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Professor Kwon to Represent the Asia-Pacific Region of the IEEE RAS
Professor Dong-Soon Kwon of the Mechanical Engineering Department at KAIST has been reappointed to the Administrative Committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE RAS). Beginning January 1, 2017, he will serve his second three-year term, which will end in 2019. In 2014, he was the first Korean appointed to the committee, representing the Asia-Pacific community of the IEEE Society. Professor Kwon said, “I feel thankful but, at the same time, it is a great responsibility to serve the Asian research community within the Society. I hope I can contribute to the development of robotics engineering in the region and in Korea as well.” Consisted of 18 elected members, the administrative committee manages the major activities of IEEE RAS including hosting its annual flagship meeting, the International Conference on Robotics and Automation. The IEEE RAS fosters the advancement in the theory and practice of robotics and automation engineering and facilitates the exchange of scientific and technological knowledge that supports the maintenance of high professional standards among its members.
Extremely Thin and Highly Flexible Graphene-Based Thermoacoustic Speakers
A joint research team led by Professors Jung-Woo Choi and Byung Jin Cho of the School of Electrical Engineering and Professor Sang Ouk Kim of the Material Science and Engineering Department, all on the faculty of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), has developed a simpler way to mass-produce ultra-thin graphene thermosacoustic speakers. Their research results were published online on August 17, 2016 in a journal called Applied Materials & Interfaces. The IEEE Spectrum, a monthly magazine published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, reported on the research on September 9, 2016, in an article titled, “Graphene Enables Flat Speakers for Mobile Audio Systems.” The American Chemical Society also drew attention to the team’s work in its article dated September 7, 2016, “Bringing Graphene Speakers to the Mobile Market.” Thermoacoustic speakers generate sound waves from temperature fluctuations by rapidly heating and cooling conducting materials. Unlike conventional voice-coil speakers, thermoacoustic speakers do not rely on vibrations to produce sound, and thus do not need bulky acoustic boxes to keep complicated mechanical parts for sound production. They also generate good quality sound in all directions, enabling them to be placed on any surface including curved ones without canceling out sounds generated from opposite sides. Based on a two-step, template-free fabrication method that involved freeze-drying a solution of graphene oxide flakes and the reduction/doping of oxidized graphene to improve electrical properties, the research team produced a N-doped, three-dimensional (3D), reduced graphene oxide aerogel (N-rGOA) with a porous macroscopic structure that permitted easy modulation for many potential applications. Using 3D graphene aerogels, the team succeeded in fabricating an array of loudspeakers that were able to withstand over 40 W input power and that showed excellent sound pressure level (SPL), comparable to those of previously reported 2D and 3D graphene loudspeakers. Choong Sun Kim, the lead author of the research paper and a doctoral student in the School of Electrical Engineering at KAIST, said: “Thermoacoustic speakers have a higher efficiency when conducting materials have a smaller heat capacity. Nanomaterials such as graphene are an ideal candidate for conductors, but they require a substrate to support their extremely thinness. The substrate’s tendency to lose heat lowers the speakers’ efficiency. Here, we developed 3D graphene aerogels without a substrate by using a simple two-step process. With graphene aerogels, we have fabricated an array of loudspeakers that demonstrated stable performance. This is a practical technology that will enable mass-production of thermosacoustic speakers including on mobile platforms.” The research paper is entitled “Application of N-Doped Three-Dimensional Reduced Graphene Oxide Aerogel to Thin Film Loudspeaker.” (DOI: 10.1021/acsami.6b03618) Figure 1: A Thermoacoustic Loudspeaker Consisted of an Array of 16 3D Graphene Aerogels Figure 2: Two-step Fabrication Process of 3D Reduced Graphene Oxide Aerogel Using Freeze-Drying and Reduction/Doping Figure 3: X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy Graph of the 3D Reduced Graphene Oxide Aerogel and Its Scanning Electron Microscope Image
KAIST Researchers Receive the 2016 IEEE William R. Bennett Prize
A research team led by Professors Yung Yi and Song Chong from the Electrical Engineering Department at KAIST has been awarded the 2016 William R. Bennett Prize of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which is the most prestigious award in the field of communications network. The IEEE bestows the honor annually and selects winning papers from among those published in the past three years for its quality, originality, scientific citation index, and peer reviews. The IEEE award ceremony will take place on May 24, 2016 at the IEEE International Conference on Communications in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The team members include Dr. Kyoung-Han Lee, a KAIST graduate, who is currently a professor at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in Korea, Dr. Joo-Hyun Lee, a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University in the United States, and In-Jong Rhee, a vice president of the Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics. The same KAIST team previously received the award back in 2013, making them the second recipient ever to win the IEEE William R. Bennett Prize twice. Past winners include Professors Robert Gallager of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sachin Katti of Stanford University, and Ion Stoica of the University of California at Berkeley. The research team received the Bennett award for their work on “Mobile Data Offloading: How Much Can WiFi Deliver?” Their research paper has been cited more than 500 times since its publication in 2013. They proposed an original method to effectively offload the cellular network and maximize the Wi-Fi network usage by analyzing the pattern of individual human mobility in daily life.
