Australia - Korea partnership to develop revolutionary soft robotic systems

Australia - Korea partnership to develop revolutionary soft robotic systems

Revolutionary soft robotic systems, like those needed to build a prosthetic hand with the dexterity of a human hand, will be developed through a formal partnership between Hanyang University and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES).

The partnership, which will be celebrated today (23 October) at the Australian Embassy in Korea, consolidates a 20- year research alliance as part of the Australian Government’s recent  $25million investment in ACES.

ACES is a multi-institutional research centre based at UOW's Innovation Campus. ACES Director Professor Gordon Wallace is an Australian Laureate Fellow who also heads UOW’s Intelligent Polymer Research Centre.

Professor Wallace said the formal partnership with Hanyang University, and ongoing research ties with other leading Korean institutions, will help translate research into functional devices.

“Our work with Hanyang has already produced significant findings in the area of new materials development for artificial muscles and biofuel cells that have been published in prestigious international journals such as Science, Nature Communications and Advanced Materials,” Professor Wallace said.

“Over the next seven years we will apply these research findings to the emerging area of soft robotics and in particular, the development of a multi-digit 3D robotic prosthetic hand which will have both industrial and personal applications,” he said.

In addition to Hanyang University, ACES has strong research links with Hanbat University, with whom an international postgraduate degree in electromaterials science is being developed.

Research is also underway with Gangneung-Wonju National University, Dongguk University, the Korean Institute of Machinery and Materials, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute and Sunchon University.

 “We are excited to be able to take our research activities in Korea to a new level as ACES enters a new phase of funding that allows us to develop new dimensions in our research, training and social engagement programs,” Professor Wallace said.

"Simultaneous progress in all of these areas is critically important if the obvious commercial opportunities are to be realised. Global collaborations in research and training will give rise to global commercial opportunities.”

Media contact: Sarah McMaster, ACES Communication and Media Officer, on +61 2 4221 3788.