By Steve Frandzel Seeking a way to improve the navigational ability of robots, Colin Comard and his Expo team turned to the animal world — specifically the bat’s remarkable ability to maneuver quickly and precisely using sonar.
“Bats have specialized anatomy and biology that allow them to navigate with echolocation,” said Comard, who is getting a degree in electrical and computer engineering. “We’re trying to use that evolutionary advantage for our own robots to help them navigate better.” Continue reading →
By Steve Frandzel Sophia Uchiyama and her Expo team have designed a small, inexpensive radiation detector which will enable anyone with a smart phone to “photograph” radiation and determine in a flash if they’re being exposed to high levels of radiation.
“We wanted something that’s easy to understand for people who are not trained in nuclear science, and which literally presents a picture of the radiation around them,” said Uchiyama, who will graduate next year with a degree in radiation physics after finishing coursework for a math minor.
The Oregon State University student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) completed its second international service project last summer. The chapter designed and built a rainwater catchment system to bring clean, potable water to the community of Little Corn Island, Nicaragua, where the community’s septic systems were infiltrating the groundwater table during heavy rainfall. The project is currently providing clean water to approximately 400 people.
Mechanical engineer endeavors to improve hand surgeries
Sutures have been the primary way to connect muscles, tendons, or any biological tissue for 30,000 years. This fundamental method of sewing together living body parts has served humankind well, but Ravi Balasubramanian sees room for improvement. Through a new research project called REHand (for Re-Engineering the Hand) he is designing a mechanical implant that provides an alternative to the suture for attaching muscles to tendons in certain applications such as tendon transfer surgeries on patients with hand injuries. Continue reading →