K-Glass 3 Offers Users a Keyboard to Type Text
KAIST researchers upgraded their smart glasses with a low-power multicore processor to employ stereo vision and deep-learning algorithms, making the user interface and experience more intuitive and convenient. K-Glass, smart glasses reinforced with augmented reality (AR) that were first developed by KAIST in 2014, with the second version released in 2015, is back with an even stronger model. The latest version, which KAIST researchers are calling K-Glass 3, allows users to text a message or type in key words for Internet surfing by offering a virtual keyboard for text and even one for a piano. Currently, most wearable head-mounted displays (HMDs) suffer from a lack of rich user interfaces, short battery lives, and heavy weight. Some HMDs, such as Google Glass, use a touch panel and voice commands as an interface, but they are considered merely an extension of smartphones and are not optimized for wearable smart glasses. Recently, gaze recognition was proposed for HMDs including K-Glass 2, but gaze cannot be realized as a natural user interface (UI) and experience (UX) due to its limited interactivity and lengthy gaze-calibration time, which can be up to several minutes. As a solution, Professor Hoi-Jun Yoo and his team from the Electrical Engineering Department recently developed K-Glass 3 with a low-power natural UI and UX processor. This processor is composed of a pre-processing core to implement stereo vision, seven deep-learning cores to accelerate real-time scene recognition within 33 milliseconds, and one rendering engine for the display. The stereo-vision camera, located on the front of K-Glass 3, works in a manner similar to three dimension (3D) sensing in human vision. The camera’s two lenses, displayed horizontally from one another just like depth perception produced by left and right eyes, take pictures of the same objects or scenes and combine these two different images to extract spatial depth information, which is necessary to reconstruct 3D environments. The camera’s vision algorithm has an energy efficiency of 20 milliwatts on average, allowing it to operate in the Glass more than 24 hours without interruption. The research team adopted deep-learning-multi core technology dedicated for mobile devices. This technology has greatly improved the Glass’s recognition accuracy with images and speech, while shortening the time needed to process and analyze data. In addition, the Glass’s multi-core processor is advanced enough to become idle when it detects no motion from users. Instead, it executes complex deep-learning algorithms with a minimal power to achieve high performance. Professor Yoo said, “We have succeeded in fabricating a low-power multi-core processer that consumes only 126 milliwatts of power with a high efficiency rate. It is essential to develop a smaller, lighter, and low-power processor if we want to incorporate the widespread use of smart glasses and wearable devices into everyday life. K-Glass 3’s more intuitive UI and convenient UX permit users to enjoy enhanced AR experiences such as a keyboard or a better, more responsive mouse.” Along with the research team, UX Factory, a Korean UI and UX developer, participated in the K-Glass 3 project. These research results entitled “A 126.1mW Real-Time Natural UI/UX Processor with Embedded Deep-Learning Core for Low-Power Smart Glasses” (lead author: Seong-Wook Park, a doctoral student in the Electrical Engineering Department, KAIST) were presented at the 2016 IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) that took place January 31-February 4, 2016 in San Francisco, California. YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/If_anx5NerQ Figure 1: K-Glass 3 K-Glass 3 is equipped with a stereo camera, dual microphones, a WiFi module, and eight batteries to offer higher recognition accuracy and enhanced augmented reality experiences than previous models. Figure 2: Architecture of the Low-Power Multi-Core Processor K-Glass 3’s processor is designed to include several cores for pre-processing, deep-learning, and graphic rendering. Figure 3: Virtual Text and Piano Keyboard K-Glass 3 can detect hands and recognize their movements to provide users with such augmented reality applications as a virtual text or piano keyboard.
