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2017-07 18

[Academics]Developing and Improving MRI Contrast Agent

Contrast agents are the substances injected inside or outside of the digestive tract or blood vessels in order to show tissue or blood vessels more clearly during radio graphic examinations such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) imaging. Its role is crucial as it improves the diagnostic value by artificially increasing the X-ray absorption of each tissue, which makes it more easy to distinguish the biomechanical structure or the lesion from the surroundings. Professor Lee Dong-yun (Department of Biotechnology), through his paper “MRI-sensitive contrast agent with anticoagulant activity for surface camouflage of transplanted pancreatic islets,” has presented an inventive contrast agent that kills two birds with one stone. “When I was conducting this research regarding treatment of diabetes, my biggest concern was whether the outcome would be useful in the medical field or not. Even if the research is flawless, it is of no use if it cannot be put into real uses.” A contrast agent could evoke two main issues: the issue of MRI detection and of blood coagulation. Lee’s research, however, has overcome the two problems. In hopes of creating medical technologies that are valuable and pragmatic, specifically concerning contrast agents in this research, Lee has gone through detailed research and experiments. “The cell therapy products can be said to be ‘coated’ with contrast agents.” The contrast agent Lee has formulated approaches the body in a different manner. Instead of directly injecting the contrast agent into the patient’s body, Lee attached them on the cell therapy products through chemical reaction and then instill the contrast-agent-dissolved cell therapy products into the body. This not only makes detection of cells through MRI or CT imaging possible but also enables controlling of blood coagulation and prevent fibering clot. In Lee’s research, which specifically deals with patients of diabetes, a technology to transplant insulin-secreting cell has been devised for the sufferer. As shown in the diagram, islets (clusters of cells) are implanted into the blood vessels of the liver through catheter, which leads to the problem of accumulation of blood platelets on the surface of the newly implanted cells. This would eventually result in blood coagulation, creating thick fibering clots, further resulting in destruction of the cells. This means the cell therapy products lose their original function and go into nullity. However, with Lee’s research, as the contrast agents are acting as a layer to prevent accumulation of blood platelets and prevent blood coagulation and allow MRI detection at the same time, the use of the newly developed contrast agent is expected to be put in various uses. ' Lee's contrast agents allow MRI detection and prevent blood coagulation. (Photo courtesy of Lee) Jeon Chae-yun Photos by Choi Min-ju

2017-07 09

[Academics]Speech Privacy in High-Speed Train Cabins

Professor Jeon Jin-yong of the Department of Architectural Engineering is an expert in the field of architectural acoustics. His paper, “Control of interior surface materials for speech privacy in high-speed train cabins,” discusses a novel method of using the sound masking technique along with the interior sound dynamics inside the train itself. At times, Speech Transmission Index (STI) is required in Europe and North America for announcements made in trains. During the period of 2012-15, with the support of Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement (KAIA), Jeon had the opportunity to create architectural sound design for trains. Jeon is explaining about the importance of speech privacy. Jeon has experienced a serious problem about five years ago while riding a KTX train and had a chance to hear the ladies talking at the back about seven rows away from him. All the speeches being made by the ladies were being bounced on the shelves of the KTX and reached the other passengers which meant that everyone was listening to their conversation. After the experience, Jeon has decided to set up a new guideline on high speed trains for speech privacy between people. There are also surveys that point out that the most annoying noise on KTX users being the conversation between people by 31.8%. It is suggested by Jeon that the back of the chairs should be high and there should be the minimum space between the chairs in order to block out the conversation from being overheard. Since sound travels through the air and bounces from walls to ceilings, less space being provided for it to move around freely is a way to retain speech privacy. In addition, the material for chairs, ceilings, and side walls being high sound absorption material is suggested to reduce the interior noise. There is yet to be studies made on its fire resistance performance evaluation, weight lightening, and maintenance. Using sound tracking devices, Jeon was able to redesign the interior of the KTX. (Photo courtesy of Jeon) Sound masking has been one of the solutions as to provide speech privacy. It is the beating, squeaking and rattling noises that are created outside the train being intentionally flow into the train to cover up the conversation between people at about 50 to 60 dB. Speed trains with no interior noise has the features that allows the sound of human voice to travel through the space such as low ceiling, long space, and narrow walls. However, sound masking does not suggest interior noise to be too high since it would make the passengers dissatisfied. It means that there has to be enough interior noise in order to secure the speech privacy. Through Jeon’s studies made with computer programs and 1:10 scale sized KTX models, it is now suggested that high speed trains being produced nowadays provide enough speech privacy. After having contributed to the society through his novel findings, Jeon wishes to continue with the studies even further to solve the problem of noise complaint issues between neighbors through deep learning programs. Jeon wishes to contribute to the society through his sound interior designs. Kim Seung-jun Photos by Kim Youn-soo

