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Open KAIST 2015
KAIST’s research environment and its most recent achievements were open to the public. KAIST hosted “Open KAIST 2015” over two days from November 5-6, 2015 in which its 17 departments and three research centers were open to the public. The event is one of the largest events that KAIST holds, which permits such public viewings of its facilities. It is the eighth time it has taken place. During this event, the departments and centers offered 64 programs including laboratory tours, research achievement exhibitions, department introductions, and special lectures. The “Motion Capture System”of Professor Jun-Yong Noh’s lab (Graduate School of Culture Technology) drew particular attention. The “Motion Capture System” expresses human and animal motion in three-dimensional (3D) space using infrared cameras and optic markers, which can then be applied to various industries such as movies, games, and animation. During the program, researchers themselves demonstrated the recording of the movement and its conversion into 3D characters. Professor Yong-Hoon Cho’s laboratory introduced the scientific mechanism behind the Light Emitting Diode (LED) as well as its manufacturing process under the topic:“A to Z of LED Production.” The reserachers explained that how green LED is much more efficient compared to previous light sources and presented applications that how it is widely used in everyday life in smart phones, electronic displays, and other mobile gadgets. Professor Jun-tani of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering introduced “Humanoid Robot Nao’s Imitation of Human Motions.” Nao is an autonomous, programmable humanoid robot developed by a French robotics company based in Paris. Nao has an artificial neural circuit, which is the functional equivalent of a human brain, and can thus mimic the subject’s motions through learning. In addition, Professor Hyo-Choong Bang (Department of Aerospace Engineering) in his lecture on “Unmanned Vehicle Research and Nano Satellites” and Professor Hyun Myung (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering) on his lecture on “Future Civilization Robot System: the Jellyfish Elimination Robotic Swarm and the Wall-Climbing Drone” provided information on the progress of their respective research. KAIST also displayed its most recent research achievements. A lecture on “Information Technology Convergence” offered a showroom for “Dr. M,” which is a mobile healthcare platform. Dr. M is a mobile healthcare system that collects and analyzes biosignals via a smart sensor attached to the human body that shows around 20 advanced technologies. The Satellite Technology Research Center introduced the public to its “Get to Know Satellites” program on Korea’s first satellite “Our Star 1” in addition to showing the satellite assembly room and the satellite communication center. Special lectures were also held for visitors. Professor Min-Hyuk Kim and Hye-Yeon Oh of the School of Computing talked about “Computer Graphics and Advanced Video Technology” and “Man and the Computer,” respectively, from the perspective of non-experts. Another interesting feature was the “Wearable Computer Competition” in which college students held fashion shows with computers attached to their clothes. Professor Jung Kwon Lee, the Dean of the College of Engineering, who led this event, said that “the Open KAIST, which is being held for the eighth time this year, is an excellent opportunity for the general public to experience KAIST’s research environment.” He hoped this could motivate young adults to widen their spectrum of scientific knowledge and raise affection for science.
3D contents using our technology
Professor Noh Jun Yong’s research team from KAIST Graduate School of Culture Technology has successfully developed a software program that improves the semiautomatic conversation rate efficiency of 3D stereoscopic images by 3 times. This software, named ‘NAKiD’, was first presented at the renowned Computer Graphics conference/exhibition ‘Siggraph 2012’ in August and received intense interest from the participants. The ‘NAKiD’ technology is forecasted to replace the expensive imported equipment and technology used in 3D filming. For multi-viewpoint no-glasses 3D stereopsis, two cameras are needed to film the image. However, ‘NAKiD’ can easily convert images from a single camera into a 3D image, greatly decreasing the problems in the film production process as well as its cost. There are 2 methods commonly used in the production of 3D stereoscopic images; filming using two cameras and the 3D conversion using computer software. The use of two cameras requires expensive equipment and the filmed images need further processing after production. On the other hand, 3D conversion technology does not require extra devices in the production process and can also convert the existing 2D contents into 3D, a main reason why many countries are focusing on the development of stereoscopic technology. Stereoscopic conversion is largely divided in to 3 steps; object separation, formation of depth information and stereo rendering. Professor Noh’s teams focused on the optimization of each step to increase the efficiency of the conversion system. Professor Noh’s research team first increased the separation accuracy to the degree of a single hair and created an algorithm that automatically fills in the background originally covered by the separated object. The team succeeded in the automatic formation of depth information using the geographic or architectural characteristic and vanishing points. For the stereo rendering process, the team decreased the rendering time by reusing the rendered information of one side, rather than the traditional method of rendering the left and right images separately. Professor Noh said that ‘although 3D TVs are becoming more and more commercialized, there are not enough programs that can be watched in 3D’ and that ‘stereoscopic conversion technology is receiving high praise in the field of graphics because it allows the easy production of 3D contents with small cost’.
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