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Laboratory Introduction

Sandor Markon Laboratory

Laboratory Overview

Prof. Markon has worked at the research and development division of a leading elevator manufacturer for about 30 years, and was one of the firsts who have succeeded in incorporating Open Source Software into manufacturing in Japan. In addition, at the same company he has produced a “world first” control technology, originating in Japan, as an achievement in the application of IT technology. His goal is helping to develop a unique education for professional graduate schools, based on manufacturing field experience and on enthusiasm for programming. To share the feeling of “making things move” with the students in the laboratory, the lab is always finding new research challenges, with students and faculty working together. In addition, there are interns and joint researchers from other universities, also researchers of companies, with everyone working together in an effort to contribute to society. More recently, there are African students assigned to the laboratory, embarking on research and development of applying technology in their country.

Field of Study / Subjects

The main theme of the past few years is research and development of Human – Computer Interaction (HCI). A new technology called “floating image” can project display screens in the air without any physical screens, so that users can touch it and interact. We are developing both the basic technology and practical uses for it. One of the applications that has received much attention is the visualizing complex medical information, like for example MRI or CT scan data, in a natural form. The goal is to avoid the risk of misunderstanding of such difficult information by health care professionals. Other applications include game and amusement, various visualization applications, digital signage, etc. Another theme, studied at a long term, is improving both the efficiency of development and software reliability in embedded systems, by software construction techniques. In addition, we are working in collaboration with universities in Turkey and Germany in order to revolutionize traffic handling in buildings by the development and commercialization of linear motor elevators. We are advancing the basic research steadily, but the prospect of practical application requires the solution of many remaining challenges.

Methods of Instruction and Research

By always challenging the leading-edge technology, students get guidance and help to proceed step by step, to grow while reaching it. To nurture independence, and the strength to confront problems, they are given the chance to experience problem-solving, and to taste the joy of finding the solution. The goal is to reach a point in the second half of the second year when they have the autonomy and self-confidence to say, “I have nothing more to ask from my professor”. As a rule, students present their research results at international conferences, research meetings and in academic journals to get evaluated properly. They are given the opportunity of interaction with as many researchers as possible by joint research with other universities, companies and research institutes.

A scene of CT scans displayed as a floating image, and being operated by hand

Linear motor elevator model that was developed in collaboration with a university in Turkey

Interview: a student from the laboratory
I wanted to widen my knowledge in embedded systems from hardware also to software

Since my work is specialized in product development of embedded systems, I entered KIC to gain a wide range of knowledge. In particular, by having knowledge of network technology, the range of projects that I can participate in increases dramatically. Also, while now I am involved in hardware-related work, in the future I also want to be ready for application development.
Looking at Linux which originally was an OS for PCs but now is also used as an embedded system OS, I want to be ready for such changes.
The world of the embedded systems traditionally requires fine senses and experience, having a difficulty similar to craftsmanship. I wanted to improve this situation, so I am now working on a research project to create a development environment to enable easy building of high-quality embedded systems. I chose the Markon lab because the teacher had been specializing in research close to the field that I was doing at work. Markon lab has an unconventional, free-style guidance, I am now working happily and freely on my studies.

A scene of CT scans displayed as a floating image, and being operated by hand

Linear motor elevator model that was developed in collaboration with a university in Turkey