2017-07 04

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Ground Breaking Advancement in Medical Magnetic Robot

The era of robots wandering inside a human body for medical treatments is about to face our generation. Though the research is still in the process of developing magnetic fields and improving robots, the actual application of the medical robots is expected to occur in a decade. In his research “Magnetic Navigation System Utilizing Resonant Effect to Enhance Magnetic Field Applied to Magnetic Robots,” professor Jang Gun-hee of the Department of Mechanical Engineering proposes the improvement of the magnetic navigation system (MNS) via RLC (stands for resistor, inductor, and capacitor) circuit in the hope of its medical application. Generation of strong magnetic fields in high frequency When doctors treat for blood vessels related illness like coronary artery diseases or have to execute endoscopic surgeries, they often use catheters (thin tube made from medical grade materials) controlled by their hands and medical, empirical sensations. However, these catheters don’t have the sufficient controllability for the physicians due to their long, flexible wires. “The main point of this research was to minimize the surgical errors that these catheters may incur. So, we decided to make magnetic robots that are microscopic enough to wander inside our vessels,” said Jang. The types of robots currently in technical development are various- fish type robots, wobby-like robots, swimming robots, helical robots, and more. However, the magnetic robots especially intrigue the academia. “Compressed springs inside the robot will spread out, enhancing its drilling capability inside the vessels, which its movements will be guided by the magnetic system. Improvements in this MNS are significantly vital, as every mechanical motion of the magnetic robots is proportional to the external magnetic field,” emphasized Jang. Jang has been working on the magnetic navigation system research for about 12 years, which currently resulted in the torque magnetic field on the right. Through the experiments to unclog the blocked area of tubular environments, Jang and his students researched on a novel MNS with the resonant effect of the RLC circuit. “Simply saying, these robots with the MNS have magnets. When the north pole of the magnet approaches another north pole, it will push, and vice versa in the case of the south pole. This is the simplistic picture of how the magnetic robots and the MNS are working,” said Jang. Advancement to this fundamental phenomenon, Jang refers to the "closed right hand rule" (Ampere Law that relates the net magnetic field along a closed loop to the electric current passing through the loop) to explain his research. “In our newly developed MNS, inside the diameter of 50 centimeters wide spherical environment, we can create and control strong magnetic field in any direction which eventually generates useful various mechanical motions of the magnetic robots,” highlighted Jang. Another unconventional discovery of Jang’s research is the application of resonant frequency in the RLC circuit to amplify the magnetic field of the robot. RLC stands for resistance, inductance, and capacitance which all are in the influential relationships in science. When the alternating voltage is increased, the resistance should be divided to flow the current. However, as the alternating frequency of voltage increases, the current decreases due to the inductance of the coil. “We eliminate the effect of inductance with the application of varying capacitance that leads to maximizing the current and the magnetic field in high frequency,” explained Jang. This phenomenon was able to generate fast drilling motion of the magnetic robot to unclog the blocked area of blood vessels. Furthermore, application of the MNS developed a crawling robot that can also deliver drugs into a human body, which Hanyang University gained its international patent of. (Video courtesy of Jang) Hopes for the scientific improvement It has been a decade since Jang has been working on this magnetic robot research. The beginning of all dates back to when his mother was hospitalized due to her coronary artery disease in the heart. “The doctor told me that the illness is genetic and I may also be in danger. So, I thought that rather than believing in the doctor’s hand and the catheter, I should believe in science to develop this surgical methodology and first test on me,” said Jang. During the several years that Jang has been working with his students, he also began to long for fostering his students and their success. “I was always interested in the concept of a motor since I was young. This academic desire eventually led me to become a scholar, but since I became a professor of many students and a father of two daughters, I began to be intrigued to their life-long academic achievements,” reminisced Jang. Ph.D students of the Department of Mechanical Engineering- Lee Won-seo (left) and Nam Jae-kwang (right), also participated in the research with their professor Jang. It is estimated that after more technical amendments of this mechanical robot, it will be capable of testing on animals, and then applied to human surgeries, which will take about a decade. During this journey to scientific achievements, Jang realized that efforts are what science really value. “Just like my students who endeavored all their desires to science to leap higher, I hope that the South Korean scientific academia will also hope for the brighter future,” reminded Jang. Kim Ju-hyun Photos by Kim Youn-soo

