Good Design Award. Released in 2010, HEARTea swept prizes from the four awards which were held during the period of the year 2010-2011. The tumbler displays the temperature of liquid contained inside in three degrees (cool, warm, and hot) by showing different colored lights on the surface of the tumbler based on the liquid temperature (see picture below). In 2015, Professor Bae and his research team won three awards from the 2015 Red Dot Design Award: the Best of the Best Award and two Red Dot Design Concept Awards. The team received the Best of the Best Award, the most prestigious award among the Red Dot Design awards, for Boxchool, a modular classroom built on shipping containers, which offers underprivileged children better opportunities for learning. With greater mobility, Boxchool can be easily installed in any setting, including remote areas where children do not have access to regular school facilities. Glass Fabric Thermoelectric Generator, the Grand Prize Winner at the Netexplo Forum 2015 Professor Byung-Jin Cho of the Electrical Engineering Department received the grand prize at the Netexplo Forum 2015 held in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on February 4-5, 2015, at the UNESCO House in Paris. Established in 2007, the Netexplo Forum is an annual international conference hosted by the Netexplo Observatory, a non-profit organization sponsored by the French Senate and the French Ministry for the Digital Economy, which studies the impact of digital technology on society and business. Each year, the Netexplo Forum highlights major trends in digital technology and innovation worldwide and lists the top ten most promising technologies that it considers will greatly impact the world. Among the list for this year, Professor Cho’s glass fabric-based thermoelectric (TE) generator received the grand prize. Using a screen-printing technique, Professor Cho printed TE liquid materials onto a glass fabric to generate electricity through the thermoelectric effect, that is, by generating electricity from temperature difference. Since the glass fabric is light and flexible, this technology is expected to have a wide range of applications in wearable computers and devices. Charging on the Go: Online Electric Vehicle System KAIST’s Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) is a system that charges electric vehicles while stationary or driving, thus removing the need to stop for charges. Developed by Professor Dong-Ho Cho of the Electrical Engineering Department and his research team, OLEV receives power wirelessly through a new application called “Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance technology (SMFIR).” Electrical cables buried underneath roads create magnetic fields, and a receiving device installed underneath the electric vehicle collects the fields and converts them into electricity. Time, a US weekly magazine, listed OLEV as one of the 50 Greatest Inventions of the Year 2010 in its November 22nd issue. Since 2012, several OLEV buses have been operating daily to provide citizens with transportation in cities such as Yeosu, Gumi, and Sejong in Korea. In April 2015, Professor Cho signed a memorandum of understanding with the city government of Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia, to provide two OLEV buses for inner-city transportation services. The research team also developed OLEV for a high capacity transit system including trams and high-speed trains, successfully showcasing 60 kHz of power transferred wirelessly to trams and trains in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Pioneer in the Development of Functional Mesoporous Materials and Zeolites On September 25, 2014, Thomson Reuters announced the “2014 Citation Laureates,” a list of candidates considered likely to win the Nobel Prize in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and economics. Distinguished Professor Ryong Ryoo of the Department of Chemistry was named the 2014 Thomson Reuters Citation Laureates in Chemistry in recognition of his significant contribution to the advancement of designing functional mesoporous materials. He is the first Korean scientist to make the list. Professor Ryoo has pioneered the field of functional mesoporous materials and zeolites which are widely used as catalysts and sorbents. In 1999, he developed a nanocasting method, and with the technique, was able to synthesize ordered mesoporous carbon materials, for the first time in the world. Today, ordered mesoporous carbon materials have widespread applications in many areas such as adsorbents, catalysts and supports, gas-storage hosts, and electrode materials. Since 2006, using zeolite frameworks, Professor Ryoo has led the development of new methods to synthesize mesoporous materials whose molecules are designed to have a hierarchical structure of microspores and mesopores. He has published 255 research papers in renowned academic journals including Nature and Science. In December 2011, Science highlighted his research as one of the top ten breakthroughs in the year of 2011 in an article entitled “Directing Zeolite Structures into Hierarchically Nanoporous Architectures.” Professor Ryoo received numerous awards and honors including the World’s Top 100 Chemists over the Past 11 Years (2000-2010) by UNESCO and IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry), the Breck Award by International Zeolite Association, and the Ho-Am prize in Science. The Launch of Korea’s First Satellites into Space Founded in 1989, the Satellite Technology Research Center (SaTReC) at KAIST has led the development of a series of Korean-made satellites over the past 26 years. The first satellite, the Korea Institute of Technology Satellite-1 (KITSAT-1), was launched on August 11, 1992, at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. KITSAT-1 