NTU Center for Information and Electronics Technology Reports 42 Cutting Edge Research Achievements
As we embark upon an e-society, human living has undergone a new revolution. What in the past were hard to find knowledge are now obtainable with the snap of a finger. And the systems that were time-consuming and power-consuming in the past have evolved into light, thin, short, and small, energy saving electronic devices. To celebrate the 80th founding anniversary of the University, NTU's Center for Information and Electronics Technology held an exhibition of its research achievements in November. The exhibition was anchored around the theme of "e-life technologies" and took three formats—lectures, static displays, and dynamic displays, through which the University's research achievements in the area of electronic and information technology were made known to the public. The lectures were designed to inform the audience of the current research directions and the newest research achievements of the Center, and related industrial members were invited to participate in the discussion; the static displays used photos and texts to display 42 research achievements in large sized posters; whereas the dynamic display did a live demonstration of 12 new products and/or technologies.
"As industrial development is the key to national prosperity, in order to achieve international competitiveness for the domestic high tech industries, the academic circle must step out of its ivory tower, and integrate academic research with the needs of daily living, so that University's research achievements can contribute to the development of the industries." said a spokesman of the Center. Promoting academic/industrial cooperation has always been one of the guiding principles in NTU's research efforts, said the spokesman. The exhibition attracted tremendous attention from all sectors of society and received wide coverage from the media. The dynamic displays used real samples of the new products (both software and hardware) to give live demos of their functions. Here are some of the highlights:
Trillion Bit Wireless HDTV Video Transmission
The resolution of HDTV can reach 1920 x 1080, and the transmission of uncompressed video imaging of which can be as high as 3.56 Gbps. Owing to its high demand for bandwidth, wireless transmission for HDTV has to use the 60 GHz technology. In view of this, the NTU research team adopted the existing HDTV professional HD-SDI interface standards to design millimeter-wave circuits, which, coupled with BPSK modulation, were able to conduct wireless transmission of video images up to 1.5 Gbps bit rate. Compared with the popular IEEE 802.11g WLAN system (the highest bit rate of which is only 54 Mbps), the NTU new technology provides 30 times the amount of transmission.
Stabilization and Restoration of Shaky Images
Shaky or blurring images are common problems in video clips which result from the cameraman shooting tapes without using a tripod. To address this problem, the NTU researchers have found a remedy for blurry pictures which may have been caused by hand movements of the cameraman or other factors. This system input of this new technology uses the format of a continual film, and through optical flow it analyzes the original path of photography, and approaches the original path through polyline fitting while detecting the moving objects in the film. It segments the dynamic regions and static regions in the video clip's contents and conducts video completion separately. In order to reduce the discontinuity of the blocks after the film has been restored, we used Poisson-based smoothing to mitigate the phenomenon. To maintain the original quality of the film, although we are able to reduce the blurry effects resulting from shaky movements, the resolution of the final repaired copy is identical with the original film clip.
Magic Crystal Ball
This technology uses an infrared camera and several pressure sensors to detect the hand movements of the operator and to handle the crystal ball. The pressure sensors are able to detect whether the operator's hand touches the ball, whereas the infrared camera is hidden underneath the crystal ball to analyze the gestures of the operator by the images that it takes in. We use three dimensional ring filming technology to digitize the art treasures of the National Palace Museum, and applies a specially designed optical mechanism to make a virtual appearance of the art treasures in the crystal ball. The operator can make the cultural relics in the crystal ball rotate by spinning the crystal ball with his hand, thereby appreciating the art treasures from different angles.
Experimental Platform for System on Chips
This experimental platform has been widely extended to the universities and colleges of Taiwan, and has become an importance course material for the system on chips education of the various institutions.
World Topping Ultra High Speed Wireless Communication Technology
Wireless high definition television is no longer a dream—ultra high speed wireless communication system on chip has successfully integrated front-end RF circuit, the frequency modulation circuit, and antenna arrays. By using 60 GHz high bandwidth, we can achieve a maximum transmission rate of 5Gb/s, which is more than sufficient for the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) standard of 1.5 Gb/s. In the future, the operations of audio-visual equipments in people's homes can be expected to be streamlined. Not only does this new technology provide high quality audio and video services to people's homes, it also does away with the tangled mess of cables.
Related Studies on Flash Memories
The traditional means used to evaluate the functions of a hard disk cannot efficiently gauge the efficacy of flash memory storage systems. The present study conducts functional analyses on different tiers of softwares, and designs a method/strategy which can correctly and effectively measure the efficiency of flash memory storage systems.