2017-06 26

[Academics]Assessing the Effectiveness of Global Marketing Strategies

Professor Kim Bo-young of the Department of Business has been nominated as the researcher of the week for her active research in the field of international business and marketing. In her paper, “Assessment of the Economic Benefits from US Meat Export Federation’s (USMEF) Marketing Investment in South Korea”, Kim explains how controllable economic factors such as marketing expenditure can have substantial impact on enhancing international trade and business. A photo of Professor Kim (Photo couresy of Kim) More specifically, this research aims to estimate the economic impacts of USMEF marketing investment for commodity on US beef in South Korea. An econometric framework has been developed to assess the effectiveness of USMEF’s marketing strategies and promotional programs in South Korea, by developing an import demand model for US beef and eliciting Benefit-Cost-Ratio (BCR) of USMEF’s promotion investment. From this analysis, 1) the relationships between selected uncontrollable and controllable economic variables and the US beef demand in South Korea are assessed, and 2) with BCR simulation analysis, the return on promotion investment (ROI) of USMEF is derived. In the first stage, the baseline scenario was constructed with the estimated import demand which is set to historical level (i.e.100%) of marketing expenditure, then compared with a counterfactual scenario, where marketing expenditure was hypothetically reduced by 75% below the historical level. The difference between the two scenarios implies the impact of reduction in marketing investment. Hypothetically, 75% reduction in USMEF marketing investment would have decreased US beef import in South Korea, a possible reduction of 20.68% in US beef import demand. (Photo courtesy of Kim) In the second stage, BCR is calculated (i.e.). is the benefit of USMEF promotion investment (i.e. the additional net revenue of US beef due to increased export volume & export price), and is the cost of USMEF promotion investment (i.e. the sum of the various marketing costs). Using this BCR calculation approach, 9 simulated scenarios are generated, which suggest BCRs for US beef with USMEF promotion investments over nine different market and supply conditions. The graph above shows a caculation of BCR. (Photo courtesy of Kim) The study results show that increase in USMEF promotion investment had a significant and positive impact on the net revenue of US beef export to Korea over the period of 2007-2013. The estimates of BCRs ranged from 2.20 to 9.66 under 9 different market scenarios, indicating that on the average, the benefits of USMEF promotion is greater than the cost of USMEF promotion for all 9 scenarios. For example, 9.66 for BCR imply that the benefit of USMEF promotion is 9.66 times greater than the cost. In translation, under the 10% net margin scenario, every dollar invested in USMEF promotion to Korea market generated a return of U$9.66 at most. The incremental benefits for US beef (i.e. additional net revenue) range from U$15.73 million (=10 & =3%) to U$69.95 million (=2 & =10%). Thus, there are substantial returns on USMEF promotion investment. When it comes to international trade of commodity products, there are varying degrees of control over factors that affect their economic benefits in the foreign market. Exchange rates, the price of substitutes, income growth in importing country are some examples of uncontrollable variables affecting commodity exporters. Nonetheless, the study results suggest that there is convincing evidence of commodity promotion expenditure in foreign market, exerting a significant positive influence on the commodity import demand. Thus, promotion investment by international marketing agency can be viewed as an important controllable variable for successful export of commodity. Korean commodity exporters may need to take this as a lesson in developing their export marketing strategies in the future. Currently, Kim is in charge of the Korea Institute of Sustainable Economy (KISE) and her research team is conducting Korea-Japan-China triad comparative analysis on the Omni channel marketing and retailing. By using corporate big data and survey, she is exploring the optimal development of the Omni channel in retail markets in Korea, Japan and China. Kim plans to expand her studies on consumer analytics and international business/data analytics for better understanding of rapidly evolving global retail markets. Yun Ji-hyun

