Ajou News

NEW Students of Ajou University and Nanyang Technological University wrap up barista robot creation project

  • 2024-04-23
  • 1920

A project jointly executed by students of Ajou University and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University for the development of a barista robot has been successfully completed.

A presentation on the achievements of the barista robot project was held at Nanyang Technological University from January 16 to 20. The presentation brought together students from Ajou University and Nanyang Technological University who completed the joint project, which had been conducted online since September last year.

The international industry-academia-research project was conceived by an Ajou University professor of mechanical engineering in Semester 2 last year who thought it would be a valuable learning experience for the participating students. Six Ajou University students and five mechanical and aerospace engineering students from Nanyang Technological University formed the project team in September of last year, with the objective of designing an AI robot that uses computer vision technology to make hand drip coffee. 

The six Ajou University students who participated in the project were Im So-yeon (digital media), Park Yong-joon (industrial engineering), Park Jun-ha (industrial engineering), Lee Dong-geon (industrial engineering), Kim Young-chan (integrative systems engineering), and Lee Chang-hoon (integrative systems engineering). Integrative Systems Engineering Professor Min Hyeun Jeong directed the students, who were provided with technical support from Cobosys, a robotic and automation solutions company. 

In the course of designing the barista robot, the Ajou University and Nanyang Technological University students held weekly online progress meetings on their research of hand drip coffee recipes used by expert baristas, their development of algorithms (water amounts, spiral drip control, etc.) for application of the recipes, and use of 3D cameras and deep learning for object recognition. 

The barista robot created through the project is able to locate the hand drip set used in coffee making through object recognition and the use of six-axis robot arms with grippers in executing sophisticated movements. The robot intelligently responds to any accident factors in operation to make coffee of a consistently high quality, which it then places in a serving area. 

A major achievement of the project is the use of computer vision technology in hand dripping automation, an example to be followed in future development of autonomous barista robots. 

Industrial engineering student Park Yong-joon, one of the participating Ajou University students, commented, “The project was memorable because it had me working with many others, attending meetings in English, and working with robot arms and AI vision technology, all of which were new experiences for me.” He added, “The lessons I learned though this five-month project will help me with choosing my career path.” 

Nanyang Technological University is an emerging university in Singapore, a tech education powerhouse that has been referred to as “the MIT of Asia,” having ranked 26th in the world in the 2024 QS World University Rankings and first in the 2023 THE Emerging Economies University Rankings.

The project was made possible through the International Industry-Academia-Research Cooperation-based Education Model Development/Operation Support Project of the LINC 3.0 Project in execution by Ajou University. In the development of global talent, Ajou University jointly develops and uses learning materials and curricula with the faculty of foreign universities, gives students opportunity to gain experience at foreign universities and companies, and maintains an international network of industry-academia-research collaborators to plan and execute joint education projects. The development of effective global education models is a major focus of Ajou University. 

The students giving a presentation on project outcomes

The barista robot making hand drip coffee