School of Art, Media, and Technology

DT BFA Senior Returns From Korea with Albert the Robot!

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Parsons DT BFA senior Jae Yong (Jordan) Lee  traveled to Seoul, Korea recently to represent his team, “Endless Possibility”, as Project Manager at the Smart Robot App Competition, powered by SK Telecom. Lee’s team, consisting of members Chloe Koo (MFA – DT/ Parsons),  Lim Min-Hyun (Under. – Game Engineering / Dong Eui University),  Jang Sung-Dae (Grad. – Robot Engineering / Korea Polytechnic University), Paik Dong Sung (Under. – Musical / Kyungmin University), Jonghoon (Paul) Park – (Under. Electronics & Radio Engineering – / Kyung Hee University), and Jun-hee Park – (Under. Business Administration /Chung-Ang University),  was among the 43 selected (out of approximately 150 teams) to move on to the next level.

Coming up with the idea took about three to four days, and had to be turned around quickly  into a competitive entry. They got the competition information on the 20th of October, and the deadline was the 30th. The weather certainly didn’t help matters, as Lee explains.

“All the preliminary documents that we had filled out were on my lab-top. Since the process of conceptualizing the idea happened during Hurricane Sandy, I had to tether my smartphone’s 3G network to use  as a Wi-fi connection in order to submit the final documents to the judges.”

In order to compete in the first round, the judges chose ideas that demonstrated the potential to become creative, innovative teaching tools for kids, and could be sold as a package product with the Smart Robot, Albert.

“There were two corporate campaign ads and one technology ad that inspired us: The Kinect Effect, SK Telecom’s “Relay of Possibility”, and  Leap Motion. We tried to find the common denominator of these three ads, and discovered that all  the technologies introduced  were focusing on human-centered innovation (simulating performance that involves a hazard; such as traveling through space or deconstructing explosive materials. So we took screenshots of some frames that triggered our team’s minds from the three ads and submitted those storyboards with our preliminary statement as a visual reference. The process of researching and organizing these ideas was in line with what I have learned from the Core: Interaction courses instructed by David Caroll, Jason Corace, and Ernesto Klar in BFA Design and Technology.”


“Constellation Observing Robot, Albert” was the title of the team’s ultimate idea.  Their aim was to encourage children’s inspiration  and fascination with astronomy through their interaction with Albert. By providing kids between the fundamental learning ages of 5 and 11 with the opportunity to play and learn with a Smart Robot, the team established their secondary goal; to teach kids how to communicate, learn from and interact with others in a natural, unconscious way.

“Our team’s biggest challenge to overcome was working in different time zones,” said Lee, “We had to have our meetings through Skype. Every time we were having a discussion, we recorded our session and analyzed our ideas in a detailed manner.”


Lee had to fly to Seoul to meet Albert (and his team’s competition) and to bring the robot back to New York, to begin development on the actual Android app that will compete in the next round. DT faculty Kyle Li & Benjamin Bacon will be mentoring Lee on developing this app.

We wish Lee and his team the best of luck in bringing home one of the prizes below! The winners are expected to be announced on February 28, 2013.

Grand Prize: 1 team – $ 20,000

Golden Medal: 2 teams – $ 10,000

Silver Medal: 4 Teams – $ 5,000

Bronze Medal: 10 Teams – $ 1,000

Unique Award (Relay of Possibility): 1 Team – $ 10,000



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