|Title||French Secretary of State Visits Sogang Robotics Lab and Observes Walk-on Suit Used for Paralympics Torch Relay|
French Secretary of State Visits Sogang Robotics Lab and
Observes Walk-on Suit Used for Paralympics Torch Relay
Sophie Cluzel, the French Secretary of State for Disabled People, visited Sogang University’s Robotics Lab on March 16 and took an in-depth look at the wearable robotics technology to support those with walking disabilities. Madame Secretary Cluzel and Fabien Penone, the French ambassador to Korea, visited Sogang University, and President Park Jong Gou; Prof. Kim Kyun, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs; Prof. Seo Jung Yun, Executive Vice President for Research and External Affairs; Prof. Hong Dae-hyung, Dean of the School of Engineering; Prof. Jung Ok-hyun, Dean of the University-Industry Cooperation Center; and researchers from SG Robotics attended the event to wholeheartedly welcome the French guests.
At Open Innovation Center and SG Robotics, the visitors had the opportunity to learn about Sogang University’s startup-university cooperation model and idea commercialization projects. Prof. Kong Kyung-chul of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and his team, who took the lead in the torch relay for the 2018 Pyeongchang Paralympics, made a presentation on the Walk-on Suit.
Sophie Cluzel, the French Secretary of State, said, “Kicking off the current government, France relocated the Ministry for the Disabled, which had been under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, to the office of the Prime Minister. The head of the ministry was also promoted to become the Secretary of State, from the Minister for the Disabled.” She added, “The ultimate goal of the Ministry for the Disabled is to enable people with disabilities to actively participate in society by growing their capability to work, in collaboration with the Ministry of Research. To this end, the effective utilization of state-of-the-art science is crucial and Sogang University of Korea has the cutting-edge technology. With that in mind, I decided to visit here.” She also showed interest in Sogang’s program on supporting students with disabilities.
Prof. Christine Myung-hee Ahn, Vice President for International Affairs, while delivering his presentation on relevant programs, said, “We are trying hard to make the disabled students actively involved in school activities. For instance, Sogang is operating a student counseling service center to help alleviate their difficulties on campus. In addition, there are some foreign students with disabilities whom we are trying to take care of closely.”
SG Robotics, an enterprise under Open Innovation Center, the university-industry cooperation Center, developed the Walk-on Suit, a wearable robot that supports the walking of people suffering from complete paraplegia. The research team led by Prof. Kong Kyung-chul of the Department of Mechanical Engineering competed in the 2016 Cybathlon, an international robot competition, with the Walk-on Suit, and ranked the 3rd, following Germany and the U.S.
Thanks to the university’s continuous efforts, since 2008 when analysis on support for the education welfare of university students with disabilities began, Sogang University has been named the best university and has been recognized as the model case of supporting disabled students.