2017-06 18

[Academics]Precise Diesel Engine Control in Action

Professor Sunwoo Myoung-ho of the Department of Automotive Engineering is an expert in the field of internal combustion engines and serves as a director at ACE lab. His paper, “Simplified Decoupler-Based Multivariable Controller with a Gain Scheduling Strategy for the Exhaust Gas Recirculation and Variable Geometry Turbocharger Systems in Diesel Engines,” discusses a novel method of applying a new control strategy in order to reduce the emission of nitroxide in diesel engines. Sunwoo explains precise diesel engine control and how it works. One critical disadvantage of diesel engine is that after the combustion, nitroxide is produced along with carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon and other chemicals. Once nitroxide meets water, it becomes nitrite hydrate (H2NO3) which could cause asthma and other bronchial diseases. There are two solutions that could be suggested to reducing nitroxide. First, is to control the engine in an extremely precise method, and, second, is to use catalyst to reduce nitroxide. One certain benefit that could arise from Sunwoo’s studies is that it makes diesel engines more of a “green car” in addition to being fuel efficient. As the production of nitroxide level gets significantly lower, it results in improvement of air pollution, less bronchial diseases for people and reduction of exhaust fume as well. Sunwoo has been researching on clean diesel, which focuses on making the diesel engines much cleaner and greener, for decades . Another program that Sunwoo, along with Hyundai Motor Company, has been focusing on for the past five years is meeting the Euro 7 standards. Euro 7 is the regulation of exhaust gases which is expected to go into effective in 2019. The draft for meeting the regulations has been produced so far. Sunwoo is planning to produce the cleanest internal combustion engine possible. "Think different, and act different." Sunwoo has provided some valuable advice for Hanyang students: “Find what you like the most. This is the primary mission of college life. Make your career different from others. This is the most important mission of all. Finally, never give up and do your best.” Kim Seung-jun Photos by Kim Youn-soo

