Total 62Articles
News list
Content Forum List
2019-08 12

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Lengthening the Service Lifespan of Building Structures

The paradigm of architecture is changing. The construction market used to focus on efficiency and speed, but the modern era values structures with high durability and long lifespans. Professor Lee Han-seung (Major in Architectural Engineering) developed the Durability Health Monitoring System, which collects information on the state of the corrosion of iron and whether chlorine ion and carbon dioxide have penetrated through a sensor installed inside concrete structures. This is groundbreaking technology that was published in the prestigious science journal Advanced Materials on April 15th, 2019, titled "A Colorimetric Multifunctional Sensing Method for Structural-Durability-Health Monitoring Systems." Professor Lee Han-seung (Major in Architectural Engineering) was featured in HY-ERICA magazine's 2019 summer edition, and he also received the 2019 HYU Academic Award. Lee majored in architecture materials and construction in the department of Architectural Engineering, and his main research interest is concrete materials. He is the director of the Innovative Durable Building and Infrastructure Research Center, created as part of the Engineering Research Center (ERC) business to develop material, construction, monitoring, and maintenance technology to enhance the durability of structures. Fourteen professors from eight universities are working together to focus on their research into four major topics: durability diagnosis monitoring sensors, durability design, protection and repair construction methods, and a maintenance and asset value comprehensive evaluation system. Concrete, which is most often the preferred material in construction projects, deteriorates when it comes into contact with chlorine ion or when the substance gradually permeates through the hardened surface. In a ferroconcrete structure, the iron will rust once chlorine ion infiltrates. And once chlorine ion pervades, the iron expands, and the concrete is destroyed. This phenomenon equals the end of the lifespan of the concrete structure. Lee wanted to be able to gauge how much chlorine ion has penetrated a structure, which would require monitoring technology with a sensor. His research team developed the Durability Health Monitoring System, which tells through wireless communication modules whether iron is corroded or chlorine ion and carbon dioxide have seeped through. A thin film type sensor is buried in the concrete infrastructure beforehand, in order to activate the durability monitoring system. The infiltration of carbon dioxide and chlorine ion inside a concrete structure is a tantalizing the problem, but Lee developed a sensor using optics. His solution was to prevent it from reaching the iron inside the concrete, through the use of the Durability Health Monitoring System. Structures built 30 to 40 years ago need to have their durability diagnosed and maintenance needs assessed, just as humans are obligated to undergo health check-ups at similar ages. There are two ways of monitoring a structure's health. One is to execute structural heath monitoring, in the way a seismometer warns of the danger of earthquake through vibrations. Another is to increase usage by making it convenient to use its waterproof system, air conditioning and heating, electricity and more. “My final goal is to extend the service lifespan of building structures to 200 years," said Lee, with a confident smile. Lee emphasized the importance of fusion research and incorporating Fourth Industrial Revolution technology with architectural engineering. He applied optical science when he put sensors on optical fibers to recognize the intensity when either carbon dioxide or chlorine ion has entered, in real time, by looking at the change of colors. “Securing durability is also eco-friendly," said Lee, when pointing out that long lifespans of structures decreases co2 and prevents the exhaustion of resources. He stressed that a structure that can stand longer is more beneficial financially, and in the life cycle perspective. Kim Hyun-soo soosoupkimmy@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-08 06

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Development of Organic Semiconductor Gel for High-Resolution Organic Electronics