Professor Keon-Jae Lee Lectures at IEDM and ISSCC Forums
Professor Keon-Jae Lee of KAIST’s Materials Science and Engineering Department delivered a speech at the 2015 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) held on December 7-9, 2015 in Washington, D.C. He will also present a speech at the 2016 International Solid-State Circuits Conference scheduled on January 31-February 4, 2016 in San Francisco, California. Both professional gatherings are considered the world’s most renowned forums in electronic devices and semiconductor technology. It is rare for a Korean researcher to be invited to speak at these global conferences. Professor Lee was recognized for his research on flexible NAND chips. The Korea Times, an English language daily newspaper in Korea, reported on his participation in the forums and his recent work. An excerpt of the article follows below: “KAIST Professor to Lecture at Renowned Tech Forums” By Lee Min-hyung, The Korea Times, November 26, 2015 Recently he has focused on delivering technologies for producing flexible materials that can be applied to everyday life. The flexible NAND flash memory chips are expected to be widely used for developing flexible handsets. His latest research also includes flexible light-emitting diodes (LED) for implantable biomedical applications. Lee is currently running a special laboratory focused on developing new flexible nano-materials. The research group is working to develop what it calls “self-powered flexible electronic systems” using nanomaterials and electronic technology. Lee’s achievement with flexible NAND chips was published in the October edition of Nano Letters, the renowned U.S.-based scientific journal. He said that flexible memory chips will be used to develop wearable computers that can be installed anywhere.
KAIST's Research Team Receives the Best Paper Award from the IEEE Transaction on Power Electronics
A research team led by Professor Chun T. Rim of the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has received the First Prize Papers Award from the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Transactions on Power Electronics (TPEL), a peer-reviewed journal that covers fundamental technologies used in the control and conversion of electric power. A total of three research papers received this award in 2015. Each year, TPEL’s editors select three best papers among those published in the journal during the preceding calendar year. In 2014, the TPEL published 579 papers. Professor Rim’s paper was picked out as one of the three papers published last year for the First Prize Papers Award. Entitled “Generalized Active EMF (electromagnetic field) Cancel Methods for Wireless Electric Vehicles (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=6684288&tag=1),” the paper proposed, for the first time in the world, three generalized design methods for cancelling the total EMF generated from wireless electric vehicles. This technology, researchers said, can be applied to any wireless power transfer systems. The award ceremony will be held at the upcoming conference of the 2015 IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Expo in September in Montreal, Canada.
Omnidirectional Free Space Wireless Charging Developed
The simultaneous charging of multiple mobile devices at 0.5 meter away from the power source is now possible under the international electromagnetic field guidelines. Mobile devices, such as smartphones and laptops, have become indispensable portable items in modern life, but one big challenge remains to fully enjoying these devices: keeping their batteries charged. A group of researchers at KAIST has developed a wireless-power transfer (WPT) technology that allows mobile devices to be charged at any location and in any direction, even if the devices are away from the power source, just as Wi-Fi works for Internet connections. With this technology, so long as mobile users stay in a designated area where the charging is available, e.g., the Wi-Power zone, the device, without being tethered to a charger, will pick up power automatically, as needed. The research team led by Professor Chun T. Rim of the Nuclear and Quantum Engineering Department at KAIST has made great strides in WPT development. Their WPT system is capable of charging multiple mobile devices concurrently and with unprecedented freedom in any direction, even while holding the devices in midair or a half meter away from the power source, which is a transmitter. The research result was published in the June 2015 on-line issue of IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, which is entitled “Six Degrees of Freedom Mobile Inductive Power Transfer by Crossed Dipole Tx (Transmitter) and Rx (Receiver) Coils.” Professor Rim’s team has successfully showcased the technology on July 7, 2015 at a lab on KAIST’s campus. They used high-frequency magnetic materials in a dipole coil structure to build a thin, flat transmitter (Tx) system shaped in a rectangle with a size of 1m2. Either 30 smartphones with a power capacity of one watt each or 5 laptops with 2.4 watts each can be simultaneously and wirelessly charged at a 50 cm distance from the transmitter with six degrees of freedom, regardless of the devices’ three-axes positions and directions. This means that the device can receive power all around the transmitter in three-dimensional space. The maximum power transfer efficiency for the laptops was 34%. The researchers said that to fabricate plane Tx and Rx coils with the six-degree-of-freedom characteristic was a bottleneck of WPT for mobile applications. Dipole Coil Resonance System (DCRS) The research team used the Dipole Coil Resonance System (DCRS) to induce magnetic fields, which was developed by the team in 2014 for inductive power transfer over an extended distance. The DCRS is composed of two (transmitting and receiving) magnetic dipole coils, placed in parallel, with each coil having a ferrite core and connected with a resonant capacitor. Comparing to a conventional loop coil, the dipole coil is very compact and has a less dimension. Therefore, a crossed dipole structure has 2-dimension rather than 