In recent times, virtual intelligence has made significant strides, reaching and even surpassing the functional and cognitive abilities of humans, owing to advancements in computing power and novel operational methodologies. Meanwhile, physical objects or machines in the real world strive to imitate the forms and functions of specific living organisms, such as humans, cheetahs, and octopuses. However, they still lag behind in terms of intelligent and adaptive functions, necessitating the exploration of innovative mechanisms and approaches. Therefore, our research group aims to develop an integrated robotic platform that possesses the ability to program its morphology, physical properties, interface, and function. This robotic paradigm requires innovation at all levels of the system, including materials, components, architectures for their integration, manufacturing processes, data processing, and operation. In this talk, I will introduce research categories and recent research outcomes from our group. These include (1) the development of programmable robotic components using smart materials, (2) the exploration of novel algorithmic architecture, (3) the exploitation of manufacturing methods realizing the architectures and functions, and (4) the excavation of machine design and operation methodology using artificial intelligence for robot/HMI device design and operation. Through these works, we aim to blur the boundaries between the virtual and tangible world and, more importantly, between humans and the environment, thereby sharing our vision for the future physical environment for humans.
Professor Jiyun Kim received both bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in Electrical Engineering at Seoul National University. She did her postdoctoral research in the Biophotonics and Nanoengineering Lab, at Seoul National University for one year and at the National Institute of Health in the USA for one and a half years. She has been working as a faculty member at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at UNIST since 2016.