Organic semiconductor gel was first developed by Professor Kim Do Hwan (Department of Chemical Engineering) and his research team that opened doors to the dramatic performance enhancement of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices. His paper “Universal Route to Impart Orthogonality to Polymer Semiconductors for Sub-Micrometer Tandem Electronics” was published in the world-famous journal Advanced Materials as the cover acticle in July. Professor Kim Do Hwan (Department of Chemical Engineering) explained in detail the organic semiconductor gel, the keyword from his research. Among existing semiconductors, silicon semiconductors are used representatively in many facets of the semiconductor and display industries. However, silicon is too brittle and requires expensive processing such as vacuum deposition. In 1977, Alan J. Heeger, Alan G. MacDiarmid, and Hideki Shirakawa found the first organic semiconductor made of carbon and hydrogen, uncovering the first organic matter that electricity flows through. In this sense, organic semiconductors were in the spotlight as the next generation of semiconductors, but they still could not substitute silicon semiconductors which allowed electricity to pass through at high speeds. That was, until about five years ago when high-performance organic semiconductors were created, enabling the speed of electricity transfer to become comparable to that of silicon semiconductors. However, another problem emerged as existing organic semiconductors could not adopt successive solutions and photolithography processes simultaneously, because organic semiconductors may dissolve or become damaged during patterning processes. Here, photolithography refers to the semiconductor patterning technology which uses UV light as in the process of silicon semiconductors. Kim and his research team investigated how organic semiconductors could keep the established solution processing, while maintaining the optoelectronic performance, as well as adopt the patterning process of silicon called photolithography. Ultra-High Definition (UHD) OLED microdisplay with a hyper-resistant organic semiconductor gel basis to realize AR or VR. (Photo courtesy ot Kim) They created organic semiconductor gel to apply a new conversion methodology that can be applicable to conventional photolithography processing as well as sequential solution processes while keeping the performance level of existing organic semiconductors. “Gel” refers to semi-Interpenetrating Diphasic Polymer Network (semi-IDPN), which is a three-dimensional, high-density, entangled structure between organic semiconductor and organosilica chains. Organosilica is a silica network that includes organic chains. Through the newly created organic semiconductor gel, the research team found that organic semiconductors can be made from sequential solution processing and patterned into desired sizes via photolithography. Kim (second from the left) and his research students who participated in this study. The results of this research are expected to widen the application of new technology into various organic optoelectronic devices such as organic image sensors and neuromorphic electrodes, as successive solution processing and photolithography processing are now applicable. “The performance of VR and AR devices that used to arouse giddiness and motion sickness due to low resolution is expected to advance drastically with the application of organic semiconductor gel,” said Kim. The virtual reality that we thought only possible in movies has now become closer than ever to real life, with ultrahigh-definition (UHD) OLED microdisplays and high-performance VR and AR devices coming alive with the development of organic semiconductor gel. Kim Hyun-soo soosoupkimmy@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2019-07 31

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Smarter Production of Shale Gas Using AI

In the previous era of oil and gas, conventional natural resources like coal were hard to find and costly to attain. In the search for an easily obtainable energy source, shale gas entered the limelight and has become an increasingly important natural gas since the early 21st century. In his recent study "Smart Management of Unconventional Oil and Gas Wells," Professor Sung Won-mo (Department of Earth Resources and Environmental Engineering) designed AI technology which manages a more efficient method of shale gas production. Professor Sung Won-mo (Department of Earth Resources and Environmental Engineering)'s recent study aims to develop an AI management technology for the most efficient production of shale gas. Natural gas is extracted through wells that are drilled two to three kilometers deep from the ground. The conventional production of gas was an extremely uneconomical procedure, primarily because the source of gas is concentrated within a very small area, thus being difficult to find. For instance, while extracting marine gas a kilometer under the sea costs more than 100 billion won, its success rate hovers at three percent. Shale gas (natural gas extracted from shale, which is a fine-grained, laminated sedimentary rock consisting of silt and clay-sized particles), on the other hand, is an unconventional energy source that tends to be found over a wide area, hence is much easier to locate. For this reason, shale gas has become a very important energy source. “Gas consumption will reach its peak in 2050. Until the end of the 21st century, securing the gas supply will be very important, and shale gas is a highly productive and cost-efficient energy source,” said Sung. Left is an image of a gas well. A conventional well is used for extracting conventional natural gas, and an unconventional well is used for shale gas. Right shows the various information that is gathered from a well. AI management technology will analyze the data to ensure the most efficient production of gas. (Photo courtesy of Sung) Sung’s research focuses on developing AI management technology for the most efficient production of shale gas. Attaching an AI sensor onto the well allows it to collect and analyze related data to ensure the most precise and efficient production procedure. “The data we collect from the sensor is so vast that it is impossible to be analyzed by humans or with a regular computer. However, AI learns from the information and analyzes the new data with impressive speed and accuracy,” explained Sung. The model will help predict the type of rock, type of gas, and components of gas according to the depth. As the result, more accurate drilling and product predictions will be possible, ultimately lowering the unit cost of gas. Sung said he has been aware of the prospect of shale gas for a long time and hopes that in the future, the new technology will help secure this gas resource for Korea. “Korea does not possess many natural resources and relies heavily on imports,” added Sung. “I hope this new technology can be developed further so that it can be implemented in policies, helping to secure this gas resource in Korea.” Lim Ji-woo il04131@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-07 23