The Human-Robot Interactive Gesture Recognition System
In present day robotics research, in addition to their preoccupation with enhancing the overall functionalities of the robots, the researchers most actively want the robots to merge into people's lives. To make the robots user-friendly, however, we need a convenient and effective method to communicate with the robots. In view of this, we designed a gesture recognition system to allow the robots to accept commands from the users. We used a camera which can obtain depth information from a three dimensional space to reinforce the accuracy and applicability of our system. In applying this gesture recognition system to the NTU PAL-2 robot, the robot can locate the user's position and his interactive intent through a face detection method, and the system inside the robot can notice whether the user raises his hand. If the user raises his hand, the robot will know instantly that he intends to communicate through his gestures. At this moment, the robot will try to locate the palm of the user, and through algorithms built in the gesture recognition system identify the gesture of the user, and react accordingly. In addition, the PAL-2 robot is equipped with a microphone array sound positioning system, a movable head, changing facial expressions and a touch screen to strengthen its ability to interact with the user.
The Ubiquitous Health Care System
Over sixty percent of the middle-aged and elderly population in Taiwan is plagued by chronic diseases which pose threats to their health. Although chronic diseases are related to a person's genes, acquired habits are more important in controlling these diseases. If a person is reluctant to exercise, to cut down his body weight, or to change his dieting habits and his life style, he is unlikely to improve on his health. In view of this, we designed a comprehensive chronic disease management and service system in collaboration with the family practice division of NTU Hospital, which allowed us to conduct individual case studies, to implement sifting and screening, to carry on health classification, to impose intervention measures, to monitor and track the individual cases, and to install abnormality management and change of behavior management. We capitalize on the continuity of our health service system and the professionalism of doctors and case managers to provide the services that chronic disease patients need. In the future we shall be able to integrate the various service providers and medical units to provide more pluralistic services, and extend our system to the remote rural communities of Taiwan, covering different socio-economic levels.
NTU Wireless Home Theater
This technology aims to utilize the ultra high speed transmission capability of wireless LAN and the friendly control functions of UMPC/EeePC, to design a high quality interactive IPTV family theater system which can adapt to different wireless network conditions. By making use of the real time encoding and streaming capability of this open source code software VLC, we allow our users to freely browse through the channel selections and to preview the channels of their choice in synchronization with what they are watching. Moreover, we are able to integrate our system with youTube, thereby achieving an early realization of the interactive IPTV home theater application.
An Automatic Real Time Campus Service Search Platform
The current campus network service lacks a mechanism which can automatically search for settings. As a result, different departments, institutes, or administrative units have to log onto the front page of the University website in order to connect to one another. When a new service is introduced, or a service is launched for a short period of time, the maintenance personnel have to spend a lot of time having the necessary documents shuffled back and forth between departments. In addition, when a server is down, the error will be immediately shown, creating a bad impression among the users. To address this problem, we created a automatic campus service search platform, which can collate and provide information on specific activities in accordance with the students' identities and usage predilections. The students need only to use their portable equipments or the university electronic bulletin board to log in their user information. As the servers for this platform are installed on a safe, real time dynamic security system architecture, the users' personal information can be properly preserved while they are using the service provided by this platform.
Miniaturized Optical Auto-focus Lens
At present the structure of a camera's lens is that several lens components are
stacked in a direct line. When the photographer wants to focus on an object, he needs to shift the lens components back and forth to find a clear image. This requirement not only results in the bulkiness of the lens, but also creates the need for additional space, hence the traditional lens falls short of the needs of modern day electronic devices which are summarized in four epithets: "light, thin, short, and small." To remedy this situation, we developed a new component called "MEMS deform mirror", which can focus on an object through a change of its shape like the human eye. This new invention uses electrical voltage to control the focusing process, and does not require the movement of lens components. Utilizing this new design, we were able to produce automatic optical auto-focus lenses that are smaller than our fingers. In this manner, these optical lens can be miniaturized and installed on cell phones or other handheld electronic devices.
In sum, we have solved the irritable problem of lens movement commonly found in optical focusing.
High Power Fiber Laser
At present, the NTU lab has completed the invention of an 80-watt continual power output ytterbium-doped fiber laser, the wavelength of which is 1090 nanometers and laser line width is 0.27 nm, whereas its slope efficiency is 40% and energy conversion rate is 27%, and the final beam quality is 1.22 times the diffraction limit. In addition, its output power stability reaches ±0.14% and no sign of self-pulsation occurred. Our next step is to complete a set of nanoseconds ytterbium-doped fiber amplifier laser system – Master Oscillator Power Amplifier (MOPA) - with a peak power level of one million watts (MOPA) to be used for the processing of a variety of materials including plasma.