was designed in collaboration with a British university, the University of Surrey in Guildford. The success of KITSAT-1 sparked nation-wide interest in the development of space technology and led to the subsequent launches of 18 satellites and three carrier rockets such as KITSAT-2 and 3 (meteorological satellites); KSR-1, 2, and 3 (carrier rockets); KOREASAT-1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 (communication satellites); KOMPSAT-1, 2, 3, and 5 (multipurpose satellites); STSAT-1, 2C, and 3 (scientific satellites); and COMS-1 (navigation satellite). The latest scientific satellite, STSAT-3, and an earth observation satellite, KOMPSAT-3A, were launched in 2013 and 2015, respectively. The STSAT-2C, exclusively developed by SaTReC, was launched in January 2013 and transmitted data on the observation of space environments to the ground station located on KAIST’s campus for 14 months. The STSAT-2C was the first satellite developed solely with Korean technology. On June 30, 2009, the Korean government also established a spaceport in South Jeolla’s Goheung County, the Naro Space Center to launch satellites and spacecraft. KAIST: Major Feeder for Startups in Korea As seen in its core values of promoting creativity and a challenging spirit, KAIST has always encouraged startups and technology transfers led by university members including students and faculty. In the past four years from 2011 to 2014, students and faculty members have created 104 startups based on technology innovation and research outcomes, with an average of 26 new companies started per year. This is the highest number of university-led startups in Korea. As of 2013, KAIST graduates founded a total of 1,245 companies, generating approximately USD 1.5 billion sales and creating 34,000 jobs. KAIST has provided a variety of programs and facilities to build a startup-friendly campus culture and support student- and faculty-led entrepreneurship, for example, the End-Run Policy, Startup KAIST Studio, the Institute of Startup and Entrepreneurship, and the Startup Incubation Center. In particular, KAIST Idea Factory, a startup laboratory established last year, where students play around with ideas by conducting new experiments or building test products, created 3-D printers this year, producing 20 prototypes and filing four pending patents. Recently, KAIST has registered four proprietary standard patents with MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group)-LA’s HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) Patent Portfolio License, which provides access to essential patent rights for the HEVC digital video coding standard. KAIST expects to acquire more than 50 proprietary standard patents within two years, generating close to UDS 1 million in income. The Number of KAIST Doctoral Graduates Reaches Over 10,000 Since the establishment of KAIST forty-four years ago, more than ten thousand alumni have received their doctorates. The university’s 2015 Commencement ceremony took place on February 13, 2015, at the Sports Complex on campus, awarding Dr. Sun-Mi Cho of the Department of Biological Sciences the 10,000th doctoral degree. She also received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from KAIST. In 1978, KAIST had only two doctoral graduates, but since 1987, there have been more than one hundred graduates each year, two hundred since 1994, and four hundred since 2000. In 2015 alone, 522 doctoral students graduated. One of the first doctoral graduates, Dr. Dong-Yol Yang (Class of 1978 in the Mechanical Engineering Department) became a professor in the same department of KAIST. In the early 1970s, many Koreans preferred to go abroad for Ph.D. degrees, but this changed when KAIST began to select candidates for master’s degrees in 1973, and doctoral degrees in 1975. Talented Korean students began to work in KAIST laboratories, and its graduates were known for their knowledge and skills. Now, KAIST receives many applications from talented foreign students as well. At the 2015 Commencement, KAIST conferred 522 Doctoral, 1,241 Master’s, and 915 Bachelor of Science degrees. Since its inception in 1971, KAIST has granted 10,403 doctoral degrees, 26,402 master’s degrees, and 51,412 bachelor’s degrees. Fostering a New Learning Model: The Education 3.0 Program KAIST undertook a bold initiative to improve its education system that would address more effectively the needs of today’s higher education to foster talents with creative and critical thinking skills. It introduced a new pedagogical model, the Education 3.0 program, to the campus in the spring of 2012, which was then an extremely rare movement taken by universities around the world. The Education 3.0 program incorporates flipped learning and smart classrooms. This means there are no formal lectures while in-class time is devoted to problem solving, exercises, projects, or discussions. The program provided students with greater opportunity to control their learning and interact more with professors and peers. Originally started with three general courses in physics, chemistry, and biology, the Education 3.0 is now offered in 50-60 courses per semester. In 2013 alone, approximately 2,000 KAIST students took the Education 3.0 courses. The university has also developed and implemented an e-Learning system to provide online courses, as well as participated in the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Partnering with Coursera since 2013, KAIST has offered three MOOCs in engineering and business management to the global community. Leading the efforts to create Korean MOOCs (K-MOOCs), KAIST agreed with other Korean universities in October 2015 to create online courses in basic subjects of physics, chemistry, mathematics, life science, mechanical