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Precisely Investigating Catalytic Reactions

Professor Lee Sang-uck (Department of Chemical and Molecular Engineering) has recently developed a computer simulation methodology, also known as One Probe Non Surface green’s function (OPNS) to precisely understand the catalytic reaction of energy production storage using catalysts. In order to exchange existing catalysts that use rare-earth elements into ones that use cheaper carbon material, one must understand the catalyst reaction of carbon materials. Lee’s research and thesis titled “Unraveling the Controversy over a Catalytic Reaction Mechanism Using a New Theoretical Methodology: One Probe and Non-Equilibrium Surface Green's Function” contributed to developing a methodology of accurately interpreting catalyst reactions and to the development of a new and cheaper carbon catalyst. Professor Lee Sang-uck (Department of Chemical and Molecular Engineering) is explaining the logic of the One Probe Non Surface green’s function (OPNS) methodology. The first step of the research was to interpret the traits of catalysts in a particular material. He used the most prevalent methodology for interpretation, but was faced with a theological problem: while chemical reactions and catalyst reactions must accurately consider the flow of electrons, the widely used method does not give such considerations. For instance, the former would consider the reaction of the parallel state when it should interpret the reaction of a non-parallel state. Using the High Performance Computing server (HPC), which is a super computer with around 360 cores, it was possible to solve quantum mechanics that mathematized natural phenomena. Lee is pointing to the High Performance Computing servers (HPC) that were used for the research. Research typically consists of understanding a natural phenomenon and expresses the research results in the form of a formula. Through coding, natural phenomena can be simulated in a computer, and that enables researchers to interpret any phenomena. Lee specifically utilized quantum mechanics computer simulations to understand the conduct of electrons and atoms, thereby solving the problem of the existing methodology. Such computer simulations can be applied in semiconductor materials or energy materials. Computer simulations have the advantage of allowing simultaneous screenings using several computers when developing high performance matters. Lee and his team suggested a guideline to understanding and predicting the new property of matter, and developing a new matter after adopting a computer simulation technique to electrons and energy materials. This thesis in particular suggests a way to clearly establish the reaction mechanism to know how catalytic reactions occur when developing poles for solar cells. While previously it was impossible to perfectly reflect all experiment environments, Lee developed a new methodology that took into account most of the real experiment atmosphere and developed a definite catalytic reaction mechanism. Also, a way to attach electric fields in computer simulations for catalyst reactions with voltage was made possible through the new findings. A catalyst reaction is a chemical reaction, thus requiring electrons to move; however, no methodology was available that took into account the movement of electrons. This new methodology is one that can interpret chemical reactions, with respect to the flow of electrons. Lee was designated Researcher of the Month with the development of the OPNS methodology to precisely investigate catalytic reactions. “What we do is basic research for the future process of developing real things. There was a need to concretely understand what happens within the development of lithium batteries, solar cells, and fuel cells, which is why we strived to develop a methodology to accurately interpret such theories,” said Lee. He went on to emphasize the need for parallel effort in experiments and computer simulations in order to achieve innovations, and the use of a clear methodology to enhance data credibility. Kim Hyun-soo soosoupkimmy@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-07 14

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Korea-Belgium Student Program for Semiconductors, 3D Printing, and Robotics

The Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology(KIAT) conducted the Innovation-Growth Global Talent Cultivation Enterprise this year. Hanyang University applied for the program and will receive support on conducting the Global Expert Education for Korea-Belgium Future Innovation. The enterprise enables a joint research project to develop semiconductor technology through the cooperation of Korea and Belgium. Professor Park Jin-goo (Department of Bionanotechnology) is the general manager, and Professor Kim Tae-gon (Division of Smart Convergence Engineering) is in charge of practical affairs. Recruitment announcement for Global Expert Education for Korea-Belgium Future Innovation. Six students will conduct research with IMEC on semiconductors (processor-in-memory), and seven students will join KU Leuven for research on 3D printing and robotics. (Photo courtesy of Kim) Through the enterprise, 13 master's and doctorate students of Hanyang will join Belgium's IMEC or KU Leuven for a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 12 months. They will conduct joint research in three fields: semiconductors (specifically, processor-in-memory) at IMEC, and 3D printing and robotics at KU Leuven. Students may apply and will be chosen through a selection process. The application period is currently open, and the recruited students will be sent this December. The next applicants will be recruited this October and sent in January of 2020. Professor Kim Tae-gon (Division of Smart Convergence Engineering) explained that the program aims to foster talented Hanyang students to demonstrate their acquired ability at the many small but strong companies of Korea. Kim said, "During my 10 years working at IMEC, I felt that the cultivation of young talented workers was more important than anything." Kim also explained that the aim of the program is to nurture outstanding individuals who can help small but influential businesses in Korea. "I hope students acquire a lot of experience through this program and use their ability in Korea's 'small giant' companies." For this, Kim prepared a special curriculum with Park Systems. One out of thirteen students who complete the program will automatically be offered jobs at Park Systems after graduation. Kim says they plan to increase the number of participating companies in the future. Lim Ji-woo il04131@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Ju-eun

2019-07 02

[Academics][Excellent R&D] 26 Graduate Students Conduct Joint Research Abroad

The Robot-Engineering Innovative Design Global Talent Cultivation Program is a project that sponsors prospective graduate students to conduct joint research with renowned institutions abroad and is organized by Korea’s Ministry of Commerce Industry and Energy. From April 2019 to December 2020, Hanyang University will conduct this project in the two fields of robotics and engineering. Professor Simon Song (Division of Mechanical Engineering) is the project's director. Hanyang University is conducting the Robot-Engineering Innovative Design Global Talent Cultivation Program, which aims to sponsor prospective graduate students to conduct joint research with renowned institutions abroad. (Photo courtesy of Song) Graduate students will be assigned to 26 laboratories around the world. Through the project, 26 Hanyang University graduate students (including 9 post-doctoral researchers, 10 PhD candidates, and 6 master’s students) will be assigned to 26 famous laboratories in 14 different institutions or universities including MIT, Stanford, and Harvard University. Based on the previous research that students have conducted at Hanyang, they are to cooperate with a team with similar assignments to share and develop their knowledge in the field. The research topics include various subjects in engineering and robotics, such as IoT sensor technologies, AI, big data engineering, soft robotics, and rehabilitation robotics. Professor Simon Song (Division of Mechanical Engineering) added that, "I want to thank the head of the Industry-University Research Cooperation Foundation, Lee Soo-jae, who sent enormous support for the project." Previously, sending students abroad was met with many obstacles such as admission evaluation and cost-coverage. The program offers our graduate students a valuable opportunity to conduct joint research, which Song believes students can benefit greatly from. “After studying abroad, not only does their research improve, but the students’ attitude and confidence show a great difference, too. By networking with fellow researchers and professors, they seem to realize that the competition is not only within Hanyang or Korea, but rather, they need to strive to contribute to research world-wide.” Song added that he hopes to see a similar change through the program towards the end of next year. Lim Ji-woo il04131@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon Design by Lim Ji-woo

2019-06 27

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Discovery of Brassino-steroid-Responsive Transcription Factor BZR1