3-dimension of a crossed loop coil structure. The DCRS has a great advantage to transfer power even when the resonance frequency changes in the range of 1% (Q factor is below 100). The ferrite cores are optimally designed to reduce the core volume by half, and their ability to transfer power is nearly unaffected by human bodies or surrounding metal objects, making DCRS ideal to transmit wireless power in emergency situations. In a test conducted in 2014, Professor Rim succeeded in transferring 209 watts of power wirelessly to the distance of five meters. (See KAIST’s press release on DCRS for details: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-04/tkai-wpt041714.php.) Greater Flexibility and Safer Charging The research team rearranged the two dipole coils from a parallel position to cross them in order to generate rotating magnetic fields, which was embedded in the Tx’s flat platform. This has made it possible for mobile devices to receive power from any direction. Although wireless-power technology has been applied to smartphones, it could not offer any substantial advantages over traditional wired charging because the devices still require close contact with the transmitter, a charging pad. To use the devices freely and safely, including in public spaces, the WPT technology should provide mobile users with six degrees of freedom at a distance. Until now, all wireless-charging technologies have had difficulties with the problem of short charging distance, mostly less than 10 cm, as well as charging conditions that the devices should be placed in a fixed position. For example, the Galaxy S6 could only be charged wirelessly in a fixed position, having one degree of freedom. The degree of freedom represents mobile devices’ freedom of movement in three-dimensional space. In addition, the DCRS works at a low magnetic field environment. Based on the magnetic flux shielding technology developed by the research team, the level of magnetic flux is below the safety level of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guideline (27µT) for general public exposure to electromagnetic field (EMF). Professor Rim said, “Our transmitter system is safe for humans and compatible with other electronic devices. We have solved three major issues of short charging distance, the dependence on charging directions, and plane coil structures of both Tx and Rx, which have blocked the commercialization of WPT.” Currently, the research team and KAIST’s spin-off company, TESLAS, Inc., have been conducting pilot projects to apply DCRS in various places such as cafes and offices. YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU64pMyJioc Demonstration of 30 Watts Range Omnidirectional Wireless-charging at a Laboratory on KAIST’s Campus Figure 1: Wide-range omnidirectional wireless-charging system based on DCRS can charge multiple numbers of mobile devices simultaneously in a 1m3 range. The above is a transmitter, and the below is a Samsung Galaxy Note with a receiver embedded inside. Figure 2: Demonstration of the omnidirectional wireless-charging system (clockwise from top of the left, robust charging despite the presence of metal obstacles, omnidirectional charging, long distance charging, and multiple devices charging)
KAIST Professor Sung-Ju Lee Appointed a Technical Program Chair of INFOCOM
Professor Sung-Ju Lee of the Department of Computer Science at KAIST has been appointed to serve as a technical program chair of IEEE INFOCOME. The computer communication conference, started in 1982, is influential in the research fields of the Internet, wireless, and data centers. Professor Lee is the first Korean to serve as a program chair. He has been acknowledged for his work in network communications. In the 34th conference, which will be held next year, he will take part in selecting 650 experts in the field to become members and supervise the evaluation of around 1,600 papers. Professor Lee is the leading researcher in the field of wireless mobile network systems. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and served as the general chair of the 20th Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGMOBILE Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing & Networking (MobiCom 2014). He is on the editorial boards of IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing (TMC) and IEEE Internet of Things Journals. Professor Lee said, “I hope to continue the traditions of the conference, as well as integrating research from various areas of network communication. I will strive to create a program with high technology transfer probability.” The 34th IEEE INFOCOM will take place in San Francisco in April 2016.
Professor Kyoungsik Yu Receives the Young IT Engineer Award from IEEE and IEIE of Korea
Professor Kyoungsik Yu of KAIST’s Department of Electrical Engineering is the recipient of this year’s Young IT (Information Technology) Engineer Award that was co-hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Institute of Electronics Engineers of Korea (IEIE), and Haedong Science Culture Foundation in Korea. The award was presented on June 22, 2015 at The Ramada Plaza Jeju Hotel on Jeju Island, Korea. The Young IT Engineer Award is given to emerging scientists who have made significant contributions to the advancement of technology, society, environment, and creative education. Professor Yu's main research interests are IT, energy, and imaging through miniaturization and integration of optoelectronic devices. His contribution to academic and technological development is reflected in his publication of more than 100 papers in international journals and conferences, which were cited over 2,200 times. Professor Yu said, “I’m honored to receive this award and am encouraged by it. I also find the award meaningful because the United Nations has designated this year as the “International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies,” the field I have been involved in as a researcher.” In addition to Korea, the IEEE has jointly hosted and presented this award to researchers in countries such as Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Singapore, and Italy.