engineering, and material science. K-MOOCs will be available in the summer of 2016. Holistic Admissions for Undergraduates Korean universities traditionally put an emphasis on students’ empirical data such as a GPA or the national College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) when reviewing applicants for the undergraduate admission. This practice, however, has posed serious challenges, most notably with CSAT’s requirement that the test takes place only once a year. It was simply impossible and unfair to assess students’ capability from the scores of a high-pressure, high-stakes standardized test. In 2009, KAIST changed its undergraduate admission process to consider the whole applicant’s profile, not just looking for students with good grades, but interesting and promising students who would contribute to the campus community in different and diverse ways. KAIST’s admissions officers have taken into account applicants’ interests, passions, special talents, and personality through their personal essays, recommendation letters, extracurricular activities, and intensive interviews. Prior to KAIST’s new policy, no other university in the nation had ever incorporated such a holistic approach to review student applications. Today, most Korean universities have adopted this admission policy. In addition, for the first time in Korea, KAIST offered all freshmen the option to defer the decision on majors, thereby allowing them to explore their interests more freely. Even after declaring majors as sophomores and higher classes, KAIST students can easily change their majors, and undergraduate students can actually create and lead their own research projects. As such, KAIST has continued to offer innovations to provide students with a quality education to foster their potential.
HUBO to Present at the 2016 World Economic Forum
KAIST researchers will lead an IdeasLab on biotechnology for an aging society while HUBO, the winner of the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge, will interact with the forum participants, offering an experience of state-of-the-art robotics technology. Representatives from KAIST will attend the 2016 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum to run an IdeasLab and showcase its humanoid robot. With over 2,500 leaders from business, government, international organizations, civil society, academia, media, and the arts expected to participate, the 2016 Annual Meeting will take place on January 20-23, 2016 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. Under the theme of “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” global leaders will discuss the period of digital transformation that will have profound effects on economies, societies, and human behavior. President Sung-Mo Kang will join the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF), a high-level academic meeting to foster collaboration among experts on issues of global concern for the future of higher education and the role of science in society. He will discuss how the emerging revolution in technology will affect the way universities operate and serve society. KAIST is the only Korean university participating in GULF, which is composed of prestigious universities invited from around the world. Four KAIST professors, including Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, will lead an IdeasLab on “Biotechnology for an Aging Society.” Professor Lee said, “In recent decades, much attention has been paid to the potential effect of the growth of an aging population and problems posed by it. At our IdeasLab, we will introduce some of our research breakthroughs in biotechnology to address the challenges of an aging society.” In particular, he will present his latest research in systems biotechnology and metabolic engineering. His research has explained the mechanisms of how traditional Oriental medicine works in our bodies by identifying structural similarities between effective compounds in traditional medicine and human metabolites, and has proposed more effective treatments by employing such compounds. KAIST will also display its networked mobile medical service system, “Dr. M.” Built upon a ubiquitous and mobile Internet, such as the Internet of Things, wearable electronics, and smart homes and vehicles, Dr. M will provide patients with a more affordable and accessible healthcare service. In addition, Professor Jun-Ho Oh of the Mechanical Engineering Department will showcase his humanoid robot, “HUBO,” during the Annual Meeting. His research team won the International Humanoid Robotics Challenge hosted by the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which was held in Pomona, California, on June 5-6, 2015. With 24 international teams participating in the finals, HUBO completed all eight tasks in 44 minutes and 28 seconds, 6 minutes earlier than the runner-up, and almost 11 minutes earlier than the third-place team. Team KAIST walked away with the grand prize of USD 2 million. Professor Oh said, “Robotics technology will grow exponentially in this century, becoming a real driving force to expedite the Fourth Industrial Revolution. I hope HUBO will offer an opportunity to learn about the current advances in robotics technology.” President Kang pointed out, “KAIST has participated in the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum since 2011 and has engaged with a broad spectrum of global leaders through numerous presentations and demonstrations of our excellence in education and research. Next year, we will choreograph our first robotics exhibition on HUBO and present high-tech research results in biotechnology, which, I believe, epitomizes how science and technology breakthroughs in the Fourth Industrial Revolution will shape our future in an unprecedented way.”