The world is currently experiencing the fastest-growing technological developments in history. Much of this is due to the emergence of 5th Generation Wireless Communication (5G) which has enabled a wholly different aspect to the developments. Due to the intensively increasing level of convenience brought about by technology, people have began to realize the importance of innovation; therefore, a number of renowned industries are concentrating on creating new developments. As the trend nowadays seeks future-oriented objectives, interest in purely scientific endeavors has significantly decreased. Despite such a reality, Professor Kim Tae-wuk (Department of Life Science) and his lab students have discovered a new hormone called brassino-steroid (BZR1), which is a renovative detection in the field of a plant’s life. Professor Kim Tae-wuk (Department of Life Science) and his lab students have discovered a hormone named brassino-steroid that has an important relationship with a plant’s life. All human-beings possess hormones within their bodies, and these hormones have a significant impact on living organisms. Plants are particularly dependent on hormones. For example, if specific hormones are created within the plant, certain physiological transformations due to cellular reaction may occur; thus, it could be said that if the input is a hormone, the output is a physiological response. Kim wanted to innovate a signal transduction pathway so that entering a certain hormone would produce a corresponding and desirable phenomena. After much exhaustive research, Kim discovered the existence of BZR1, the key hormone responsible for a plant’s growth. BZR1 interacts with proteins, and if such a hormone is introduced, the receptors in the cell membrane perceive the hormone and begin to interact with each other, fostering growth. This is called the transcription factor. Kim notes, “The signal transduction procedure is merely the respective connection among proteins. They have to physically combine together first. However, the element I have figured out is that the transcription factor is not always prepared; rather, it is inactivated. In fact, we detected a new protein that promotes decomposition of the transcription factor, eventually disturbing the growth of the plant. This negative regulator is called Plant U-Box 40 (PUB40).” Interesting enough, PUB40 can only be found in the plant’s roots, and the greater the number of such a factor existing within the roots, the more it suppresses the growth. Fortunately, PUB40 can be artificially removed which enables the acceleration of plant growth and amplification of the root size. Kim’s lab successfully discovered the existence of Plant U-Box 40 which hinders the growth of the plant, and also how it can be removed artificially. Kim emphasizes the importance of conducting research on plants as it can be helpful to humankind. By manipulating certain factors within the plant, humans can control the speed of their growth. When wheat, barley, rice, and other sources of nutrition were vulnerable to rain and wind due to their large root size several decades ago, scholars discovered mutant hormones that reduce the size of the root, thereby allowing them to withstand the harsh weather. Smaller roots enabled an increase in the possible harvest per unit area and led to green evolution, directly addressing the world's food deficit problem. Furthermore, plant research has great potential in terms of dealing with fine dust issues. The openings in plants' epidermal layer called stoma constantly open and close at regular intervals. Throughout this process, moisture and air go in and out. Kim explains, “Current development only opens enough to suck in fine particulate matters, not fine dust. In this regard, finding certain mutant hormones that expand the size of the stoma will allow the absorption of fine dust, contributing to a benefit for society as a result.” Kim (front center) insists that conducting research on plants for purposes that aim to help humankind is important, as it has engendered green evolution which alleviated the world's food deficit problem and may potentially deal with current fine dust issues. Kim had a hard time mapping the location where the phosphorylation of proteins occurs due to the absence of a necessary piece of equipment - a mass spectrometer. Kim insisted, “Hanyang University did not possess such gear, so I had to ask other facilities. However, there were no advanced mass spectrometers in Korea, and I decided to request a collaboration with Stanford University which has technical facilities capable of analyzing the samples.” Unlike moving creatures, plants are stationary. Thus, it is essential to notice how they adapt to the environment. Whereas humans and animals are less vulnerable when it comes to a shortage in nutrients, plants are extremely sensitive in terms of survival and growth depending on the surrounding environment. Kim concludes that “plants have to passively adapt to the environment throughout their entire life, and it is fascinating how they evolved through such changing nature.” Kim Min-jae fhffl5781@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Joo-eun

2019-06 25

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Conical Beam Enables a Wider Home Meter-Reading

In the past, inspecting the meters for electricity, gas, and water use in homes was done manually with workers going around visiting each house. However, as individual energy usage increased, Automatic Metering Infrastructure (AMI) was introduced for a more efficient home meter examination. AMI allows a remote meter reading by sending the information directly to the faraway central meter reading system (called Gateway) via communication technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT). This automatic inspection enabled efficient management of energy as well as significantly decreased the complaints about inspection errors. Nonetheless, AMI has always had a problem commonly shared by wireless access technologies, which is that its wireless coverage was limited and thus a long-distance connection was difficult. Professor Lee Chan-kil (Division of Electrical Engineering, ERICA Campus) solved the coverage limitation problem in meter reading by substituting the previous apple-shaped beam network pattern with a cone-shaped beam pattern. Professor Lee Chan-kil (Division of Electrical Engineering, ERICA Campus)’s recent research solves this problem. Previously, the antenna beam pattern of the IoT network was apple-shaped, which had very limited coverage. Instead, Lee proposed a cone-shaped beam that would expand the covered area significantly. Compared to the previous 10 kilometer radius coverage, the conical beam covers up to 15 kilometers. This reduces the necessary number of gateways per district from 10-30 down to 3-10. Advantages in cost are also significant, as the establishment of the AMI platform is expected to cost 70 percent less than before. Furthermore, with wider coverage, the meter can be buried deeper underground, resulting in less damage and creating a cleaner city appearance. The six projects on IoT Real-Time Location System (RTLS) technologies that Lee and the Digital Communication Systems laboratory have conducted. (Photo courtesy of Lee) Lee and the Digital Communication Systems laboratory focused on various projects regarding IoT Real-Time Location System (RTLS) technologies over the past few years. They successfully conducted five RTLS research projects in the fields of sports, concerts, the livestock industry, traffic, and security and are currently working on the last project in the medical field. “IoT technology, especially Location Based Service (LBS) is continuously growing. By 2020, almost 20 billion devices will be connected to the internet,” said Lee. “Our DCS laboratory will continue to work on technological developments and manpower training to be more innovative in the IoT field.” Lim Ji-woo il04131@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-06 19