World Renowned Wireless Technology Experts Gathered in KAIST
KAIST hosted the 2015 IEEE WoW from June 5 to 6, 2015 Wireless power transfer technologies, such as wireless electric vehicles, trains and batteries, are increasingly in use. A conference, The 2015 IEEE WoW (Workshop on Wireless Power), was held in KI Building for two days starting June 5, 2015 to exchange ideas on the new trends and issues of the world wireless power technology. The wireless power conference hosted by Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), IEEE WoW, was sponsored by its societies, PELS, IAS, IES, VTS, MAG, and PES. This year’s conference took place in Korea for the first time and was titled “IEEE PELS Workshop on Emerging Technologies: Wireless Power.” The event was attended by around 200 experts in wireless power from 15 countries to discuss the international standards and current trends. Keynote speakers were President Don Tan of IEEE; Professor Grant Covic of the University of Auckland; Andrew Daga, the CEO at Momentum Dynamics Corporation; Professor Ron Hui of the City University of Hong Kong; and Jung Goo Cho, the CEO of Green Power Technologies. The forum included plenary speaking sessions on “The Futures of EV and Power Electronics,” “Development of IPT at the University of Auckland,” “Interoperable Solution for Wireless EV Charging,” “Development of IPT for Factory Automation,” “Commercialization of High Power WPT,” and “WPT: From Directional Power to Omni-directional Power.” Notably, KAIST Professor Dong-Ho Cho, responsible for KAIST’s On-Line Electric Vehicle (OLEV) development, spoke on “The Development of Shaped Magnetic Field Systems for EVs and Trains” to introduce the KAIST OLEV bus and OLEV trains developed in cooperation with Korea Railroad Research Institute. The Dialog Sessions on “The Futures of Wireless Electric Vehicles” were led by John M. Miller of JNJ Miller and “Road Charged EV and WPT Regulation and Standard for EV in Japan” by Yoichi Hori of University of Tokyo. The General Chair of this year’s IEEE WoW, KAIST Professor Chun T. Rim said, “This forum serves a great assistance to the industry using wireless power technology in areas such as smartphones, home appliances, Internet of Things, and wearable devices.”
Professor Shim Featured with His Drone System in IEEE Spectrum
The IEEE Spectrum, a technology and science magazine published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), featured an article of KAIST’s autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) entitled “South Korea Prepares for Drone vs. Drone Combat,” posted on April 1, 2015. The article introduces the anti-drone defense system being developed by Professor “David” Hyunchul Shim of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at KAIST. With the goal of developing guard drones that can detect and capture unknown UAVs, the anti-drone defense system consists of reconnaissance drones, agile multi-rotor UAVs equipped with nets which are dropped to snare enemy drones, and transport UAVs to carry smaller drones. Professor Shim currently leads KAIST’s Unmanned System Research Group (USRG, http://unmanned.kaist.ac.kr/) and Center of Field Robotics for Innovation, Exploration, aNd Defense (C-FRIEND). For the article, please go to http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/aerial-robots/south-korea-drone-vs-drone.
PIBOT, a small humanoid robot flies an aircraft
The 2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2014) took place in Chicago, Illinois, on September 14-18, 2014. Professor David Hyunchul Shim and his students from the Department of Aerospace Engineering, KAIST, presented a research paper entitled “A Robot-machine Interface for Full-functionality Automation Using a Humanoid” at the conference. The robot called “PIBOT,” a pint-sized, tiny humanoid robot, uses a mixture of flight data and visuals to fly an airplane, capable of identifying and operating all of the buttons and switches in the cockpit of a normal light aircraft designed for humans. For now, the robot is only flying a simulator, but Professor Shim expects that “PIBOT will help us have a fully automated flight experience, eventually replacing human pilots.” The IEEE Spectrum magazine published an article on PIBOT posted online September 18, 2014. Please follow the link below for the article: IEEE Spectrum, September 18, 2014 Tiny Humanoid Robot Learning to Fly Real Airplanes http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/humanoids/tiny-humanoid-robot-learning-to-fly-real-airplanes
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