Three months ago a devastating earthquake hit Haiti and within hours people from all over the world jumped at the chance to lend a helping hand. One such person was Tufts University graduate student Patrick Meier. Meier built an on line “map” designed to point out exactly where a person in need was using the longitudinal and latitudinal points of that person’s location. Meier got the idea from a company in Kenya called Ushahidi, who used modern, popular technology such as Twitter, text messages and emails to find people in need during an election crisis in 2007. Since then, Ushahidi has proved to be invaluable to crisis management all over the world.
Meier had previously done work with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and when he learned of Ushahidi’s efforts he immediately campaigned to get them funding in the United States. He is now a member of Ushahidi’s board and one of the cofounders of the International Network of Crisis Mappers.
Ushahidi Haiti began in Meier’s dorm room and at the “peak” of the project he had over 300 students working with him. One of the biggest struggles the group faced was translating the text messages they were receiving through their own short code emergency text line. In order to translate the messages a doctoral student at Stanford University found over 1000 people from all over the world who could speak Haitian Creole and translate the texts.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.