KAIST's HUBO Ready for DARPA's Robotics Challenge Trials
When walking on muddy or bumpy roads, the two arms of DRC-HUBO become extra legs, enabling stable and agile movements. The Humanoid Robot Research Center (HUBO Lab, http://hubolab.kaist.ac.kr) at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and Rainbow Co., a spin-off venture company of the university, unveiled a new model of HUBO that will be entered in an international robotics competition scheduled later this year. The competition is hosted and sponsored by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is called the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC). Kicked off in October 2012, the DRC’s goal is to spur the development of advanced robots that can assist humans in mitigating and recovering from future natural and man-made disasters. KAIST’s humanoid robot, HUBO, was originally created by Jun-Ho Oh, a distinguished professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, in 2004. Since then, the robot has gone through technological advancements, with the latest version of HUBO II released in 2012. So far, 12 HUBOs have been exported for further studies in robotics to universities, research institutes, and private companies in the US, China, and Singapore. In tandem with Rainbow Co. (www.rainbow-robot.com), Professor Oh and his research team recently developed DRC-HUBO, which will compete as Team DRC-HUBO led by Drexel University at the DRC trials to be held in December 2013. Team DRC-HUBO is consisted of KAIST and nine US institutions. DRC-HUBO is designed to perform difficult but essential activities required when responding to disaster scenes. The robot will have to fulfill eight tasks assigned by the DRC at the upcoming event such as driving a utility vehicle, walking across rough terrain, climbing a ladder, and using hand tools. Unlike the previous models of HUBO, DRC-HUBO boasts several distinctive, enhanced features. Chief among them is the way the robot interacts with the external environment. Without complex sensors installed throughout the body, DRC-HUBO can control each joint of the arms and legs in compliance with the dynamics dictated by the external environment. For example, when DRC-HUBO is faced with a rock falling from above while climbing up a ladder, the robot’s arms and legs naturally give in to the force of external changes. Accordingly, as the robot dodges the rock, its body and joints smoothly sway to absorb shock so that the fingers can keep a tight grip on the ladder, and the feet are planted firmly on the rail of the ladder, not losing balance. In addition, DRC-HUBO can switch from bipedal to quadrupedal walking and vice versa. This provides the robot with greater stability to walk on uneven terrain or to climb up a hill. The robot’s arms and legs are elongated to better meet the challenges demanded by the DRC competition. DRC-HUBO’s two arms swing back and forth to form legs when necessary, thereby walking freely backwards and forwards. The robot has gotten stronger grip as well. The right hand has four fingers (with one triggering finger that operates independently from the other three fingers), and the left hand has three fingers. All three fingers on both hands are actuated synchronously for gripping. The fingers are sophisticated enough to steer the wheel of a vehicle or grab a ladder to climb up, and strong enough to hold 15 lbs in one hand. “With a full 34 degrees of freedom (DOF), DRC-HUBO stands 4.7 ft tall and weighs 120 lbs. All in all, the robot has been improved and extensively refurbished from the past models of HUBOs to compete at the DRC Trials. It has better vision and coordination. The legs and arms have become stronger,” said Professor Oh. “Although the robot is still a prototype, it has important capabilities that can be utilized in advancing humanoid robots in general. One example is the way its arms can be used as extra legs to support the robot’s body, offering more flexibility in providing aid to humans.”