[Academics][Researcher of the Month] Creating a Virtual Power Plant

With the upcoming Industry 4.0 and development of technology, the trend in manufacturing is to put an enhanced emphasis upon mass production. Both the academic field and industrial world are looking for effective solutions that can adjust to meet to the fast-changing industry in which a variety of products and a fast production process are becoming important issues. While most machinery and systems have become automated, the production system itself has become more complex and has problems that have yet to be solved. Professor Hong Seung-ho (Division of Electrical Engineering) has released a paper titled "A data mining-driven incentive-based demand response scheme for a virtual power plant" which focuses on solving such problems within the current manufacturing system. Hong has continuously focused on a new industrial manufacturing technique that would help operate a factory more effectively. The Cyber Physical System (CPS), which Hong is currently working on, is a system that can help such problems by realizing a more efficient production process. The CPS creates a digital twin, an identical imaginary model of an actual tangible product, by using the information within a computer. This digital twin allows the effective operation of a factory, as the machinery within the program is provided with the ability to autonomously communicate with each other based on issues such as space and active areas. This model shows the actual demonstration of a manufacturing system. The Cyber Physical System (CPS) creates a digital twin, which allows automated communication between such machinery. (Photo Courtesy of Hong) As the system designers, engineers, and supervisors are able to solve problems in a much easier manner, the whole manufacturing process will be greatly accelerated. The development of CPS will also allow greater efficiency in productivity and energy usage. During the operation process, the system keeps track of the data of operating assets, such as temperature and speed, while continuously analyzing and preserving a stable state for operation. Furthermore, the saved data can be used for supervisors to keep track of and analyze both current and potential breakdowns. “The CPS would be a great innovation for the current smart manufacturing system,” stated Hong. Yet, there are further steps to be taken before the actual application of the system. First, the standardization of machinery data is necessary. They need to develop a standard language in which the machines can communicate with each other, to work alongside standardized information and communications technology (ICT) and information transmission technologies. The machinery also requires artificial technology to be applied in order to realize the overall system. Hong predicted the year 2035 for a complete smart manufacturing system, and 2045 for it to be practically applied within Korea. Professor Hong Seung-ho (Division of Electrical Engineering) predicted that the smart manufacturing system would be complete by 2035, and applied in Korea by 2045. As for last words, Hong expressed his hopes for Hanyang students to also contribute to future innovative techniques. He maintained that “Steve Jobs is often regarded as a figure of innovation. I hope that the students can also develop their creative thoughts and put an effort towards realizing such innovative ideas.” Hong concluded by explaining that in order to do so it is important for students to start thinking of even the smallest innovative ideas that can actually change the world. Choi Seo-yong tjdyd1@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon

2019-06 10

[Academics][Excellent R&D] Innovation of Robotic Technology for Conversational Voice Recognition