2017-06 12

[Academics]Bringing Unknown Species into the Light

Professor Lee Won-choel of the Department of Life Science is a researcher who studies biological diversity, animal taxonomy, sociobiology, and marine biology. A passionate animal taxonomist who specializes in meiofauna, microscopic organisms living in the sea floor, Lee found and classified over 100 new species. His recent paper, “A new species of the genus Nannopus (Copepoda, Harpacticoida, Nannopodidae) from the mudflat of Ganghwa Island, Korea” introduces his discovery of Nannopus ganghwaensis. Lee talks about his discovery of Nannopus ganghwaensis. The species Nannopus ganghwaensis, which belongs to the order of harpacticoid copepods of meiofauna group is a discovery Lee made during his scientific project regarding researching life in Ganghwa mudflat. In order to clarify that it is entirely new, Lee took several steps. First of all, he observed that the specimen displays general features of a harpacticoid through microscope. Then Lee proceeded into a more complicated procedure, using electronic microscope and carefully examining and dissecting each segment, including each legs and hairs. The next step was identifying the specimen through literary data analysis. Comparing and contrasting each feature of harpaticoid copepods species through this procedure, Lee could find other species of harpacticoids that looked most similar to the newly found ones. “Nannopus ganghwaensis had general features to those species. But when observed much closer into its finest detail, it has its own distinctive features such as having a smooth seta, or thick hair, without additional fine hairs at the end of the forth inner leg. In addition, the innermost seta at the fifth exopod was fused into the segment,” Lee said. Above are pictures of Nannopus ganghwaensis that Lee drew. After dissection, Lee drew the specimen onto a sheet of paper. The most important of the whole process, the carefully measured drawings were later used in his thesis. After pictures were taken through electronic microscope, additional DNA analysis that distinguishes the species was done. Since Lee specializes in marine biology, he not only explores Korean seas but ventures out to oceans worldwide, scuba diving in the North and South Pole, the Maldives, New Caledonia, and more to collect samples of microscopic marine life. Currently, Lee is a project leader in the BK21 Plus Eco-Bio Fusion Research Team, which focuses on training graduate students. In addition, Lee is working for the National Institute of Biological Resources, publishing illustrated guides to newly-discovered and researched organisms. Lee helped to publish the illustrated guide of invertebrate fauna in Korea. “The socioeconomic significance of biological diversity research is that one’s country can be fully aware of its biological resources. This means that the country in question can demand other nations of the same profit when the latter is making use of the former’s resources, according to Convention on Biological Diversity,” Lee explained. In addition, Lee’s field of research gives basic information about organisms due to his work of classifying and finding new species. When secondary research is necessary because of medical reasons, data about various species is more than necessary. Lee’s personal goal is to open international conferences in Korea for students to attend with ease. This was achieved when he organized the 15th International Meiofauna Conference in 2013 and the 12th International Conference on Copepods in 2014 at Hanyang University. “I think I will continue to research as I have always done. There are 4000 harpacticoid copepods and about 2.5 million of them are yet to be found." Lee’s passion is run by his pure interest and enjoyment in finding, classifying, and giving names to new species that are brought into light through his endeavors. Lee scuba dives into the deep sea to collect specimens for his studies. (Photo courtesy of Lee) As a researcher, Lee believes that studying what one truly enjoys lasts long. “In society, people’s choices of their careers are too limited because of social or economic pressures. But people, especially those planning to become researchers, should find their interests in the direction that the masses haven't yet taken in order to strengthen their academic foundation,” Lee advised. Jang Soo-hyun Photos by Moon Ha-na

2017-05 30

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Fusion Research in Enlightenment

Professor Choi Dong-ho of the Department of Medicine is June’s Researcher of the Month for his active role in developing knowledge in the field of medicine. In his paper, “Design and Fabrication of a Thin-Walled Free-Form Scaffold on the Basis of Medical Image Data and a 3D Printed Template: Its Potential Use in Bile Duct Regeneration”, Choi explains how he has created the bile duct, a body part that exports bile from liver to duodenum with 3D printer and being able to successfully conduct clinical demonstration on rabbits. Professor Choi explains about the 3D printing and its relation to artificial organs. For 20 years, Choi has been working on stem cell research which has eventually led to the stage of creating artificial organs with 3D printing techniques. Bile duct is one of the very sensitive body parts where it is hard to fix once problem occurs. Although there are artificial blood vessels, there has been no artificial bile ducts created. What makes it so complicated to make is that since bile is carried through the bile duct, it shrinks as time goes on if created with the material as commonly used as Gore-Tex. The material should be sturdy enough to withstand the bile, and it should be flexible enough to be sewed up as well which is definitely not an easy task. Process of creating bile duct through 3D printing (Photo courtesy of Choi) The diagram above depicts the process of creating bile duct. It first goes through the data acquisition through MRI images and 3D designing. As some cells are mixed up to the mold, it grows into the shape and size as designed. Important technique here is to develop the bio ink that congeals once it flows out of the 3D printing machine. Creating hydrogel and mixing up the stem cells to it is another important task to be completed. "I hope that what I create can be of help to people." Choi’s team is currently in the stage of obtaining patent in the techniques to create artificial organs through 3D printing. Since there are tremendous types of researches to be carried out through his studies, ranging from stem cell reprogramming to drug screening, Choi wishes that creating safe artificial organs in the end is what he wishes to achieve. “I am still doing translational research with various other departments and I hope that what I create can be of help to not only the patients, but even for my family as well in times of emergency,” concluded Choi. Kim Seung-jun Photos by Moon Hana

