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Title Sogang University resulted splendid achievement by taking 3rd place from the international robot competition ‘Cybathlon’
Writer sogpr Date 2016-11-07 Views 4268



Sogang University resulted splendid achievement by taking 3rd place from the international robot competition ‘Cybathlon’


- With the wearable robot ‘Walk-on’ acknowledged for its highest class technology, plan to continuously strive for the dream of many disabled people standing up on their own -


<From row from left Choi Jung-soo(Sogang University Ph.D. program), Jang Myung-chul(Severance Physical Therapist), Professor Kong Kyung-chul(Sogang University Department of Mechanical Engineering), Jung Pyung-kook(Sogang University Ph.D. program), Na Byung-hoon(Sogang University Ph.D. program), Professor Na Dong-wook(Severance Rehabilitation Hospital), Front row Player Kim Byung-wook>



Sogang University Department of Mechanical Engineering joint research team led by Professor Kong Kyoung-chul resulted splendid achievement by taking 3rd place from the international robot competition ‘Cybathlon’. Participated as the only Korean team on the ‘Wearable Robot(Powered Exoskeleton Race)’ category, along with Germany and U.S. this joint research team took 3rd place and proved the outstanding technology of Korea to the world.


Cybathlon is an international competition where assistant robot technology for disabled people and highest technology in medical engineering field get together this competition is also named as ‘Ironman Olympics’. On October 8, opening ceremony was held in Switzerland, by being broadcasted in real time, attracted much interest world-wide. Within 6 categories including brain-computer interface, exorace, artificial arm robot, artificial leg robot, functional wheelchair, electrical impulse bicycle and so on, Sogang University joint research team participated in the ‘wearable robot’, which is the most noteworthy category and received the prize.


Kim Byung-wook, age of 42 participated as the player, has paralysis on the lower half of the body due to car accident, in preparation for this competition, he was able to walk with his two feet in 20 years. He put on ‘Walk-on’ robot which Sogang University research team developed and challenged himself to successfully pass 5 missions including siting down and standing up, crossing obstacles, passing front ramps, crossing stepping-stones, going up and down the stairs and so on.


For our joint research team to result in the 3rd place was not easy. Last June they submitted Cybathlon application and 2 months after in August, selected as the expected participant through paper evaluation from the organization in Switzerland so they began developing this robot called ‘Walk-on Suit’. This March the 1st experimental product of Walk-on was completed and proceeded walking training from Severance Rehabilitation Hospital. Also submitted additional paper work including safety document, risk management plan and so on. Then in May, received final confirmation for the team to participate was decided. At this stage, 5 teams failed to go on to the next stage due to their safety document and few days before the competition 2 teams gave up to participate on the competition. Also a team failed to pass the technical check so the team was disqualified and the degree of paralysis of a team’s player was disqualified. Through these difficult process of participation, it is a great achievement that our team was able to participate on the preliminary and final round of the competition. Joint research team successfully participated in the competition after all the preparation and since about a month ago, in order to overcome the pressure and prepare for the actual game, player Kim Byung-wook held an open training session at Sogang University gymnasium.


Department of Mechanical Engineering Professor Kong Kyung-chul who is in charge of the research and development said, “I was overwhelmed with the emotion when 5,000 audiences cheered for our team with one voice and called our player’s name. Everyone was cheering for each one of disabled people who participated for this competition. This was a competition with no winner or loser.” And said, “We will try hard for many disabled people’s dream to become true and for them to stand up on their own.”


Player Kim Byung-wook said, “We have been preparing for this for a long time and I was glad that we were able to let the world know about the robot technology of Korea.”


Joint research team who participated for this competition was organized with Sogang University Department of Mechanical Engineering, Robot Development Company SG Mechatronics and Severance Rehabilitation Hospital. Sogang University Department of Mechanical Engineering research team was in charge of designing robotic mechanism·control algorithm·circuit and electronic system, SG Mechatronics was in charge of robot production and Severance Rehabilitation Hospital was in charge of clinical training of the player with disability. On the other hand, in preparation of participation for this Cybathlon competition was partially supported by Sogang University LINC Foundation.


[Video clip of the competition]



<Wearable robot ‘Walk-on’ designed and produced by the joint research team for the competition>