President of Israel visited KAIST on June 9, 2010.
President of Israel, Shimon Peres, visited KAIST today on June 9, 2010 to witness the development of science and technology in Korea and explore ways of establishing collaboration and cooperation with industries and universities between Korea and Israel. President Peres led a delegation consisted of the Israeli Mister of Industry, Trade, and Labor, the Minister of Communication, and 60 business leaders from the top companies in the security, infrastructure, communication, high-tech, and water industries. Upon their arrival to the campus, the Israeli delegation was greeted by KAIST’s humanoid robot, “HUBO,” and then moved to its branch campus, IT Convergence Campus, for a ride of Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) that has been developed by KAIST. The OLEV receives the necessary power through the cable lines buried underground, so it can be provided with a constant and continuous supply of electricity while running or stopping. Between roads and OLEVs is nothing but space. There is no electrical wires intricately crossed underbody of the electric car or above the road. The pick-up equipment installed beneath the body of the electric car collects magnetic fields created around the underground cables, which then converts the filed into electricity. The OLEV’s wireless, non-contact charging system made it possible for a battery currently used for hybrid or pure electric cars on the market to be smaller and cheaper. President Peres expressed a great interest in the technology applied to the OLVE, quoting, “the OLEV system is indeed very impressive.” He talked about efforts being made in Israel with respect to the development of electric cars. The country plans to replace the conventional transportation system with electric cars by constructing a network of battery exchange stations and roadside charge points which allow the cars to be charged whenever they are parked. “Despite the different approach taken by the two nations for the development of electric cars, I believe that transforming the automobile industry from combustion engine to electric system is the right direction we should all follow. Without addressing the current transportation system that heavily dependent on natural resources, we will not be able to promote “green growth on a global scale,” added President Peres. In addition to electric cars, President Peres took up a considerable portion of his time to exchange ideas on how to expand cooperative relations between universities in Korea and Israel, specifically in the area of space, biotechnology, nanotechnology, high-tech, renewable and alternative energy, and the EEWS initiatives that have been implemented by KAIST to find answers to global issues such as climate change and depletion of natural resources. The EEWS stands for energy, environment, water, and sustainability. In response, the president of KAIST pledged to set up a stronger and greater tie with research universities in Israel, particularly called for more collaboration between KAIST and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Also, the Israeli delegation had a tour for several Korean research and development centers in Daedeok Innopolis, located in the City of Daejeon, which is the 2nd largest science and research complex in Korea. Shimon Peres, the 9th president of Israel, held many of important government positions in Israel, among other things, Prime Minster and Minister of Defense. He won Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, together with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat for the conclusion of a peace agreement, Oslo Accords, between Israel and Palestine Liberation Organization.
Prime Minister Lars LÃ¸kke Rasmussen of the Kingdom of Denmark visited KAIST on March 11, 2010.
Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen of the Kingdom of Denmark visited KAIST on March 11, 2010. HUBO, a humanoid robotdeveloped by KAIST, gave a warm welcome to the prime minister and his delegation. Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen of Denmark visited Moon-Ji Campus of KAIST on March 11, 2010 and had a chance to meet a humanoid robot, HUBO. Since the first appearance in 2005, HUBO has been continuously developed by KAIST for further refinements. HUBO welcomed the prime minister and offered him a flower bouquet. They also shook hands and exchanged small talks in Danish, which made the delegation pleasantly surprised. The Danish delegation had a ride on Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) and showed a great interest in the technology applied therein. The prime minister said, “Denmark has a keen interest in green technology, and I was very impressed by OLEV. It is just amazing to see how fast KAIST has developed as an outstanding research university in the world during a short period of time.” President Lee Myung-bak invited the Danish prime minister to discuss current international developments, including issues involving the Korean Peninsula, and ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in such areas as trade, investment, renewable energy and green growth.
