Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience

Having to wake up early in the morning can be a drag.  Or it can be an act that’s eagerly anticipated.  Depends on your point of view…and the reason behind the early ‘cock-a-doodle-doo’ of the rooster!  Here’s a story about a product to help you rise and shine – and the name itself should make you want to smile as your feet hit the floor -

Learn about the

BEDBOT – your Daytime


Initialization Assistant



created by Peter Roca, who is a combination woodworker and computer geek.  (The link from his name will take you to his story about the inspiration leading to and the construction of his invention!)  The Bedbot is not for retail sale, so if you want one, you’ll need to make it yourself – and you might have to lose some ZZZs to do it!

Here’s a list of the components used in the design (circuitry and stuff…)

  • Raspberry Pi
  • 20 watt amplifier (adafruit)
  • 5v to 5.2v USB booster (adafruit)
  • 5v ‘buck’ converter (12v to 5v step down) (adafruit)
  • 320×240 TFT touchscreen (resistive) (adafruit)
  • 120×32 OLED display (adafruit)
  • DPDT relay (digikey)
  • Software-defined radio dongle (amazon)
  • Tactile buttons (adafruit)
  • C-audio USB Audio card (amazon)
  • Mini servo (adafruit)


If you live for the thrill of working with your hands (what some would term the ‘old-fashioned way’) and melding that with your technical aptitude, this project is for you!!  Although it’s been – almost self-deprecatingly – termed an “overengineered alarm clock”, the cool factor and artistic appeal of the Bedbot is undeniable.   And who wouldn’t want to lay claim to having one of these made-by-hand pieces in their home (or dorm or cabin in the woods or…)?   Give the Sand-man the brush off – waking up CAN be fun!

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August 13th, 2015

A smile conveys SO much in your personal interactions.  It can be interpreted as a sign of love, encouragement or friendliness.  There’s a whole marketing blitz that’s currently hit the advertising world about products designed to enhance our smiles.  In former days, when dental hygiene was not as prevalent, there were few – old or young, rich or poor – who could lay claim to having a dazzling, perfect smile.  For some today, illness has robbed them of the confidence to display a toothsome grin to the world.

Enter 3-D Tech dentistry research, courtesy of scientists at U Alberta in Canada…  make sure to check out the video and the inspiring photos in this piece!

Designing 3-D smiles


for cancer survivors


Working with surgeons and prosthodontists at iRSM, …CT scan images of a patient’s head [are turned] into a 3-D model with the aid of computer software. iRSM has a very special advanced digital technology laboratory, the Medical Modelling Research Laboratory, which is equipped to design and simulate surgery at the Misericordia Community Hospital, Covenant Health Group in Edmonton.


University of Alberta offers both a Master’s degree & PhD in Rehabilitation Science – could your work dovetail?  Perhaps you’ll be leading the way in a pioneering technology that offers a new reason to SMILE!

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August 5th, 2015

…but, humans, of needs, MUST.  And a restful night’s sleep seems harder and harder to come by nowadays- even with a ‘comfortable’ mattress and pillow.  While we slumber, our brains – similar to a computer – never really seem to shut off completely,  and the stress of our daily existence creeps in and makes us toss and turn.  So while we’d like to wake up energized to face the challenges of the new day, often we are tired and cranky before we even set foot to the floor.  There have been lots of studies on this phenomenon, which have resulted in numerous gadgets that might provide some relief.  Here’s my favorite (although, I have yet to invest in one myself, much as I need it!) – click on the pic for full details…


Somnus sleep shirt


Read this piece, which includes the Nyx shirt highlighted above, to learn about other tech that help you “catch your zzzzzs”.  From alarm clocks to sleep monitors, these devices are aimed at enhancing rest time.  Read up on them and “Sleep Tight“!!

7 Technologies to Help You Sleep Better

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Drones are in the news more than ever – whether you think they are good, bad or even if you are totally indifferent, you have to admit they are COOL!

And, if you are part of the researchers and developers working on these “magnificient flying machines”,  there’s a gathering that may pique your interest… read the press and see an interview with the President/CEO of InterDrone event coordinator BZ Media, Ted Bahr, here:  International Drone Conference Preview

Join a bunch of enthusiasts in Las Vegas, September 9-11 and see what all the hype is about:

Drone conference


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August 1st, 2015

With so many demands pulling us in every direction, there’s often precious little time to decompress (or none at all!!)  Studies from a variety of sources have shown that stress affects both your physical and mental well-being.  While it would be really nice to have an afternoon nap like babies & toddlers get, the practicality of this ‘luxury’ in most parts of the world is not going to allow that to happen on a mass scale.

Read this story to see how technology called Muse can help to bring you a calming state of being:

Brain-Sensing Headband

Helps Users Manage Stress


Muse headband

The headband uses EEG sensors that detect the brain’s electrical activity. Users are then asked to participate in a three-minute guided exercise that aims to reduce stress, calm anxiety and increase focus and concentration.

Visit the Muse site to learn more:  Muse


The funny thing is, technology is often blamed for the freneticism of our current existence.  To put it to use as a de-stressing tool… I really enjoy the irony!!!

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