Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Brigham Young University

The Evolution-Constructed Features algorithm can identify and learn new objects without hu...

Scientists at Brigham Young University have developed an algorithm that can accurately identify objects in images or videos and can learn to recognize new objects on its own. Although other object recognition systems exist, the Evolution-Constructed Features algorithm is notable in that it decides for itself what features of an object are significant for identifying the object and is able to learn new objects without human intervention.  Read More

Compact at launch, the origami-inspired solar array will expand to 10 times its stored siz...

One big problem when sending things into space is, well, space. Rockets have limited payload capacity and given the costs involved, every inch counts. That's why Brigham Young University researchers have turned to origami as their inspiration. Their folding solar array is designed to be compact at launch and expand to around 10 times its size once it's deployed in outer space.  Read More

Jake Merrell field-testing his Xonano smart foam

As any coach or sports medicine expert will tell you, when an athlete receives a blow to the head, their saying that they feel OK doesn't mean that they don't have a concussion. Particularly in sports like football, it's important to have an objective method of measuring just how much of a hit a player's noggin has taken. While some people have developed impact sensors that can be attached to players' helmets, a student at Utah's Brigham Young University has devised something less obtrusive – impact-sensing helmet-lining foam.  Read More

The Owlet smart sock monitors a baby's vital signs through its foot (Photo: Owlet Baby Car...

Can a sock reassure you of a baby's well-being? Perhaps it can, if it's the Owlet. Created by Owlet baby care, this sensor-lined sock monitors a baby's vital signs through its foot, and transmits the data to a smartphone app or internet-based device via Bluetooth. Parents can check on a baby's skin temperature, heart rate, blood oxygen levels and sleep quality at a glance, and even be alerted to the baby rolling over. As a monitoring tool rather than a medical or diagnostic device, the smart sock aims to help parents be more aware of potential health-related danger signs so that they can take preemptive action.  Read More

Brigham Young University's Team Med Vault, with their painkiller-dispensing device

It’s an unfortunate fact that prescription painkiller abuse is on the rise. In some cases people are taking the drugs to get high, while in others, patients simply want more relief than their prescription allows. In either scenario, the results are often fatal. That’s why a group of engineering students from Brigham Young University have created a lockable medication-dispensing device known as the Med Vault.  Read More

Originally called the Active Alarm, the Fire Avert is a fire safety device

The smoke alarm is a standard part of home safety equipment. But what if you step out and aren't there to hear it going off? The Fire Avert steps in where the smoke alarm leaves off, helping to prevent kitchen fires.  Read More

A prototype of the BYU artificial spine disc replacement

The soft, collagen-rich shock absorbers in our backs, known as intervertebral discs, both add to our height (a full quarter of the spinal column's total length) and cushion our vertebrae from contacting one another. Unfortunately, aging, accidents and overuse can damage them and lead to the costly phenomenon of chronic back pain – roughly US$100 billion is spent annually on treatment in the U.S. alone. Replacement of damaged discs, rather than spinal fusion, is an option that's growing in popularity, especially because it helps maintain mobility in the spine. Now, a team from Brigham Young University (BYU) has unveiled their new artificial disc, a compliant mechanism that they believe has the potential to restore quality of life to millions of those with injured spines.  Read More

Hybrid Blue, competing earlier this month in New Hampshire

Last month we told you about a team of engineering students from Utah’s Brigham Young University (BYU), who were competing in a wall-climbing contest using a Batman-inspired system that they created. While they may not have won that competition, the university recently alerted us to another one of its student engineering teams that did take first place in another contest – in this case, they designed a very fast, very efficient hybrid racecar.  Read More

Two climbers ascend a silo, using Utah State University's PVAC system (Photo: USU)

Last month we told you about a team of Brigham Young University engineering students, who created a clever Batman-inspired wall-climbing system. They were competing in the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s 2012 Service Academy and University Engineering Challenge, in which teams had to design gadgets that would allow soldiers to safely and quickly ascend vertical surfaces. Given that the Brigham Young entry didn’t take first place, however, we thought it only made sense to take a look at the entry that did ... and that would be a little something known as the Personal Vacuum Assisted Climber (PVAC), designed by a team from Utah State University.  Read More

A simple concept, the Flex Leg props your injured leg for more natural movement (Photo: Fl...

Sometimes the most advanced innovations are rooted in the simplest questions. In this case, the question was, "If we can help a person with no legs to run, why can’t we help a person with an injured leg to walk?" The answer was the Flex Leg.  Read More

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