Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience

The University of Michigan Ann Arbor is taking driving to roads hitherto untraveled!  They’re testing vehicles in a ‘fake city’ constructed on their campus under the auspices of the Mobility Transformation Center, a partnership with industry and government to lay the foundations for a commercially viable ecosystem of connected and automated mobility.  Read the story straight from the school:

U-M’s cityscape will test driverless vehicles

UMich Mobility

Photo Credit © The Regents of the University of Michigan, Mobility Transformation Center

Called M City, the one-of-a-kind facility will include a network of roads with up to five lanes, intersections, roundabouts, roadway markings, traffic signs and signals, sidewalks, bus facilities, benches, simulated buildings, streetlights, parked cars, pedestrians and obstacles like construction barriers.


The story is getting play from the UK tabloids as well…   The Fake City Helping Create Tomorrow’s Cars

While it might seem like an image out of a Hollywood movie clip, the advances that are made on this “stage set” are hoping to lead to the implementation of a connected and automated mobility system on the streets of southeastern Michigan by 2021.

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If you’re interested in experiencing all the tech and machinery that is part of the world of recycling, you may want to book yourself a flight to Germany! In June 2015, the 4th RecyclingAktiv Demo Trade Show will be held on the fairground of the Baden-Baden airport.

During the three days of the fair the exhibitors will be provided free of charge with approximately 8,000 tons of the following materials for the live demonstration of the exhibits!

  • Scrap
  • Paper/cardboard/cardboard packaging
  • Wood
  • Plastics
  • Building rubble
  • Other materials

Learn more here: RecyclingAktiv


And here’s a short synopsis re: the trade show, with some stats about Germany’s investment in paper recycling from the Pulp and Paper News.

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Most every American that attended school in the 20th century is familiar with the story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan, who opened a new world to her through Braille.  But, our younger generations may not have had this lesson as part of their curriculum, as is evidenced by the story of Shubham Banerjee…  Here’s a great, inspirational piece about a young inventor who is challenging the concept of how Braille text can be delivered to the visually impaired – and it all starts with a much-beloved “toy”.

Lego — Silicon Valley entrepreneur’s

building block to technical innovation


While Lego Robotics has been drawing a large following in the halls of academia, his invention could take things to a new level for those with a medical need.  Here’s an article from Smithsonian that talks about the whys and wherefores of how this tech has caught on:  How Lego Is Constructing the Next Generation of Engineers

There’s a drive to reinvent and repurpose across the globe – what will you create that brings the once impossible to life?

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February 3rd, 2015

There is a sweeping change set to affect credit card payment security.  Although the US lags behind other developed nations in adopting this technology, it could mark a radical shift in how consumers view the safety of their transactions – whether in store or online.  The steps to begin adoption of this technology were brought about through an executive order signed by President Obama in October 2014 to speed the adoption of EMV-standard cards in the US.  Target date for nationwide deployment is October 2015.  This is good news for the beleaguered companies that were hit by hackers over the past few months across the American continent!

US prepares for transition to EMV cards


An American Express card with an EMV chip


Here’s what EMV is all about… EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, a global standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards (IC cards or “chip cards”) and IC card capable point of sale (POS) terminals and automated teller machines (ATMs), for authenticating credit and debit card transactions. (Click the link for a detailed explanation from Wikipedia)

And here’s an FAQ developed by the Smart Card Alliance to answer questions about EMV.   How is this new technology ‘different’ from the current standard?  The biggest benefit of EMV is the reduction in card fraud resulting from counterfeit, lost and stolen cards. EMV also provides interoperability with the global payments infrastructure – consumers with EMV chip payment cards can use their card on any EMV-compatible payment terminal. EMV technology supports enhanced cardholder verification methods and, unlike magnetic stripe cards, EMV payment cards can also be used to secure online payment transactions.

Cyber-security is a burgeoning field as more and more of our daily activities go ‘online’.  What part will you play in keeping data safe?

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January 27th, 2015

There’s a saying that the only things that are certain in life are death and TAXES.  For the vast majority of humans, the process of filing your personal or business taxes is something that is feared, dreaded, hated, avoided – you get the picture…

While e-filing has been in place in many countries for some time, here’s a story from BizTech Africa that highlights a less developed part of the ICT globe.  While it may not be news where you reside, this change is monumental for Gabon.  Technology makes its way across the planet at different paces, and can bring about events with impacts that ripple across continents.

Gabon businesses to pay tax online


Gabon map

The initiative, named et@x ( is aimed at helping Gabon catch up with other African countries and establishing Gabon’s reputation as providing high quality services for their business sector.

Are YOU part of an electronic revolution that hasn’t reached beyond your university?  How will you bring it to market and where?  You may be the life-changer that the world is waiting for!

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