Before now it would take 2 hands (all 8 fingers and 2 thumbs) to screw in a light bulb. 1 set to hold the new bulb and the other to unscrew the spent bulb, then screw the new bulb in. Well, things are changing. Thanks to research at MIT you’ll have a couple of extra fingers to accomplish more with more. You can use the robot fingers to hold that new bulb and your fingers on one hand to unscrew the bulb. Now what to do with all of those biological extras…
This year was the first time that Engineers for a Sustainable World hosted the Alternative Energy Challenge at UT Austin. We are happy to say that the competition was a great success! Three teams spent roughly 6 weeks building their designs and the results were quite impressive. The teams were:
Team Gurlz: The Humble Umbrella. A patio umbrella that can be deployed at restaurants and coffee shops around Austin that utilizes solar and wind power to charge electronics.
The Dream Team: Solar Powered Rooftop Hydroponics System to grow food in urban environments.
Team RAJ: A Peltier thermoelectric generator to capture heat energy released by appliances such as light bulbs and convert the heat energy to electrical energy.
In the final judging round, each team presented their research and prototypes to an audience of roughly 40 UT Austin Engineering students as well as three judges. In the end, the judges selected Team Gurlz as the winner of the competition. We are very proud to present them with a cash prize as well as recognition as the Spring 2014 winners of the Alternative Energy Challenge!
We would like to congratulate all the teams who participated in the Spring 2014 ESW Alternative Energy Challenge. Your hard work and dedication was very apparent and the judges were thoroughly impressed. The Dream Team plans to continue working on the solar powered filtration system for their hydroponic system. Team RAJ is still working through the technical details of their ambitious project. Team Gurlz spoke about implementing their prototype at a local coffee shop in Austin.
Hello guys, a summer program for youngsters who would love to code is on, thanks to IBM for making it possible. The program entails web and mobile application development. It kick started on the 7th of July, 2014 with the registration of applicants, 8th and 9th was the opening ceremony of which the young minds had several talk shows including “Mobile application lifecycle” – Girish Dhanakshirur, IBM, India, “Roadmap to becoming a software developer – Zoryana Tischenko, IBM, Irekand”, “Overview of bluemix cloud starter – Matthew Perrins, IBM, UK”, “Introduction to development suites” etc.
It has been intriguing so far, with packages such as HTML5, PHP, photoshop, bluemix cloud data analytics and networking and Oracle database programming already in session. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as the program which is intended for five (5) weeks advances, the youngsters have a lot more to learn, explore and discover. Consequently, they would be adept at Web application development, Database programming, and Android application development. Keep tabs on us as we progress into the world of computing with its limitless possibilities.
At the University of South Florida in Tampa, Environmental Engineering students are hard at work testing out possible methods for fertilizer production. Of course, the best way to see if a special kind of fertilizer works is to test it out. So, with starting a growth study to examine the effects of the fertilizers in mind, all that is left is to get the project started.
A first step in beginning the project -
First thing was first – a growth study needs space, so that was the first priority. Space was found at a greenhouse, and a spot needed to be created to hold the large amount of dirt needed for this project. With that said, a space was selected by the greenhouse to be cleared, and supplies were found. All the weeds and vegetation were then cleared away.
After clearing a spot big enough to build on, we had to build the holding area for the dirt, so wooden pallets were found for the job. With a trip to the dumpster and the hardware store, the wood and nails were acquired to start construction.
Next came the construction of the holding area. With assistance from the staff in the Botanical Gardens at USF, a screw gun was also made available to make the securing of the wooden parts longer lasting. After the structure was finished, tarp was placed on the bottom and the sides to prevent the topsoil from spilling out of the allotted space. The tarp was firmly secured with a stapling gun also made available thanks to the staff at the Botanical Gardens.
After the construction of the holding area, the dirt was brought over from Cypress Creek Landscaping. When the truck arrived, it was carefully backed in so that the dirt could be properly dumped to be used for the 100+ pots we plan to use for the growth study. The company was gladly able to throw in around 75 pots for free, knowing that they will all be put to good use.
With the fertilizer, the pots, the dirt and the space found, there still is yet more to be done. This start is just one step in the right direction. Now the greenhouse needs to be set up to finally commence the growth study. With this low-nutrient dirt, all the fertilizer that we add will be the only nutrients going to the plants. Let’s hope that we get some interesting results!
Our team has now had one month to regroup, reflect, and relax back into our American lives. The intense experience that was our project in Mongolia has now come to a close, and we are thankful for its impact on our lives. Now we have a few thousand pictures to sift through and memories to laugh about. Thanks to all who helped with our success!
The Argylin Garam Bridge Project