2017-05 22

[Academics]Novel Way of Measuring Cellular Nanoparticles

Nanoparticles, which are particles with diameters at least one dimension less than 100nm, are gaining intense interest from researchers. This is due to their wide applications in diverse fields such as biomedicine, materials, and electronics. Nanoparticles in medical treatments, for example, are used as drug carriers which are introduced to the human body to deliver medicine to targeted tissues. But because the safety of nanoparticles are not yet fully proven, it is important to understand to what extent the human body can be exposed to nanoparticles. In the paper “Flow Cytometry-Based Quantification of Cellular Au Nanoparticles”, Professor Yoon Tae-hyun (Department of Chemistry) focuses on the quantitative measurement of nanoparticles associated with mammalian cells. Among the increasing research interests toward nanoparticles, Yoon developed a new efficient way to quantitatively count cellular nanoparticles. With the approach of analytical chemistry, Professor Yoon and his research team utilized a technique called flow cytometry (FCM), which is already commonly used in biological and medical fields. One of its uses is to measure the number of blood (e.g. platelet, red and white blood cells) in blood samples. “While the ultimate purpose of our research is to determine whether it is hazardous to humans or not, a more detailed or fundamental subject in this specific study was to develop a method of quantitatively measuring how many nanoparticles would associate with a single mammalian cell,” explained Yoon. As it is a very micro-level research, the goal of the research is to be as simple and accurate as possible. Yoon and his team exposed cells to gold nanoparticles and measured the scattered light intensity of the cell samples using a flow cytometer. Yoon gave the example of fine dust for easier understanding. “When there is a large amount of fine dust in the air, it is usually hard for people to have clear vision because light is scattered by fine dust particles. However, we are able to recognize the existence of nanoparticles thanks to the scattered intensity of a laser source in a flow cytometer. When nanoparticles are associated with cells, the laser beam will be scattered by the nanoparticles and the scattered intensity will be high. If there are no nanoparticles, the laser beam will not scatter but just shoot straightforward,” explained Yoon. Overall graphic and imagery process of FCM, and scattering lights of cells with nanoparticles. (Photo courtesy of Yoon) The main significance of the research not only comes from the fact that it tried to tackle and study fundamental characteristics of nanoparticles, but also from how Yoon and his team improved the conventional FCM technique for utilization. His team discovered the statistical relationship between the FCM-scattered light intensity of the cell samples and the number of nanoparticles associated with cells. This finding enabled Yoon's team to accurately detect and quantify the cellular association of nanoparticles. “I think it is important to have thorough knowledge about the safety and effectiveness of the use of nanoparticles, and our research can act as a foundation for acquiring such knowledge to develop further applications. Along with the new findings, I hope our research contributes to the fusion of nanoscience and technology, along with other research areas such as biomedical fields,” said Yoon. Yoon hopes to research on nanoparticles for practical use in different fields. Yun Ji-hyun Photos by Kim Youn-soo

2017-05 14 Important News

[Academics]Production of Green Energy

Professor Lee Kun-sang of the Department of Earth Resources and Environmental Engineering is an expert in the field of earth resources. His paper, “Evaluation of CO2 injection in shale gas reservoirs with multi-component transport and geomechanical effects”, discusses a novel method of sequestrating carbon dioxide while extracting more shale gas efficiently. Professor Lee explains the findings depicted in his paper. Carbon dioxide, also known as CO2, continues to be a huge problem on the agenda nowadays. Numerous countries and environmental groups are trying to reduce CO2 emissions by imposing carbon tax. This may help reduce the CO2 emission rate but it does not actually reduce the total amount of CO2 in the air. What Lee has been studying may be a groundbreaking way to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. The idea sparked up a few years ago when Lee and his students were funded the government through a research program to visit Pennsylvania State University in the US, that has been initiating research on this topic. The most well-known idea at the moment is to store the CO2 in the ground, but the problem with this was the economic drawbacks. Lee’s research focuses on injecting CO2 into shale reservoirs, which is a very tight sedimentary rock. Basic Diagram of CCS method. (Photo courtesy of Global CCS Institute) This method, also known as carbon capture and storage (CCS), is the act of separating CO2 from flue gases and collect them to store them underground. Just injecting CO2 into the ground results in high costs to store them, but Lee's approach not only takes care of CO2 in the air, but also allows for an easier extraction of shale gas as CO2 has a stronger tendency to absorb to shale. Simply put, CO2 increases the pressure into the methane gas while CO2 resides in the shale. All in all, CCS is economically and environmentally beneficial. Lee is continuously working to keep the natural properties of shale rock. Since it has a very meticulous feature, injecting oil or gas in them changes the properties a lot. Trying to develop the most refined model that would keep the properties of shale rock is one of Lee’s goals. Professor Lee has worked on a profitable model of reducing CO2 and collecting more methane gas that would benefit the environment. Kim Seung-jun Photos by Kim Youn-soo

