[HYU Research] Develops Self-Powered Artificial Muscle
Professor Kim Seon-jeong
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* This article is published in 2019 Hanyang Research Magazine Vol.2
The development of artificial joints or skeletons is highly regarded as a technology for a healthy life, which human nature is longing for. In the midst of this, researches are actively underway to create even muscles, which are one of the largest components in human body, with the artificial technology.
In 2017, professor Kim Seon-jeong of Hanyang University, Division of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering and eight teams from three countries have succeeded in developing the world's first artificial muscle energy harvester (regenerating electrical energy from an energy that is thrown away in nature).
Professor Kim's research was consecutively selected for Creative Research Initiative Program, supported by Ministry of Science and ICT and National Research Foundation of Korea to foster world-class researchers in 2006 and 2015. As a result, artificial muscles with advanced materials and energy storage devices which stores an electrical energy for driving the artificial muscles have been developed and published four times in Science since 2011. The fifth article is also an extension of the ongoing research on artificial muscles.
He further developed a self-powered emergency signal device (product name: Self-Powered Emergency Signal Device), which had the honor of winning the Innovation Award at 2019 CES.
Professor Kim said, “From 2006 to 2015, we published numerous papers regarding to the artificial muscles as a Center for BioArtificial Muscle, and we are continuing to conduct research on electrical energy that can move the artificial muscles as a Center for Self-Powered Actuation.” also added that, “The technology of harvesting the electric energy from artificial muscle was selected for one of Korea's top 10 technologies news in 2017.”
After 15 years in research, succeeding in developing artificial muscles that are more powerful than human muscles up to 40 times, he is now focusing on an energy that could actuate the artificial muscles.
“As human muscles produce energy themselves to contract, artificial muscles need energy to move freely. We are studying yarn-type artificial muscles that can generate electricity while moving on their own on the basis of biomimetic engineering.” said professor Kim to introduce his research activities.
According to Kim’s explanation, the generated energy from artificial muscles can not only move artificial muscles, but also replace conventional batteries. Batteries have good performance, however, they have disadvantages of discharging quickly and being useless in extreme environments such as in low temperatures or underwater. However, this yarntype harvester is not affected by these environments and expected to be utilized in various industries.
Currently, the research is being conducted with professor Kim Seon-jeong, University of Texas in the United States and University of Wollongong in Australia, and they are recognized as the world’s top group in the fields.
"We don’t have many researchers in the group, but they are elite. We want students to have a challenging spirit by presenting them with research interesting subjects,” said professor Kim at the end of the interview. “Teaching by rote has its limitations, so you have to be interested in, passionate and active to be effective,” said Kim to the students.
Click to Read Hanyang Research 2019 Vol.2
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