National Green Growth Project, Online Electric Vehicle, Showcased on CNN
KAIST"s green growth technologies were broadcast live on U.S. cable news network CNN from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Oct. 21. The program was part of CNN"s week-long series, titled "Eye on South Korea," focusing on how Korea is working to become a brand leader on an international scale and how the nation is recovering from the global economic recession. During the broadcast, award-winning CNN anchor and correspondent Kristie Lu Stout interviewed KAIST President Nam-Pyo Suh to hear about KAIST-developed two green-growth projects, On-Line Electric Car and Mobile Harbor. KAIST"s humanoid robot Hubo was also showcased. Live broadcasts of "Eye on South Korea" aired from Oct. 21 through 23.
U.S. and Korean Researchers Unveil Newest Research Team Member: Jaemi the Humanoid
- Project aims to enable humanoids to interact with people and their environment June 1, 2009-- A Drexel University-led research team late last week unveiled the newest, most central member of its collaboration with a team of Korean researchers: Jaemi, a humanoid (HUBO). Jaemi HUBO embodies efforts to advance humanoid development and enhance the concept of human-robotic interaction. The project"s goal is to enable humanoids to interact with their environment, and enhancement plans include enabling the humanoid to move over rugged terrain, in unstructured environments and to interact socially with humans and handle objects. The five-year project, funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE) program, seeks transformative models to catalyze discovery through international research collaboration and train U.S. students and junior researchers to effectively think and work in global teams. "The field of robotics is among the top 10 technology areas considered engines for economic growth. Korea understands this and is aggressively pursuing robotics. To stay competitive, the U.S. must do the same," said Mark Suskin, acting deputy director of NSF"s Office of International Science and Engineering. "NSF"s PIRE program and this robotics collaboration in particular, enable the U.S. to capitalize on research in other countries and remain competitive." The PIRE research team is composed of researchers at The University of Pennsylvania, Colby College, Bryn Mawr College and Virginia Tech in the United States; and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea University and Seoul National University in Korea. The team obtained a version of KAIST"s HUBO humanoid, which it named Jaemi HUBO and decided to house it at Drexel University. KAIST HUBO lab has become a model of cutting advance humanoid research by relatively small teams working on tight budgets. KAIST excels in humanoid leg and body design, biped gait (walking, running, kicking), balance (modeling and control system design), and hardware integration. U.S. robotics researchers tend to enjoy an edge in locomotion over rugged, unstructured terrain; manipulation/grasping; cognition, perception and human-robot interaction; and vision (image, understanding, navigation). This collaboration of American and Korean researchers will seek to draw on the expertise of each researcher and take Jaemi HUBO to the next level of development--that is, to improve Jaemi"s capabilities to navigate and manipulate objects and interact with people in unstructured environments. Such capabilities demand information technologies like cognition, perception and networking areas. Targeted enhancement features include a capability to move over rugged terrain and in unstructured environments and to handle objects and interact socially with humans. Jaemi HUBO will also educate the American public, particularly young people, about the science of robotics. This education process began at the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia on May 28, 2009, when Jaemi HUBO was unveiled and introduced to a crowded audience of children and a few adults. Neither male nor female,Jaemi connected with the children, boys and girls alike. Guided by a Drexel University graduate student, Jamei moved, spoke, danced, shook hands and lead the children in a game of Simon Says. Such access to Jaemi HUBO starkly contrasts with that afforded by other high-profile humanoids that are often protected trade secrets, largely inaccessible to the public. Museum curators are pleased to have had Jaemi visit and entertain kids during the weekend. "At the Please Touch Museum, we promote learning through a variety of senses," said J. Willard Whitson,the museum"s vice president for exhibits and education. "A humanoid not only embodies our goal of building layers of knowledge in young people, but Jaemi helps all of us celebrate the playful side of technology." Jaemi HUBO is now at its permanent home at Drexel University, from which travel and guest appearances may be arranged by appointment. Journalists interested in meeting and interviewing Jaemi HUBO and other research team members are encouraged to contact Lisa-Joy Zgorski at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Press Release of U.S. National Science Foundation)
KAIST Collaborating with U.S. Universities to Advance Humanoid Robotics
