Message for students 2021:Chenhui Huang
March 26, 2021
Contributing to People's Healthy Life Expectancy
Biometrics Research Laboratories
After receiving a doctorate in medical engineering, Huang joined NEC in April 2015. He was involved in the development of the "A-RROWG" walk sensing insole, which successfully raised more than ten times its initial crowdfunding goal.
Visualizing the walking posture with a sensor equipped in the insole
I am currently conducting research as part of the team which focuses on the medical and health fields at the Biometrics Research Laboratories. Our mission is to develop solutions that sense body movements to contribute to people's healthy life expectancy.
Recently, we developed an insole that is able to analyze a person's "gait." It is a device which comprehensively analyzes the walking speed, step length, foot sole angle of heel strike, foot sole angle of toe-off, foot height, and circumduction, etc. to determine whether one's gait is ideal. The goal is naturally to achieve a beautiful walking posture, and we are exploring applications in healthcare fields such as frailty prevention and rehabilitation.
I was in charge of building the model to analyze the sensing data obtained with this insole. In other words, this research visualizes a person's gait using the acceleration and angular velocity sensors equipped in the insole. The model construction has already been completed to a level where it can be productized, but we are now iterating more detailed adjustments in anticipation of use in the medical field. We are updating a fundamental model which detects the timing of the heel strike the ground and the toe take off the ground from the data. We are also considering an application which can be used to help reduce bunions risks.
As a result of this device becoming well-known within society through our crowdfunding efforts, we have recently been contacted by various companies and research institutions. This technology is part of our group's stated challenge of applying sensing to the human body, so we hope to further generate new needs while collaborating with various institutions.
An environment which focuses on the branding of each individual researcher
NEC is a company which focuses on solutions for society through technology. This enables me to get a real sense that my own research is connected to solutions for social issues, so I am able to feel a great sense of purpose as a researcher.
Moreover, I feel that NEC is a company which focuses on the branding of each individual researcher. This is likely due to a thoroughly strong belief that researchers play a leading role in creating the technologies. The company actively encourages researchers to participate in conferences and present research papers, and it also has close ties with academia. I have never heard of the company applying restrictions to conference presentations due to confidential information. The company's stance is that raising the presence of its technologies and researchers also raises the company's presence, so it might be an extremely attractive environment for researchers wish to pursue their own themes. The realization that the technology one is working on is becoming widely known within society is a source of considerable happiness. I feel extremely blessed to be working in the NEC research environment which properly respects the career of each individual researcher and the work that they wish to carry out.
Pursuing specialization and increasing one's own value
At the same time, being an NEC researcher means that the capabilities of each individual are directly connected to NEC's technological capabilities. Increasing your own capabilities and brand will have a direct bearing on the company's technological capabilities. That carries an extremely great responsibility but also provides a sense of purpose and enables you to engage in research with a sense of pride and an awareness that you are a professional who is in charge of that field. Recently, I used the commuting time saved due to remote working to take the sports medicine certification test. I did this out of the belief that acquiring specialized knowledge would allow me to engage in discussions with experts that I meet during work on a more equal footing. I think that such a posture can achieve a sense of pride and responsibility as a corporate researcher and is an enjoyable aspect of the job.
In addition, I am from China, and there are many researchers who come from other countries at NEC. There are some people who cannot speak Japanese, so everyone communicates in English with them. A Japanese training system has also been prepared, so I think that even those who cannot speak Japanese can work without any problems.
A day at work
Message to my past self in my school days
I am currently making efforts on raising my child, who just turned four years old. My commuting time has been eliminated due to remote working, which has increased the time I spend with my child for which I am grateful. I am in charge of taking my child to and from nursery school. In addition, I am recently using the time freed up due to remote working to also start studying French. I have visited France many times for conference presentations and business trips, but I would like to be able to speak in French at least at the hotel or for shopping during my next visit.