brave new world
TechTwilight 2015 was held at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum on May 15. The event featured entrepreneurs from around the region showcasing their innovations and inspiring young minds to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). Attendees enjoyed an evening of activities, demonstrations and hands-on invention presented by companies and schools throughout Southeast Michigan.
Ants perform some pretty incredible tasks — from carrying up to 5,000 times their own body weight (according to researchers at Ohio State University as reported in the Journal of Biomechanics) to assembling themselves into rafts that can float for weeks, saving an entire colony from drowning. Ants are well known for their highly organized colonies and nests, which often house millions and where teamwork is key to their ability to accomplish extraordinary feats.
They may not realize it, but many motorists on Interstate 75 just north of Detroit are getting a glimpse of the future: a black Chrysler 300, essentially driving itself, that regularly plies the highway. There are people in the car, to be sure. But they are engineers monitoring performance and providing human intervention only as a backup. The car is watching the road, steering, controlling speed and maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles.
When information technology company Detroit IT faced losing one of its technicians, the business pulled a solution out of its technology bag of tricks to keep its team intact. The Troy, MI-based IT service, consulting and cloud solutions firm helps companies by setting up and hosting cloud computing and networks, implementing security measures, managing mobile devices, enabling voice over Internet phones and service (help) desk functions.
Research conducted by Richard Wallace and colleagues at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) suggests the automotive industry is on the brink of a new technological revolution that will result in self-driving vehicles, and that any company that doesn’t adapt may find itself lagging behind and perhaps even worse as new competitors emerge. After all, the car companies of the last 50 years do not have to be those of the next 50, Wallace says. “When’s the last time you used Kodak film? We don’t buy mainframe computers from IBM anymore, either. We’re trying to avoid the dinosaur situation.”
Jazz up your summer with six truly unique Michigan destinations. Some vacationers enjoy visiting the same beloved spot year after year. But if you’ve got that “been there, done that” feeling, here are six off-the-beaten-path attractions you just might add to your list of Michigan favorites.
What’s a road-trip without some special treats to ease the backseat boredom? Fortunately for travelers, Michigan has no shortage of sweet stops, from familiar chocolate-rich spots like Sanders and Kilwins to the many Mackinac Island fudge shops and ice cream parlors that dot the state.
With winter weather arriving well ahead of schedule this season and the holidays but a distant memory, cabin fever has likely set in. To help combat the winter doldrums, here’s a selection of cold-weather entertainment ideas — some close to home and others throughout the state.
As many as 300,000 people in the United States are diagnosed each year with severe aortic stenosis, a condition in which the aortic valve does not open fully, decreasing blood flow from the heart to the body. Aortic stenosis may be related to age, a buildup of calcium deposits that causes narrowing, radiation therapy, medications or a history of high cholesterol. Although open-heart surgery is the treatment of choice for aortic stenosis, approximately one-third of patients with this disease are not candidates for the surgery, but they may benefit from minimally invasive heart valve replacement options, such as the Sapien transcatheter aortic valve.
Automobile entrepreneur Paul Elio is on to something big — or small, depending on your perspective. His Troy, MI-based company, Elio Motors Inc., is getting national recognition for the high-mileage, low-cost Elio P4 vehicle. And fans got a detailed look at the car’s innovative style at Smithsonian magazine’s Future is Here Festival in Washington, D.C., in May. The Elio was on display at the four-day annual event that highlights advanced thinking in science, technology and engineering.
$5,000 awarded to winners of #hack4detroit, automation alley’s 24-hour hackathon: Winning team’s app will be used to navigate family-friendly activities in the city of Detroit. Abdul Miah, co-founder and principal engineer at rankedHiRe, and Imran Raja, senior software engineer at MB Financial, were awarded the $5,000 grand prize at #hack4detroit, Automation Alley’s 24-hour hackathon to build a mobile application using the city of Detroit’s new Open Data Portal. Automation Alley held the event June 12-13 at Grand Circus Detroit.
We live in crazy times, constantly bombarded with information, distractions and opportunities. How can you get through all of your “to-do’s” and “wish I didn’t have to’s” without being completely stressed out? Here are a few easy steps that you can use to help focus on what matters most and achieve balance in your work and home life.
In the 2012 movie, “Robot & Frank,” an aging man living alone ultimately befriends a domestic robot his son provides him as a companion. In a more recent flick, “Ex Machina,” the main character has the tables disastrously turned on him when a female robot he created seeks freedom. Author Martin Ford, an international expert on technology, expects the new economy to evolve in an even more complex way as explained in his 2015 book, “Rise of the Robots.”
When Nancy Benovich Gilby was hired to lead the University of Michigan School of Information’s Entrepreneurship Program in June 2014, her “big, hairy, audacious goal” was to make sure each student participated in a “passion-led, self-driven innovation project.” It seems Gilby, who received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer engineering from U-M, is succeeding. Students from the school’s Master of Science in Information (MSI) and Master of Health Informatics programs, and the newly formed Bachelor of Science in Information (BSI) program, are striking out on their own, taking Nancy’s prescription for successful risk-taking to heart.