Hubo, a life-size walking bipedal humanoid robot, is perhaps the best-known character in Korea that KAIST has ever produced. It was shown to the government heads of the Asia-Pacific region during the APEC held in Busan, Korea, in 2005 and appeared at the hit concerts of the pop singer Jang-Hoon Kim. The humanoid robot is soon likely to catch the fancy of Americans as a U.S. government-funded project seeks to create a Hubo that can work and interact with people in collaboration with Korean scientists. "We are going to give the brains to Hubo. (Japanese) Asimo can do only pre-programmed actions. We want to create a Hubo that can help people, interact with people," said Prof. Paul Oh of the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics at Drexel University in Philadelphia and leader of the five-year international project which was launched in November 2007. The U.S.$2.5 million project is funded through the Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE) Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the United States. It brings together world-renowned experts in humanoid design and information technologies. "Dr. Jun-Ho Oh"s lab at KAIST (that has created Hubo) is the world"s leader in humanoid design and the U.S. has advanced technologies in the areas such as artificial intelligence, mechanical learning and robot vision. Combining the strengths of the two countries can create a synergy effect and develop a more advanced humanoid robot," said Paul Oh. He is currently serving as Program Director of Robotics of the NSF which is overseeing robotics research (non-military) in the U.S. consisting over 150 robotics faculty. Paul Oh"s research team consists of experts from five U.S. universities -- Drexel, Bryn Mawr College, Colby College, the University of Pennsylvania and Virginia Tech -- and KAIST. Leading a delegation of six professors and eight students, Dr. Paul Oh made a two-day visit to KAIST on Nov. 18-19 to review the progress of the project and have a technical meeting with participants. "The U.S. universities participating in this program are scattered across the nation. So we decided to have a technical meeting here in Korea," he said. Asked the reason why he chose KAIST as a partner for the program, Dr. Oh said that KAIST is willing to open Hugo to international researchers, whereas in Japan only Honda engineers are allowed to touch Asimo, which is a humanoid robot created by Honda Motor Company. The project is to establish no barrier for roboticists anywhere in the world to pursue the humanoid research; a suite of humanoid platforms will be available for researchers to develop and advance capabilities like locomotion and human-robot interaction. The team has been initially involved in development of three tools, all of which are based on the Hubo platform, in order to kick-start humanoid research in the U.S. They are the Mini-Hubo (a small, light-weight and affordable humanoid purchasable at the price lower than $8,000), On-Line Hubo (a program to operate Hubo online) and Virtual Hubo (a simulation program to do researches in cyberspace). As the first outcome of the project, the Mini-Hubo is expected to be released in the U.S. around next April. Another important purpose of the PIRE program is to seek transformative models to train scientists and engineers to effectively work in global multi-disciplined design teams. To this end, an aggregate number of 20 students from U.S. universities are to stay at the KAIST during the next five years, with two students taking turns on a six-month term. "I was really amazed how much work is done with small funding here. This is really an excellent example to learn," said Roy Gross, an undergraduate from Drexel who has been staying at Prof. Oh"s Lab for the past three months.
Austrian president and first lady visit KAIST
Austrian President Heinz Fischer and first lady Margit Fischer visited KAIST on April 4. HUBO and Albert HUBO, humanoid robots of KAIST, welcomed Mr. and Mrs. President from Austria by giving bouquets to and shaking hands with them. HUBO also showed self-introduction, facial expression, and Tae-Geuk-Kwon demonstration. KAIST President Nam-Pyo Suh said at his welcoming remarks, “KAIST has talented young people as its students, and over 32,000 KAIST graduates are playing very important roles at large conglomerates and schools. To become a world-class university, KAIST is promoting active global exchange programs and hopes to have joint programs with Austrian universities such as the Technical University of Vienna, etc.” Austrian President Heinz Fischer said at his reply, “I am deeply impressed with KAIST, the final place visited during my trip to Korea. Albert HUBO evidently gave me a tip concerning the high technical power of KAIST. Austria is now on a strong education innovation program, and I hope to establish a long-term cooperation programs with distinguished Korean universities like KAIST.” After the ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. President from Austria, Mr. and Mrs. President of KAIST, and distinguished guests had a 30-minute long luncheon at the grand seminar room.
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