Korea/KAIST Week 6 2008-07-21 to 2008-07-28

KAIST Week 6

This week was a big week for Hubo.  The Korean Government, the people who fund Hubo, came to see how things are going and to see if they want to fund Hubo for the coming year.  In order to ensure that Hubo lab would get funding in the coming year the New Hubo, KHR3 which is the Hubo that we in at DASL will be procuring in October, was showcased.  The New Hubo was showcased in a few different manors.


1.       Hubo Lab showed off the New Hubo’s new body covering.  It is important to note that the arms are significantly thinner on the New Hubo (KHR3) than the previous Hubo (KHR2).  To my opinion this makes him look a lot sleeker and stylish.  New Hubo also has a noticeably slimmer chest making him look more in proportion to a human.


Figure 1: New Hubo (KHR3) with part of his new body covering on “not painted and no electronics”


2.       The second thing that was shown to the government on New Hubo was show off the ability for the New Hubo to straight leg walk.  This is important because humans walk using straight leg walking and it has been shown by Hubo lab that straight leg walking is about twice as efficient as bent leg walking.



3.       Due to the fact that human interact is an important part of a humanoid robot the third thing that was shown was the new hand.  The new hand is designed in such a way that it will automatically mold its self to the object that it is holding.


Note how the hand rolls around the round object automatically.


4.       The wrist is also an impressive part of the Hubo which was show cased.  As one can see in the video below the wrist has no problem following a sinusoid trajectory at 6Hz.




5.       With the latter two features implemented the New Hubo was also shown to be able to shake hands.



6.       One of the last things showcased about the New Hubo was its ability to track the motion captured data at 100% recorded speed.  This is a drastic improvement over the previous Hubo (KHR2) which was limited to 70% recorded speed.




As always it is not all work and no play, I made sure to go out during the weekend.  This weekend we visited our friend Erik down in Busan.  The plan was to get down to Busan by about 4 on Friday and then go to the beach.  After that we would go out to eat and what not.  So I left for the train station at 1:30 so I could catch the 2:22 train to Busan, the ride is about 2Hr and thus I would make it there right about on time.  The thing is that I got on the wrong train.  Oops.  So I thought that I was going to Seoul which is in the totally opposite direction.  The first stop was about an hour away from Daejeon.  Thus I was about to have to change trains and my 2Hr trip would turn in to over 4Hr.  When I got to the next station, i.e. the terminating station of the train that I was on, I went to go look for the next train to Busan.  Due to the fact that this station was not in a touristy area I was totally out of place and probably looked a little distressed.  Thankfully a nice young woman who could speak English very well helped me find the next train.  Good thing she did because the next train was leaving in 5min.  The funny part was that when I looked at the number of the train, IT WAS MY TRAIN!!!  This was the train I was meant to be on in the first place.  I was going in the correct direction.  Fate wanted me to get to Bosan.

When I got there I met up with Erik, Hui, Thai, and Elisa.  The weather was not the best in the world thus we did not go to the beach.  However we did meet up with some of Erik’s friends, well his friend from back home and her sister.  We went out and ate some cow intestine and went to do some Karaoke.


Figure 2: Elisa and Hui eating the cow intestine, Hui was not too pleased with is, he was actually disgusted.  It is important to note that Hui is the one who picked it all out.


Figure 3: Bobby and Erik’s friend’s sister doing that “bounce with me bounce with me” popular Korean song


The next day we took Erik out to the fish market.  Though he is the one who lives here and works here for the summer he has never been to the famous fish market.  We saw all sorts of live fish what not.  There was this one thing that looked like an over sized worm, see video below, that I can only describe using my sisters phrase of “it was special.”


Figure 4: (Left to Right) Erik, Me, Elisa, and Hui at the fish market in Busan




Later on that evening we decided that we have been in Korea for over a month and we had not gotten a massage.  So we found a place and got what is called a sports massage, it is basically your whole back with arms legs and neck.  For 30 min it was only $23 and for 1Hr $40.  Not too bad.  The down side was that they did not use any oils or anything like that.  You whole body was always covered by a blanket.  It was nice but I think Bobby put it best when he said “I think we should have found a slightly less reputable place.”

It was now time for dinner.  By this time Elisa and Hui had left back to Seoul, they had been there since Wednesday and Hui needed to do something later on that night.  We had thought about going to this place that had show crab for $2 per crab and king crab for $12 per crab but then we decided to go eat BBQ eel instead.  I think it was a good choice.  We had eel and shrimp on the BBQ outside in the nice cool sea air.  It was really nice.  Erik thanked us for coming because though he lived there for the summer he had never really went out to see Busan like this.  The great thing about being a foreigner in Korea, especially being an obvious foreigner like Erik and I, is that when you don’t know what you’re doing at a restraint the people are always more than happy to help you.  It was funny because we had four people in our party eating there, Erik, Thai, Bobby, and myself, and we had all three of the people at the restraint helping us.  It was so nice of them. 


Figure 5: Erik enjoying the shrimp on the BBQ in Busan


I have found that I like the Korean BBQ so much that I am thinking about making one for the new apartment.  This placed used really simple BBQs.  It was just some large tin cans fill in on the sides with cement and you just put a hole in the bottom to let air in and put the coals in and poof you have a BBQ.  On you also have to cut a hole in the table to put the BBQ in.  This may take a little work but I think it will be worth it.

After dinner we decided to climb up one of the mountains to see the view.  I don’t know exactly why we did this but we did, and it was totally worth it.


Figure 6: View of Busan from the top of one of the mountains at night


The mountain had some weird features and effects on the time space continuum.  It seemed to slow down time and allow Thai to dodge the bullets that the Smiths were shooting at him, see figure below.


Figure 7: Thai dodging some bullets


We left to go up the mountain at about 9:30 or so, please note that we cheated and had a cab bring us as far as we could go to get there, but did not get back until about 3am.  The climb down was long but again worth it.


The next day we went to Busan University area to do some shopping.  We found a McDonalds and had lunch.  Yes that is right I had McDonalds in Korea.  Between the Hours of 11am and 2pm the Big Mac Extra Value Meals are just $3.  Come on you can’t beat that with a stick.  Any way while we were shopping we found one of our old friends, Mr. Dragon Punch.  The Dragon Punch is a game you find outside arcades that is totally addicting.  You just put coins in the machine then you get to punch the punching bag as hard as you can.  It will read and keep track of how hard you hit and update the high score.  Your friends then have to try to beat that score.  The funny thing is that it is totally stupid and addicting.


Figure 8: Erik punching the Dragon Punch


At the arcades that also have much better games then they have in the USA.  They have machines with Tekken 5 and Tekken 6, DDR, a rip off of Guitar Hero, multiple different types of drum machines and the most awesome of all, a DJ machine.  It is like Guitar Hero except you have to press buttons and spin a record.  It was so awesome I just have to take a video.



Bobby and I then went back to KAIST.  Started another book, yup I am still using internet 0.1 because my laptop is still broken, and then went to bed.  It is sad because I only have under two and a half weeks left here.  Now I will be happy to get back home but I will miss Korea, I do hope I get to come back.