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A new system allows mobile phones to access certain data only when they're in a given phys...

There are plenty of situations in which it’s convenient for people to be able to receive sensitive data on their smartphones – one example could be a nurse at a clinic, who needs a doctor’s office to email over a patient’s immunization records. The problem is, those confidential records will still be on her phone, when she leaves work with it at the end of the day. A new system developed at Virginia Tech, however, offers a solution to that problem. It allows mobile phones to access certain data only when they’re in a given physical location, and wipes that data from their memories when they leave.  Read More

AnatOnMe project from Microsoft Research in use (All images courtesy of Amy K. Karlson, Da...

Having undergone some physical therapy myself, I can confirm that even though keeping to a prescribed exercise and treatment regimen helps the injury heal faster, the daunting prospect of self-administered discomfort has led me to ignore the advice of my practitioner. A team at Microsoft's research wing has developed a working prototype of a system that may help to encourage physical injury sufferers to do their exercises by giving them a clearer understanding of what's going on. A therapist would use the device to project a series of graphics of underlying bone, muscle tissue, tendons or nerves directly onto the body of a patient to help explain the nature of the injury and prescribe effective treatment. The device can also take photos during a consultation, which can be subsequently reviewed or printed out as a memory aid for the patient.  Read More

Materials and components used in the LUMENHAUS are based on the basic requirements of envi...

Imagine waking up on a cold winter’s morning to light streaming in through your bedroom window and the smell of fresh coffee. The concrete floor is warm and your favorite music starts to play as you eat your breakfast. As you drive away the house automatically locks, the thermostat reduces and the insulation panels close as the house goes into hibernation until you return. Welcome to LUMENHAUS, the completely solar powered, open plan house that uses computer technology, flexible architectural design and energy efficiency to adapt to its owner’s changing needs as well as environmental conditions... and it recently won the 2010 Solar Decathlon Europe.  Read More

A blind volunteer trying out Virginia Tech's BDC system in a dune buggy

Next January, before the Rolex 24 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, a Ford Escape will drive around part of the course. The catch: its driver will be blind. The event will be a demonstration of technology developed by the US National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech). Three years ago, Virginia Tech accepted the NFB’s Blind Driver Challenge (BDC), in which engineering schools were invited to design non-visual interfaces that would allow blind people to drive. From the sounds of things, the Rolex 24 demo could be just the tip of the iceberg.  Read More

The GUSS autonomous vehicles developed by Virginia Tech are to make their debut at the 201...

Having placed third in the prestigious DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007, engineering students from Virginia Tech have returned to the forefront of autonomous vehicle development by designing and building four GUSS (Ground Unmanned Support Surrogate) vehicles. Able to carry 1800 lbs and designed to resupply and evacuate troops in the field as well as reduce the load carried by them, the vehicles are due to make their debut at the impending 2010 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC)war games in Hawaii.  Read More

Project Leader Kevin Kochersberger and the autonomous helicopter designed to fly into citi...

Students at Virginia Tech's Unmanned Systems Laboratory are perfecting an autonomous helicopter they hope will never be used for its intended purpose. Roughly six feet long and weighing 200 pounds, the re-engineered aircraft is designed to fly into American cities blasted by a nuclear weapon or dirty bomb. Its main mission would be to assist military investigators in detecting radiation levels, mapping and photographing damage after such an attack.  Read More

Students from the Cornell Hotel School cook in their “Silo House” for members of competing...

Competition is underway in the Department of Energy’s (DoE) Solar Decathlon, in which 20 teams of college and university students compete to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house. The house designs entered in the competition not only capture heat and light from the sun, but also integrate design features to take advantage of cooling breezes and shading. By combining these proven energy efficient designs with the latest off-the-shelf technology, the teams aim to create homes that reduce utility bills and meet all their energy needs, while providing all the comforts of home.  Read More

SEM micrograph of Multi Walled Carbon Nanotube bundles at about 7220x magnification (Photo...

Current heat treatments for human tumors, such as radiofrequency, have shown promising results over the last couple of decades, even though they apply only a single-point of heat to the tumor. However, a new technique could prove much more effective by using nanotubes to apply heat throughout the tumor. Scientists found that by injecting the man-made, microscopic carbon tubes into tumors and heating them with a quick, 30-second zap of a laser, they were able to effectively kill kidney tumors in nearly 80 percent of mice.  Read More

The Blind Driver Challenge aims to put vision impaired people in the drivers seat

Recent technological developments are presenting increasing opportunities for blind and vision impaired people to interact with the world in ways not previously possible. However, many everyday acts we take for granted such as driving a car remain out of reach. That’s well on the way to changing thanks to a development by a team of students at the Virginia Tech University, who have designed a car that allows blind and visually impaired people to take the wheel and drive unassisted.  Read More

RoMeLa's climbing HyDRAS robot

Researchers at the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory at Virginia Tech have designed a series of autonomous serpentine robots that are able to climb poles and inspect structures too dangerous or inaccessible for humans. The robots coil themselves around a beam and roll upward using an oscillating joint motion, gathering important structural data with cameras and sensors.  Read More

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