With the emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, countries and large conglomerates are concentrating on developing technologies combined with artificial intelligence (AI). Hanyang University is also putting significant emphasis on collaboration with major companies and fostering students to become experts knowledgeable about the current trend. In fact, Hanyang University does not stop at doing research and writing theses; rather, it comes up with actual products based on the theses and provides the technology to companies for further progressive development. Professor Chang Joon-hyuk (Department of Electronic Engineering), one of the professors who practices the university’s pursuit, has successfully invented robotic technology for conversational voice recognition which can be applied to our daily life. Professor Chang Joon-hyuk (Department of Electronic Engineering) has invented robotic technology that recognizes people’s conversational voices. Chang believes that voice is the most natural medium in human communication as it involves emotional delivery and indicates overall mood. Doing research where robots or computers recognize such types of voice is an extremely interesting field of study. Compared to the past when the performance of voice recognition was poor due to lack of technological development, nowadays there have been greater results in a short period of time thanks to the use of AI. As this voice recognition algorithm was applied to smartphones, automobiles, and robots, it has had a considerable impact on the market and industry. “I am happy that our research resulted in higher performance which led to the enhancement of the algorithm, but I feel a sense of pride that this research has strengthened the competence of Korean industries and created more potential occupations,” said Chang. Chang is currently working on creating a 100 percent AI-based voice recognition device. In particular, when the most natural interface tool is voice, he wanted to equip an ordering and replying mechanism in the robot that enables human-robot conversation. Chang played a pivotal role in creating an AI robot named Cloy for Incheon International Airport. This robot works as an information desk that answers customers’ questions. However, it has earned a low performance level as the environmental noise is too loud; thus, it is still going through enhancement procedures. In addition, Chang is working on assignments appointed by Hyundai Automobile. Since typing while driving a car is dangerous, Hyundai wants to apply the voice recognition system there as well. Currently, Hyundai is borrowing the engines from Kakao corporation and Amazon, but it wants to equip its own engine. For the capability reinforcement of Hyundai, Chang participated in the joint development project based on an engine made from Hanyang University. At the same time, he is carrying out a project that improves automobile After Service (AS). It is important to distinguish specific disorders within the car, and this particular maintenance duty can be only done by a proficient mechanic. However, the device conceived of by one of Chang’s student who is in the Doctorate Program discerns the possible problems in the automobile down to three issues simply by listening to the noise generated from the car so that the mechanic can easily proceed with his maintenance work. According to Chang, "Since such a technique is very efficient in terms of time and economic aspects, it has received high evaluations from Hyundai, my student was offered special employment and a monetary reward, which I think is a win-win situation for both the company and the school.” Chang is currently working on various projects with renowned large conglomerates that have already led to a win-win situation for both companies and the university. When inventing an AI algorithm, three major factors are to be considered. First, it is important to collect and handle data to establish a fine data base. Second is developing a deep learning AI algorithm that is almost as same as human thoughts or that even surpass human functionality, and then properly combining voice/sound perception with the data. Last but not least, apply the result and make an actual product. With the basis of these factors, Hyundai Automobile collected data by intentionally breaking all parts of automobiles to construct a database. Nonetheless, since deep learning is available only through big data, the database provided by Hyundai was extremely limited. Therefore, Chang decided to apply the method of data amplification which involves mathematical analysis and signal processing. The mathematical approach utilizes the concept of probability that first composes a probability model and then deducts abundant data following that model. On the other hand, the signal processing approach collects data from a specific environment. It then applies the signal characteristics of a variety of different environments to the given result from the specific environment. This way, data can be limitlessly reproduced. Chang suggested, “Thanks to such an algorithm, the performance rate increased from 50 percent to approximately 90 percent. This is revolutionary from the perspective of timeliness and economy.” Chang’s lab has also invented an AI speaker called PLUTO that has been exhibited in one of the most renowned home appliance exhibitions. This speaker perceives sound well and can understand a voice from a long distance and in a noisy environment. Samsung, LG, and Hyundai Automobiles are in joint development of this huge project which is expected to be extremely prosperous. Speech recognition: strong voice recognition is necessary in actual environments where various noises and reverberation exist; therefore, applying diverse machine learning algorithms improves the performance level in actual environments. (Photo courtesy of ASML Lab website) Chang wants students to be more aware of the fast-changing generation in terms of technological developments. “Simply listening to lectures and doing assignments is not enough. Students are encouraged to realize the current industry trends and developing their personal capabilities in accordance with the advancing society. Also, students’ ultimate goal should not be limited to employment in major companies. They should continuously put effort into enhancing their competence in accordance with the fourth industrial revolution,” concluded Chang. Kim Min-jae fhffl5781@hanyang.ac.kr Photos by Kim Joo-eun