2017-05 02 Important News

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Simulation of Human Movements

Professor Kwon Tae-soo. Human movements are much more intricate and complicated than it seems. Many attempts were done to portray moving human actions by computer program and animation. Those attempts were partly successful until now, yet with certain limitations. Professor Kwon Tae-soo of the Department of Computer Science & Engineering is greatly interested in simulating human motion. In his recent paper, “Momentum-Mapped Inverted Pendulum Models for Controlling Dynamic Human Motions”, he explains about how physics can be applied into animating human movement and be used in its development. Simulating human animation is a complicated business. Most of the animation we see in games and movies is based on a technical method called motion capture. Motion capture is a method of simulating motions by attaching sensors to a moving object and tracking the information of the movements, then analyzing its numerical data. However, movements of these animations have certain limits because of its foundation which merely consists of pre-captured motions. Therefore, in order to exceed this disadvantage, quite a few research was done utilizing physics into developing animation using Inverted Pendulum Model, or IPM, which analyzes human motions through controlling robots by computerized robot simulator program. Although IPM became a potentially alternative method of producing simulation of motions, it had a problem of producing unnatural movements of characters. Kwon, who was aware with this limitation of IPM, developed a new form of IPM called Momentum-Mapped Inverted Pendulum Models (MMIPM). The similarity of IPM and MMIPM is that both methods use two kinds of robot, a simple kind of robot, an upside-down kind of pendulum which is comprised of a cart and a pole, and a humanoid. Due to the difficulty of controlling a complex humanoid, the simple robot is first used. By using conversion after mapping the present state of simple robot, signals for controlling the humanoid can be calculated. The difference of the quality of movement of characters between IPM and MMIPM. (Photo courtesy of Kwon) One of the main contrasts between IPM and MMIPM is the way mapping is done. While mapping for IPM must use both the center of mass and center of pressure of the robot for mathmatical differentiation, momentum-mapping uses the center of mass. Differentiating one time instead of two is highly beneficial because the quality of signals improve. In addition, if two feet of the humanoid are above the ground, center of pressure becomes absent, mapping with conventional IPM method become impossible, whereas mapping with MMIPM is still possible. MMIPM also concentrates on modeling the changes of postures and how much the human body is tilted during performing certain actions. Therefore, because of the differences or technical improvements of MMIPM compared with IPM, expressing more natural and difficult movements can be realized. As a result, Kwon could successfully produce more natural movements of running, and complex acrobatic motions such as spinning, backflip, and handstand. Character performing a backflip. (Photo courtesy of Kwon) Character performing a handstand. (Photo courtesy of Kwon) Professor Kwon’s future studies also focus on human movements, which are reenacting motions of soft parts of the human body, such as fat. According to Kwon, the technology which is used for today’s animations and games is from a decade ago. “Although at first a game with great graphics may seem like something big. However, when you start an online game, soon you will realize that the actions of your characters are mere repetitive movements, ” said Kwon. Through his study, Kwon aspires to broaden the limits of present day game-play and animation. “My ultimate objective is enabling game characters to perform unexpected movements when players enjoy unpredictable game plays,” Kwon revealed. Jang Soo-hyun Photos by Choi Min-ju